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

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4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  532 Ratings  ·  54 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

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Hardcover, Wildstorm, 208 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by WildStorm Comics (first published April 19th 2010)
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Sesana
Nov 06, 2013 Sesana rated it really liked it
Shelves: superhumans, comics
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
Cathy
The creators returned to short stories/episodes after the long story featured in the two-volume arc of The Dark Age. It was interesting to see this focus on the private lives of several of the heroes, their intimate lives that would be unknown to most people in this world. This series is great about making all of the people in these stories feel grounded in reality and featuring intimate portraits of some of the heroes reminds us that they're really just people (mostly humans) with complex lives ...more
Ryan
Jun 19, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
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.
Rosa
Sep 19, 2011 Rosa rated it really liked it
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
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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.

Samaritan. I've read several of Busiek's Superman volumes, and they were entirely "meh". Which is surprising because Samaritan is one of his most human and intriguing superheroes in Astro City. I love how this story reveals his humanity, sets up his arch-villain, and intricately ties together with everything that's been written about him before.
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Mary Catelli
Jan 15, 2015 Mary Catelli rated it liked it
Collection of the comic book. Stand-alones or two issue stories. Of variable quality.

This was less good than some of them, but the origin of Beautie -- a superhero based on a doll -- was very good. The story of Samaritan and Infidel, their rivalry and their careful armistice is odd but good.
Mike
Mar 18, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing
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
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Aaron
Aug 01, 2011 Aaron rated it really liked it
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
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Donny
Mar 07, 2015 Donny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saw a clutch of the Astro City trade paperbacks while visiting Kinokuniya in Sydney*, and I simply couldn't resist. Since Dark Age I've been starved of Astro City, and when I saw that Busiek, Anderson and Ross are relaunching Astro City in Vertigo, I knew I must get my hands on them.

So I completed my collection with Volumes 8 through 10, and boy was it worth it.

So firstly, this one. A collection of shorts, each allowing a more intimate peek at the various heroes that populate the place. A piece
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Katie
Apr 26, 2015 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Busiek was really firing on all cylinders when he wrote this one. The illustrations are fabulous (of course), but it's the stories that really shine in this one. "Any competent author can write a story featuring a cowboy that tells you something about cowboys, but it takes a very special talent to write a series featuring superheroes where the first and foremost purpose of every installment is to tell you something about yourself."

We learn more about one of the Samaritan's arch nemesis' backstor
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Bob Parks
Mar 31, 2012 Bob Parks rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic
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.
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.
Emily
Nov 22, 2016 Emily rated it liked it
I didn't connect as with the stories as much this time, but I still love this world and what the author does with it.
Simon Chadwick
May 31, 2014 Simon Chadwick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rich Rosell
I think I need to step away from Busiek's 'Astro City' series for a bit. This volume 8 collection is something of a weak link in the overall arc, and didn't feel the storytelling were on par with past releases. Great concept - just not so much on the execution here.
Ben
Dec 03, 2011 Ben rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
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Neil
Jan 21, 2014 Neil rated it liked it
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
Trike
Aug 01, 2011 Trike rated it it was amazing
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
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Craig
Dec 29, 2012 Craig rated it liked it
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
Drown Hollum
Aug 25, 2014 Drown Hollum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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William Thomas
May 13, 2013 William Thomas rated it really liked it
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
Cale
Jul 16, 2015 Cale rated it really liked it
This would probably have been better if I'd read all of the previous volumes first - but one of the big stories, about Silver Agent, lost a fair bit of its potency because I didn't know the backstory, so all the time travelling just didn't connect. IT's still a good story, just less potent.
But there are other stories included here, and they are on par with most Astro City stories - the tale of Astra's graduation as she tries to decide what to do with her life is poignant and impressive in its sc
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Anchorpete
Sep 03, 2014 Anchorpete rated it it was amazing
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
Keith
Jul 17, 2015 Keith rated it really liked it
This is actually one of the better Astro City volumes -- almost all of the stories within are real winners. I think they read quite a bit better when sequenced as they were originally intended, as breaks between arcs of the Busiek's epic The Dark Age -- there's something more impactful in how they interact with that larger story. As it stands it's simply good these comics are collected. Aside from one cranky-old-man scene where the heroes fight a 43rd-century villain called iGod who attacks with ...more
Colin
Aug 16, 2014 Colin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Sarah
Jun 11, 2011 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
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
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Mitchell
Wow. This series just stays great - volume after volume, story after story. And they are all different. And I'm not sure what order you read them truly matters. In this one the last story, of the time-traveling Silver Agent was certainly the weakest and somewhat confused. But the other three ... Beautie - a Barbie doll superhero basically come to life but still plastic - works like some of the best of short stories. And really The Eagle and the Mountain with a superhero and his Nemesis works the ...more
Jake
Nov 03, 2014 Jake rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel, series
This is series is so profoundly confident without ever becoming egotistical. Its truly imaginative narration of the mundane mixed severely with the extraordinary is a rarity. It has the patience of oral history and the charm of an up-and-coming young author. But Busiek has been around long enough to know how to do that. He's got the wisdom to tell it right and the dedication to know what will work. This collection articulates age with a focus that isn't overbearing and is just as lively as could ...more
Tyler Poole
Nov 20, 2013 Tyler Poole rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
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
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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;
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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. 7: The Dark Age, Book Two: Brothers in Arms
  • Astro City, Vol. 9: Through Open Doors
  • Astro City, Vol. 10: Victory
  • Astro City, Vol. 11: Private Lives

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