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Astro City, Vol. 2: Confession

(Astro City #2)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  4,354 ratings  ·  175 reviews
The second Astro City volume collects the first extended storyline from the award-winning comics series as a young man struggles to earn his place as sidekick to the forbidding hero known as the Confessor, only to learn that his hero holds a dark secret.
Paperback, 298 pages
Published June 23rd 1999 by Wildstorm (first published January 1st 1997)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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Dan Schwent
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, 2018-comics
When Brian King goes to Astro City to become a hero, he falls under the wing of The Confessor. But what is the Confessor's secret? Who is killing people on Shadow Hill? And why is Astro City turning against the very heroes that protect it? That's what Brian, The Altar Boy, means to find out...

After loving the first volume, I knew I was in for the long haul. Fortunately, I was able to find Astro City volume 2 on eBay for less than an arm and a leg. How the hell is part of this series out of print
While the first trade collection of Astro City is marvelous. This second book is actually even better, telling an entire contiguous story instead of a series of (excellent) shorter stories.

You could conceivably start reading the series here without much missing context or confusion. But the continuity purest in me will always encourage you to start from the beginning. The entire series is brilliant, so why deny yourself any part of that experience?
mark monday
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comicon
I Confess, when flipping through the pages and seeing a Batman-like superhero named The Confessor who dresses like a sinister priest and has strange hypnotic powers and a resentful Robin-like sidekick named Altar Boy... the whole thing looked so goofy at first glance. but it's not! it is marvelous. smart and sweet and emotional and surprising and a whole lot of fun.

I Confess, when I first saw the familiar Astro City narrative start again - a newcomer to Astro City is dazzled by all the amazing t
While the first volume of Astro City was structured as an anthology of different stories each issue, this volume goes in a different direction and focuses solely on one protagonist, telling the story of Brian Kinney, a bright-eyed young man who comes to Astro City with dreams of rubbing shoulders with superheroes. He gets more than he bargained for when he becomes Altar Boy, the sidekick of the city's mysterious vigilante of the night, the Confessor. The events that follow challenge Brian's ever ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Confession takes the Astro City series to the next level with this story of a young man who comes to the big city to make his name and becomes the sidekick of the mysterious superhero Confessor. The drawing and coloring was gorgeous and vivid. It seemed to almost leap off the page at me. I think this volume was more emotional and much darker than Life in the Big City.

This reminded me a lot of Batman, which may or may not be intentional. I felt like the young boy was both a Batman in the making a
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, hoopla
Kurt Busiek shifts gears, going from an anthology series to a long form story. Confession is the story of a teenager newly arrived in Astro City. Circumstances allow him to become a sidekick, the Robin to Confessor's Batman. The story is told from Astro Boy's perspective as he unravels the Confessor's secrets all in the midst of a super hero backlash from the city. A serial killer has been murdering people in Astro City and the heroes have been unable to find the killer. The city begins to unrav ...more
James DeSantis
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was pretty damn good. A more focused story on one main character and his life as a sidekick looking into the world of superheroes.

So there's a murder. Then another. And another. It keeps going and going and now it's caught national attention. At the time that is happening a new kid, nicknamed alter boy, joins the Confession! Together they begin to work together. Think of it like Batman and Robin. By the time they make a name for themselves this murdering of young people has gone on long en
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, superhumans
An Astro City story in more than two parts! So far, everything that I'd read of Astro City had been, essentially, short stories. And there was no lack of ambition in plotting this. It's a novel take on Batman, in many ways, and on Marvel's tendency for the normal human population to cycle between outright adoration of their heroes and witch hunts. And there's an alien invasion. It's a lot, but it's managed well, If I were working in Marvel editorial, I'd be embarrassed that Busiek wrote a Civil ...more
For the first arc of Astro City, Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross (with the inking of Will Blyberg, the coloring of Alex Sinclair, and the lettering of John Roshell) tackled one of the oldest, cheesiest, and obviously commercial staples of superhero comics: the teenage sidekick. And what better way to explore the teenage sidekick than by riffing off of the oldest and most well-known teenage sidekick in the world, and his even more iconic mentor?

Brian Kinney is Altar Boy, the newly min
Jan Philipzig
Apart from a cheesy coming-of-age story, Astro City Vol.2: Confession does not add much to the old, worn-out formula: evil alien with a sinister hidden agenda masquerades as one of us, tries to turn us against our benevolent protectors. Professionally done by everyone involved, but lacking the originality and brilliant touches of the first volume. Seriously overrated.
A re-read. So many elements. And definitely better than the first volume but clearly builds on it. So many details that reference DC and Marvel, characters and stories, but done in a different way. And then I go to look and Marvel's Secret Invasion was 2008 and this book was 1999. And Secret Invasion was preceded by the Superhuman Registration Act. This book is also makes nice use of going deep in some parts and shallow in others. And you start to see the characters from volume one gaining depth ...more
Shannon Appelcline
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Busiek's first Astro City epic is an intriguing one, because he deftly threads together several major plotlines,then he subverts it all by largely summarizing the ending.If anything,the result feels more epic but simultaneously it allows him to cast a strong spotlight on the characters at the center of the storyline: the Confessor and Altar Boy. And, it's a great character study that had me desperately wanting to see more of the characters for years afterward.

I think that the storyline doesn't h
William Thomas
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There have been few books, few works of art, few pieces of music that I've experienced and felt resonate way down deep in my bones. It isn't often that something comes along and immerses my entire being in it, so perfect that it feels like I am living it. The fits time I heard Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". The first time I saw Pantera live at Ozzfest 98. The first time I saw Francis Bacon's "Figure with Meat" at the Art Institute in Chicago. When I first read Fante's 'Ask the Dust'. A few others h ...more
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I adore Astro City. I read the first volume, then picked up the current ongoing series with the first Vertigo issue, and have slowly been reading the trade collections in between. This is the second volume and it's about as perfect as a superhero tale can get, starting with the introduction Neil Gaiman wrote for the volume. The first 6 issues are one story, an origin story of Confessor and the youth who travels to Astro City to meet the heroes and become someone important. Along the way, his sma ...more
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
This was really, really good.

I picked this up after seeing it recommended somewhere, and I'm glad that I didn't read the excerpts back then, because I'm pretty sure that would have spoiled it for me.

Like Neil Gaiman writes in his introduction - things can mean more than they literally mean, and that is when what we like to call art happens. Taken at face value alone, Confession is already a good story. But because it means more than it literally means, it's a great story. And like all great sto
Brenda Clough
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this is superb. In his ASTRO CITY work, Busiek shows what can really be done with the superhero. I have a particular weakness for secret identities, Batman-and-Robin analogues, and plot twists, so this graphic novel is bliss.
The story is narrated by Brian Kinney, AKA Altar Boy, a superhero sidekick and one of the most delightful youngsters in the trade. His mentor, The Confessor, is a fascinating and conflicted figure (see if you can spot his first appearance, at the private party in the fir
Quentin Wallace
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Pretty cool volume. It's hard to say too much about this one without giving the big twist away. I'll start by saying there's a cool vampire hero. Then, the people turn against the heroes and start to persecute them even after they've saved everyone time and time again. But of course, there's a twist. The other story is a very touching one of the type you don't see in comics often enough.

Brent Anderson's art is great as always, and I'll say again I feel he is underrated.

Overall another strong vol
Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
I can't believe how everything in this story came together. I finished it two days ago, and I'm still marveling at the fact that Busiek was able to combine vampirism, alien invasion, superhuman registration, serial killings and summer mob violence into a Batman analog. Take that, Civil War and Secret Invasion! Image Comics did it first!

Initially, I was so in love with the short story format Busiek introduced in "Life in the Big City," that I didn't want to trust a longer plot line, especially si
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I haven't loved a comic book series so much since Locke and Key, The Walking Dead or early Fables. While these all have very different stories, the high quality of characterization and world building are what I admire in all of them.
Astro City is a city inhabited by superheroes, but most of the stories are told from the point of view of the humans whose lives are affected, for better or worse, by living among these powerful beings. Great great stuff, and I'm glad there are many more to read.
Daniel Phillips
Aug 10, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Comic book readers who like ambitious stories that blur genre boundaries
This volume thankfully doesn't suffer from the pointillist textures of the digital download of Volume 1, which caused a horrible visual glitch that spoilt pages of the artwork. The artwork is pretty great when you can see it properly; the aesthetic is rich and painterly, but still recognisably comic book art, like a less uncanny version of the art style from Alan Moore's run on Miracleman. This book is a huge melting pot where you have superheroes, angels and biblical figures, mutants and robots ...more
This was much better than the first one! I really liked the story of Confessor and Altar Boy. Confessor’s story was so unique and different than most superheroes and it was really refreshing.
B. P. Rinehart
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My review of volume 1:

I would highly suggest that you read volume 1 and the first part of Astro City, Vol. 3: Family Album before reading this story!

Though Astro City has been ongoing since 1996, this storyline is still considered one of if not the best of its run. Along with Kingdom Come it is considered a direct reaction against the "dark age" of comics which started with the release of Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and it may be one of
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This second volume looks at Astro City through the eyes of a novice superhero side-kick as the city turns more and more anti-hero. A really neat volume across all the issues; we get to see the underbelly of the superheroes' world, where they drink, where they train, how they liaise and self manage. We also have the main arc showing how fear is used to ostracise and then attack a minority, an often told story, but done very well here with a lot of passion. Astro City has so many plaudits and I fe ...more
Melissa Koser
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Everything comes together in this one. There have been a lot of stories that pay "homage" to the Batman mythos, but this does it the best that I've seen.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In my dreams, this is how a superhero comic should be done, so... five stars!
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Still awesome, though I liked it better as an anthology series (just a personal preference).
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I worried I’d miss the variety and breadth of vol1’s short story format, but the tight scope of vol2’s single story told across six issues offers a depth of mystery and consequence that wouldn’t be possible in a single issue. I love its Catholic-styled reimagining of Batman and Robin, and the Confessor’s ironic connection to the cross he adorns himself with is particularly clever. The members of the Crossbreeds have similarly clever nods to their namesakes: Daniel as a lion-like creature and Jos ...more
Lucas Zegwaard
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first long story in Astro City and it's great.
Being a longer arch the first few issues felt a little less satisfying that the first volume, however all the plot threads come together beautifully in the last two issues.

The plot itself is a great mediation on the Batman archetype.
Some more galactic aspects of the story are whacky, but purposefully so. Parts of the ending are swept under the rug to show those plot threads weren’t actually the focus. It does give this volume (and other issues
Matt Peterson
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Some of the best Astro City, Confession and Nearness of You.
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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;

Other books in the series

Astro City (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Astro City, Vol. 1: Life in the Big City
  • 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. 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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