Astro City, Vol. 8: Shining Stars
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Astro City, Vol. 8: Shining Stars (Astro City #8)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A new hardcover starring Astro City’s most popular heroes, featuring cover art by Alex Ross.

Astra Furst, the third-generation Super Hero of Astro City, is graduating from college. It’s a time of friends and family, new opportunities, changing relationships – and danger! Featuring the First Family, the creatures of Monstro City, a new hero team and more on a graduation nigh

Hardcover, Wildstorm, 208 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by WildStorm Comics (first published April 19th 2010)
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After the much more ambitious scope of The Dark Age, it was probably a bit of a relief for Busiek to return to the shorter stories that Astro City started with. Personally, I like the shorter stories, and I really liked this collection. The first story is about Infidel, Samaritan's nemesis. It's a great story, and Infidel is a fascinating character. And it might be the most beautifully illustrated story in the collection. The second story is the one I've been waiting for: the origin of Beautie,...more
When I think back to the "grim and gritty" comics of my youth, I can't help but think that Astro City is what they grew up to become. There is a certain degree of cynicism to them, but they are still courageously hopeful stories that focus on the better angels of our being, and how truly awe-inspiring the vastness of the universe can be.
I still love Astro City now just as much as I loved the first one. I was really excited to see that this volume focused on a couple of female characters in addition to Samaritan and Silver Agent (I'm not saying that typically they don't or that they are normally chauvenist or anything like that, I'm just saying I was psyched to see two female characters that had never gotten their own story before **end disclaimer**)

I thought that watching Beautie try to find her origins was very interesting. Ev...more
Drown Hollum
I've loved Astro City for a long time. I'd love to own them all in neater packages though. (Seriously, DC publishing vol. 1 again, but ONLY volume 1 before picking it up as a Vertigo series was a terrible tease.) This is my first dive back into Busiek's world since Local Heroes, and it feels like visiting an old friend.

Contained here in volume 8 are a series of world-building short stories, featuring a handful of Astro City's familiar faces. Samaritan shares his spotlight with a new villain who...more
Simon Chadwick
If you’ve not come across Astro City before then you’re missing a genuine treat. When you first discover them, superhero comics offer an exciting alternative existence full of wonder, impossibilities and potential, but the more you gorge on it the more you become acclimatised to the codes and conventions of the genre. This leaves you with a pretty good idea as to where a story is going to take you, who’ll prevail, and what will happen to the latest egomaniacal villain. It’s reached a point where...more
the cliche in the introducti.ons to this Astro City books is for other authors to give Kurt Busiek praise for taking larger than life, cosmic ideas and using them to generate stories based on every day life experiences. It becomes redundant hearing this in each introduction, but that really is the reason you read Astro city. It is Wonderful. It is one of the best books I ever read, it is filled with knock off super heroes, used to reflect our favorite heroes from the big two, and I ended up lovi...more
Bob Parks
I enjoyed Mark Waid's intro to this collection as much as I enjoyed Busieck's stories. The Astro City stories are the stories that happen inbetwen issues of mainstrem comics. They are not pastiches but stories that talk of the man in super-man. A visit to Astro City is never a waste of time and this is no exception. I look forward to my next visit. The story I liked the best was Astra Fursts.
Perhaps there is more Astro City to come, but this 8th volume feels like Busiek's finale. The man has had health problems, after all. Having read the comic since the beginning, and enjoyed his "tarnished Silver Age" world immensely, I'm happy with this solid, if indistinguished denoument. After Dark Age, which was his masterpiece, and the stated reason he created Astro City in the first place, this series of vignettes feels like he is coming full circle... back to the way he introduced us all to...more
Picked this one up last night at Zia Records and read it all in a few hours. Every bit as good as the other Astro City volumes I have come to know and love ("Confessions" is my favorite collection, still). I mostly bought this one because it promised the story of the Silver Agent, and it is indeed in there (the long-awaited story did not disappoint me as I feared it would, though I found it a bit needlessly messianic). The other stories are great too - "The Eagle and the Mountain" has the Samari...more
A fairly hit-and-miss (though mostly hit) collection. The previous hero-focused Astro City volumes (1 and 3) have been my least favorite, though this one was definitely inventive enough to stand out from amongst those. The true magic of Astro City lies in the stories told from the points of view of normal people, though, and this one has none of that.

This volume consists of 4 different stories: 2 one-shots and 2 two-issue arcs. The first one-shot examining the patient, mostly mental battle betwe...more
It's hard to give this a single rating, because it's actually just a collection of unconnected short stories of varying quality.

"The Eagle and the Mountain", the first story, is by far the best. The framing device is a yearly dinner with the Samaritan, a Superman-esque hero, and his arch-enemy, the Infidel, who has been imprisoned in a (probably) escape-proof location. There are no fights, just a conversation between two old enemies, both of whom are looking that small mistake that will give th...more
Busiek and Anderson are hitting on all cylinders on this one. In his introduction, Mark Waid was sure I would like the Astra story the best (he said so), but it was the story that filled in the gaps of Silver Agent's mysterious jailbreak and time jumps that I found the most interesting.

One thing this latest collection does brilliantly is go from the epic to the intimate, a balance that's often hard to achieve in superhero comics. Silver Agent's centuries-spanning tale is both, as we see the infl...more
William Thomas
I feel that Kurt Busiek began this series back in 1996 to show what comics once were and what they could be again. He was writing it in the dark ages of comic books- a time when big guns and big muscles and blood-splattered pages ruled supreme. Funny that it was being published under Image imprints, which were the largest transgressors of the big-guns-bigger-tits phase of comics. The best part of Busiek's Astro City was that he succeeded. He did show new readers what wonders Golden Age books hel...more
Some of these collections have been better than others. This one takes a step back again in overall worth. Several unconnected stories, a couple played out over two issues. The first, about the Samaritan and his arch foe, the Infidel, is perhaps the strongest. It is followed by a forgettable story about a life-sized "Beautie" (read: Barbie) doll who fights crime and doesn't understand what it means to be human. Then there is the two-issue piece about Astra Furst's graduation. She's a member of t...more
Can mortal enemies co-exist?
What troubles the mind of the woman with no emotions?
What does the future hold for the world's most famous high school hero?
What price victory?

Shining Stars is the eighth Astro City trade and collects the Astro City specials Samaritan, Beautie, Astra issues #1&2 and Silver Agent issues #1&2. The stories are icon and stand alone, so this could be read without prior Astro City knowledge. It does add depth to be familiar with the characters though, and the Silver...more
May 04, 2014 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Comics Fans
Shelves: graphic-novels
Another volume of Astro City, another edition of the best set of trades on the market. For anyone who loves comics and has been reading them for years, there is no more rewarding read. The stories in this one are all strong (reminiscent of Life in the Big City), especially the ones for Astra and Silver Agent. Top notch read!
Alex Sarll
Following the dreary trudge of The Dark Age, a reminder that this series has always been best - and indeed, most epic - when it doesn't do epics. The sidebar, the downtime, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern stories such as these are where this team excels.
A fascinating anthology of one-shots or two-shots that examine heroes more directly than I remember Astro City's writer Kurt Busiek doing in a long time. By giving background characters like Samaritan and Beautie their due, while also updating us on the just-graduated Astra of the Furst Family, he opens up his universe just that bit more, telling us new motivations and revealing the end of certain mysteries that have haunted the book since its beginning.

Brent Anderson's figure work throughout fe...more
Mike McQuillian

Two one-shots and two mini-series from one of the best superhero comics of the past 20 years.

Tyler Poole
I love the Astro City universe. It’s Dark Age series is one of the best superhero stories I’ve ever read. Shining Stars collects several shorts (though all of the series’ previous volumes were pretty much shorts also, save for Dark Age.). Sometimes those shorts are gorgeous and fascinating looks at superhero life (particularly the opening tale with The Samaritan and Infidel) but most of them are competent but only mildly interesting. The Silver Agent segment felt especially unnecessary, undoing...more
***Dave Hill
A collection of four story arcs -- Samaritan meets with his greatest Enemy, Beautie learns about her origin (or we do, at least), Astra deals with paparazzi and her future, and the Silver Agent faces his destiny. They're all great stories -- and stories first, not comic book adventures. Busiek and Anderson have done more to demonstrate that great, Silver and Bronze Age-style comics can do solid story-telling even today as both the Big Two move further away from those origins. Triffic stuff, and...more
Federiken Masters
Jul 14, 2012 Federiken Masters rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Muchos.
Recommended to Federiken by: Casi todo
No sé cómo se me pasó marcar este tomazo. Algunas historias desbarrancan hacia el final (sobre todo la de la "primera vez" de Astra, cuyo final me vi venir, intenté esquivar, y terminé llevándome puesto en las últimas páginas). Ahora por un lado estoy contento de finalmente estar al día con Astro City, pero por otro me da lástima no tener un mísero tomito más para entretenerme con la imaginación ilimitada de Busiek y el trazo cada vez menos feúcho de Anderson.
The episodic stories are very good - esp. the ones about the Samaritan and Astra - but because of the very nature of these stories coming from different publications, the book doesn't hang together well. Still, Astro City is my favorite comic, period.
Ryan Mishap
More wild superhero stories with heart, verve, cleverness, and all told with affection. Dig in if you have yet to experience the joy of being a tourist in Astro City.
Shannon Appelcline
A set of terrific stories that really highlight Busiek's strength in writing short, character-based stories. Every one of them knocks it out of the park.
Good story-telling, good art (some of it bordering on awesome). I'm really glad Ryan turned me on to Astro City.
Ryan McArthur
I really like the Astro City stories and world, and this is another quality example of story telling.
Daniel Butcher
Great way to wrap up this volume with filling in the gaps on Silver Agent.
Jun 24, 2012 Dave rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Didn't quite captivate me as much as previous Astro City books.
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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
More about Kurt Busiek...
Marvels Astro City, Vol. 1: Life in the Big City Superman: Secret Identity Astro City, Vol. 2: Confession JLA/Avengers

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