Vertigo Comics Mini-Review: Astro City #24, Suiciders #5, Effigy #6

The last couple weeks have seen a number of great issues released in the Vertigo line-up, though we are far down in the number of Vertigo titles simply being released.  We are taking a look at a few popular ones, all ones that are pretty into the series.  So we will avoid spoilers in the mini reviews below, but some degree of reveal is implicit.

Astro City (2013-) #24, Kurt Busiek

This two-issue arc is one of the stand out stories of the new run of Astro City.  Looking at a super-powered gorilla that just wants to play drums in a band, we see as he tries to find his way between super groups and garage band.  This is the definition of a fun superhero story that Astro City has been built on, with rich characters, appropriate art, and reminding us of the kind of social place that a superhero story can have.  This issue itself is going to be one of the stand-out issues for the series and is why this anthology format is the one of the best additions to the Vertigo line-up.

SUICIDERS #5 (MR), Lee Bermejo

This is the best issue so far for a series that has been somewhat hard to follow and incredibly uneven.  It goes into our main character’s back story, looking at their family, and helps us to see more clearly why they would engage in this brutal career path.  We see how the class structure is implicit to this new society and seems to be setting up a sort of revolutionary plot path, which could be a really engaging and thoughtful turn for the book.  Unlike many issues of the past, all dialogue and narration is clear and concise and keeps us engaged all the way through.  This issue brought back the excitement about this series and hopefully that will continue in the second story arc.

EFFIGY #6 (MR), Tim Seeley

Just like Suiciders, this is a stand-out issue that rounds out the first story-arc for this new Vertigo series.  An interesting concept from Tim Seeley, we are following a former child actor as she tries to adopt a career as a small-town police officers.  The murders she investigates ties directly to her past fandom and we learn a great deal about who she is and the choices she has made in this issue.  There is additionally a good treatment of a transgender character and they did not shy away from the abuse that transgender prisoners often face at the hands of the police.  This has been touted as the Vertigo series to watch, and it seems like it is finally living up to the hype.

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