Kurt Busiek's creator-owned back catalog, including the critically-acclaimed superhero series Astro City, is headed to Image Comics. While the move also sees such stories as Arrowsmith, The Wizard's Tale, and Shockrockets moving to the publisher -- each of which saw Busiek collaborating with celebrated artists like Carlos Pacheco and Stuart Immonen -- it is Busiek's work with Brent Anderson on interior art and Alex Ross providing covers on Astro City that is undoubtedly the highlight of this deal. The series is widely regarded among superhero fans and comics critics as one of the biggest and best superhero universes outside of Marvel and DC.
Astro City debuted at Image Comics in 1995. It launched a second volume at Image partner studio Wildstorm and transitioned to DC Comics when the larger publisher acquired Wildstorm. Another volume launched at DC's Vertigo Comics imprint in 2013. The series concluded in 2018 after publishing more than 100 issues in total and earning its creators multiple Eisner and Harvey awards.
"I'm thrilled to be consolidating my creator-owned books at Image," said Busiek in a press release. "Readers have been asking us to make these stories available again, so we're glad to have them all together at last, and in great company with the rest of the Image line. This is just the beginning, too—there'll be new material coming as well, but that'll be another announcement for another day."
Busiek's catalog will be available at ComiXology on Wednesday, August 4th. Releases on Apple Books and Google Play will follow soon thereafter. Here's the full list, with descriptions, of what's included, provided by Image Comics:
- Astro City: Originally published by Image, Astro City is a multiple Eisner and Harvey award winning superhero anthology written by Busiek with art by Brent Anderson and covers and character designs by Alex Ross. Set in a city that's home to superheroes, villains, monsters, mad scientists and more, it tells stories from a variety of perspectives, illuminating what it's like to live amid such marvels.
- Arrowsmith: A high fantasy series written by Busiek with art by Pacheco, set in an alternate history where wizardry and the creatures of myth have been part of the world since the time of Charlemagne. The beloved series tells the story of a young man caught up in World War One, dealing with dragons, trolls and more.
- The Wizard's Tale: Master storytellers Busiek and Wenzel channel a Terry Pratchett sense of whimsy with the supposed-to-be-evil wizard Bafflerog and his companions in this delightful fantasy series. Readers join Gumpwort, an enchanted toad who was once a wizard himself, and Muddle, the third son of a woodcutter who's convinced he'll one day be king—as they make a journey that may mean the end of everything.
- Shockrockets: Busiek and Immonen take readers 60 years in the future. Here, Earth is protected by an unbeatable squadron of hi-tech aircraft—built from a fusion of modern and alien technology—called Shockrockets. Controlled by elite pilots, the Shockrockets protect Earth after a devastating invasion from space. In a freak moment of chance, a tech-obsessed youth named Alejandro Cruz becomes the newest Shockrockets pilot. But could he be in over his head?
- Superstar: As Seen on TV: With the public behind him, he can work miracles—without them, he's nothing! Busiek and Immonen introduce Superstar, a superhero whose power is tied to his fame: The more popular he is, the more powerful he becomes. He's made a deal with his father, an international media tycoon, to help boost his profile as an influencer and keep powerful enough to save the world. But is the price of fame worth becoming just another "property" in his father's portfolio?
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