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Astro City, Dark Ages: Brothers in Arms (Astro City #7)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  526 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Today Astro City is a shining metropolis on a hill where super-heroes patrol the skies. However, things were not always as bright as they are today. In the early 1970's, in the wake of a global catastrophe, two brothers, one good and one evil must deal with family secrets and social upheaval, involving heroes from Jack-In-the-Box to the Blue Knight and the unsettling event ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Titan Publishing Company (first published October 26th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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J.G. Keely
It starts to feel like every modern American comic is still reaching back to Alan Moore, and Watchmen. Whether they want to or not, there is almost no escaping him. But curiously, it's been something absent in much of Busiek's excellent Astro City--a series which deconstructs superheroes in a much more sympathetic, hopeful way, hearkening back to the Silver and Golden Ages of comics.

Well, until now.

As evidenced by the title, this collection is about the difficult times: an era of violence, of ho
I liked how everything wrapped up for Royal and Charles, but two volumes for one story arc felt too long to me. Looking forward to a new adventure in the next volume.
Jul 16, 2015 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think The Dark Age started out as my favorite Astro City storyline, but by the end I was kind of sick of it. On a story level, I just had no idea what was happening anymore, which is sort of par for the course with the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover that it's paying homage to.

And on a thematic level, I just got worn out by Busiek's proselytizing about the "darkness" of modern comics -- and I don't even disagree with him. It's just a really one-dimensional argument they way he tells it, th
Jan 29, 2011 The_Mad_Swede rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, 2011, superheroes
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Two – Brothers in Arms collects Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three #1–4 and Astro City: The Dark Age Book Four #1–4. It is the direct follow up to The Dark Age Book One: Brothers & Other Strangers and is the conclusion of writer Kurt Busiek and artists Brent Anderson and Alex Ross' biggest Astro City epic to date.

Still following the Williams brothers (Charles and Royal), this volume sees them taking on a much more active roll in trying to avenge the violent d
Really a 3.5, for the entire "Dark Age" series. There's so much good stuff in "Dark Age" but a lot of it is held back by the sheer length of this story. I'm not as interested in Charles and Royal's overarching story as I am in the Silver Agent's or the Apollo 11's. Not saying the heroes should have been the protagonists of the story, I like the idea of seeing this dark time in Astro City's history through the eyes of regular people. But the story of the regular people isn't nearly as interesting ...more
Rich Rosell
This continually stunning series has gone full-on batshit crazy with the Dark Ages arc. Gone is the soft-glow Silver Age nostalgia and its place, well, just absolute lunacy.

Not sure where it can go from here, but I guess that's what volume 8 is for...

Jan 28, 2011 Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second half of Busiek's Dark Age epic is microcosm of what is most excellent and most frustrating about classic superhero universe stories adn continuity. Following the brothers Royal and Charles on their quest for revenge against the man who killed their parents, Busiek paints the tapestry of 30 years of a magnificently detailed and intensely wrought world that is an overlay of our mundane history and that of a fantastic, four color existence. It shows the amazing depth and entertaining mel ...more
Oct 25, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though this volume is a considerable step down from Book One, it takes a LOT of steps down for an Astro City story to become bad. Having moved past the dawn of the Bronze Age of Comics and fully entered the metaphorical and literal darkness it brings, Astro City starts to become a cynical, intensely negative place. The problem is, we no longer get to see this from the perspective of the average person. The brothers who make up the central arc of this story have started to become vigilantes ...more
Ken Moten
This is the second half and conclusion to the Dark Age of Astro City. Though not as world-destroying epic, it does show the light at the tunnel for the city and the lead-up to the eventual conclusion of "dark days" for Astro City. The brothers who power the story are now simply trying to survive the whirlwind while taking care of unresolved matters from their past. The city comes close to collapse before fate intervenes in a big way and cooler heads finally prevail as people are finally convince ...more
***Dave Hill
Dec 02, 2011 ***Dave Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: illustrated
Busiek and Anderson's "Astro City" premiered as a shining tribute to the Silver Age with modern, everyday sensibilities. But this run of the book (of which this is the second collected volume) gives their rendition of the "grim & gritty" 80s, as heroes became vigilantes with little regard for human life or the consequences of their action. That story is writ both small in the foreground story of Charles and Royal Williams, seeking revenge for the killing of their parents when they were kids, ...more
Aug 30, 2014 Anchorpete rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book features the same two brothers from the Dark Age, book one, but it takes their story in a very different direction. There were times where I was disappointed they went in this particular direction, but when I treated the book as more of a commentary on comic books from the late 60s up until the mid 80s. Grant Morrison refers to this era as the "Dark Ages" in his book Supergods. I always thought comics got really dark and gritty in the 80s, with Watchmen and the Dark Knight Returns, but ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Clearly, a continuation of The Dark Age Book One, and a good one at that. It wraps up the story from bk 1, continuing to be told from the point of view from the two brothers. They've reconciled their differences & have decided to band together on their mission of revenge against the man who killed their parents. They're intent on retribution while huge powers fight & wage war around them in the world & Astro City.

Not only are these books excellent, but it's opened up a new world of f
Dec 24, 2011 Jacob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if it was my mood or not, but I didn't like this work as much as the prior Astro City stories. Maybe I've read too many superhero works lately to be impressed whenever the name Kirby shows up in a story or whenever there's an appearance by Alan Moore or maybe I felt it'd be nice to move way from the characters that came before in the prior Dark Age volume.

I'm hoping as this series goes forward there are new stories to be told by the already established ones, like the Samaritan. Sinc
Ryan Mishap
Finally! Astro City is one of my favorite series and this conclusion to the ambitious Brothers in Arms story arc is almost as fantastic as the first run. The tension between the brothers truly helped keep the first volume tight and on edge--with those issues almost resolved, the story shifts to a revenge narrative, which isn't quite as interesting. The back story for the world and the heroes in it, however, offsets any letdown.

If you haven't read any Astro City, why, I think it is time you've b
Apr 24, 2011 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
Continuing from the first Dark Age volume, this Astro City collection is still insanely being dropped into a rich super-heroic world that has developed over the course of decades. I *love* the attention to detail and the timely tropes pulled in from the respective comic epochs (in this case...the 1980's primarily).

The Dark Age Vol. 2 did feel a bit more...muddy (?) than the first volume...but I sense this was purposeful, and a nod to the muddy, ridiculous, awesome story a
Aug 21, 2011 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as the first book, but certainly busier. The brothers get more actively involved in getting revenge, which further injects them in the superheroic goings-on in and around Astro City. For some reason, the finale was sort of a let-down. Everything wraps up nicely, but I felt as if there was some sort of major 'thing' running through the background this whole time: that Silver Agent, the time travel, the major villain, Black Badge, and that fateful night all had some sort of hidde ...more
Nov 06, 2013 Sesana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superhumans, comics
For me, this wasn't as good as the previous volume in The Dark Age storyline. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it's because there's less focus on the brothers, who are meant to anchor all of this. Instead, they're swept up in the super events, even becoming a part of them in an active way. Their story just becomes less compelling. That said, I still like Busiek's take on the Grim and Gritty, event-laden comics that seemed to take over after Watchmen.
Oct 23, 2015 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
via NYPL - maybe that's a harsh rating. Astro City's usually so good, but this arc pulled in too many directions and it's ethereal big bad never felt realized (despite a great visual), the payoff didn't work for me, and it all seemed forced to keep it tied to the central brothers (whose own story was far too drug out). Nice art, some nice moment, but not enough to save this from being KBAC's low point.
PJ Ebbrell
One of the few Astro City books, i have read. A good idea and probaby 3.5 on the star scale. I liked the idea of the main characters trying to track a murderer and the training of super villains goons a la the Taskmaster episode from the Avengers. Not sure about the other characters in the book, some didn't excite sympathy, but maybe you had to start with the other books first.
Feather Mista
Quizás este tomo no sea tan bueno como el anterior ni como el siguiente, pero el nivel sigue siendo más que digno. Dignísimo. Hasta ahora, Astro City viene siendo la obra de Busiek que más me gusta. Quizás en parte por la cantidad de guiños que veo a otros laburos. Pros y contras de ser un fanboy con culpa :P
Shannon Appelcline
Another magnificent blending of plot and character. The interweaving stories of Pyramid, Apollo 11, and the Dark Energy are enthralling, but it's the story of Charles and Royal that really brings it hope, creating the most richly textured Astro City story to date (and really developing its background through the '70s and '80s).
Astro City is consistently predictably good. And this one though a bit weaker does not break that pattern. A little too long, a little too involved and yet always at a higher level - almost like this story was a side story. And then at the end it was a side story. As always there were bits and pieces of the history and characters we'd seen before. But always something new. And on to the next one.
Josh Newhouse
When it works its great, butit bogs down in the middle... Forgets its own rules and becomes anaboveaverage superhero book... Losing its core until the very end... 2.5 stars. If only because of astro citys high standards!
Nov 13, 2010 Jamil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, super-heroes
if Astro City's primarily generates interest as a contextual, dramatized essay on the history of super hero comics, it would be interesting to see at some point what it makes of itself, born in the 90s era of analogous superheroes (i.e. Planetary).
Lindsey Stock
Mar 06, 2012 Lindsey Stock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story comes to a nice conclusion in this volume, with closure to all of the important plot points. It is also sad and emotional in some places, and overall is a very good story. I would recommend this and all of the other Astro City stories as well.
Joey Heflich
Sep 23, 2014 Joey Heflich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Same feelings as with part one. Almost, but not quite. I love the Silver Agent stuff, but until the very end, the bits between the brothers felt implausible and, at times, rushed. But you really can't beat that Astro City flavo(u)r shining through in the art by Anderson and Ross.
James Bowman
Nov 05, 2015 James Bowman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, comics, superhero
An interesting tour of the Dark Age of comics through the lens of Astro City. The plot occasionally had to contort to make sure our protagonists were around for certain key events, but overall it's a neat read. (A-)
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Astro city is a very human look at superheroes and villains. Here we see they have much of the same problems we have. Highly recommended
Sep 25, 2011 Declan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. Felt like the whole fictional world of the stories was slowly unravelling. Great read.
Oct 01, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic_novels
Excellent conclusion to the epic storyline. I loved the moment of when everything changed for the better- so iconic.
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Kurt Busiek is an American comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on Avengers.

Busiek did not read comics as a youngster, as his parents disapproved of them. He began to read them regularly around the age of 14, when he picked up a copy of Daredevil #120. This was the first part of a continuity-heavy four-part story arc;
More about Kurt Busiek...

Other Books in the Series

Astro City (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Astro City, Vol. 1: Life in the Big City
  • Astro City, Vol. 2: Confession
  • Astro City, Vol. 3: Family Album
  • Astro City, Vol. 4: The Tarnished Angel
  • Astro City, Vol. 5: Local Heroes
  • Astro City, Vol. 6: The Dark Age, Book One: Brothers and Other Strangers
  • Astro City, Vol. 8: Shining Stars
  • Astro City, Vol. 9: Through Open Doors
  • Astro City, Vol. 10: Victory
  • Astro City, Vol. 11: Private Lives

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