The long-awaited return of ‘Astro City’

‘Astro City: That Was Then…’ asks the question, ‘Who were the Jayhawks?’

It’s been too long since new Astro City has hit comic book shelves, but that drought will end in March. Image Comics has announced Astro City: That Was Then…, a new one-shot by the team of Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Alex Ross, Alex Sinclair and Comicraft.

Image Comics announced the return of Astro City to their publishing line last year — along with several other Busiek projects, like the Arrowsmith sequel and a new comic called Free Agents.

The story in the one-shot will delve into Astro City’s past, specifically the late 1960s — the era of the teenage sidekick. It also sets up the forthcoming Astro City series.

“It’s also wonderful to be back in the world of Astro City,” Busiek said back in October, when the new Image deal was announced. “Alex, Brent and I have been planning this for a long time—we’re introducing a teen-hero team, The Jayhawks (and more), in the special, and setting off a mystery as important to Astro City as what happened to the Silver Agent or the story of the Broken Man. Alex has designed a cornucopia of new characters, and Brent is going to town on the artwork. It’ll be a very fun ride—and yes, longtime readers, we will get to the story of the N-Forcer, I promise!” 

Here’s the cover:

And here’s the description:

Astro City: That Was Then… features new and existing heroes and launches a mystery that will drive the forthcoming Astro City series. Who were the Jayhawks? How did they inspire five teen sidekicks looking for answers to hit the road in a rickety crime mobile in 1969? And how will this affect Astro City in the present? It all begins here. And don’t miss the Astro City Metrobook, collecting the first three years of the acclaimed series!

And here’s something really fun … several Image creators will welcome Astro City back into the fold with a series of variant covers. These covers feature Astro City characters together with other Image titles, including Savage Dragon and Samaritan, Radiant Black and the Confessor, The Old Guard and Cleopatra, Beautie in full The Wicked + The Divine style, Quarrel and Crackerjack in a Sex Criminals homage, and Tony Chu and the First Family’s Rex in a Chew-style trip to Beefy Bob’s:

And here’s a preview of the story, featuring Anderson’s artwork:

The Astro City: That Was Then… one-shot will be available at comic shops on March 30. 

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