REVIEW: 'Astonishing Times (comiXology Originals') #3 by Frank J. Barbiere, Arris Quinones, Ruairi Coleman, and Lauren Affe

 


Astonishing Times (comiXology Originals) #3

Written by Frank J. Barbiere, Arris Quinones
Art by Ruairi Coleman
Colored by Lauren Affe
Cover by Dylan Todd
Lettered by Taylor Esposito

Digital Release Date
September 28 2021

Age Rating 12+ Only
Sold by comiXology

Noah and Kokin make a shocking discovery -- Olympus, a secret city of superheroes. Noah comes face to face with Infinite, the greatest hero of his generation, and begins to unravel the secret behind his disappearance. Will Noah be witness to a long-awaited reuniting of heroes... or something more sinister?

Score:
★★★★☆ (4/5)

The superhero world of 'Astonishing Times' continues to take shape as we're introduced to Infinite. A powerful hero with a god complex trying to save humanity, I mean, really save humanity, even since he went into self-exile working on life-changing experiments in his own hidden "Olympus." This City of Superheroes may sound astonishing to Noah, who sees this discovery as boon to his journalist endeavors, but Kokin isn't convinced. He lobs accusation after accusation at Infinite who he doesn't trust at all. 

Frank J. Barbiere and Arris Quinones set out to create his own superhero universe that represents the best of the medium. Slowly but surely, 'Astonishing Times' is finding its way little by little. Issue three reveals the strong personalities of two heroes, Kokin and Infinite. I can't help but find parallels to established heroes but Kokin is reminiscent of Batman and Infinite is a composite of Superman/Tony Stark/Ozymandias. It's natural to find echoes of heroes we've known for decades and these comparisons doesn't take away from what Barbiere and Quinones are doing here. This universe is still evolving and the character work is distinct, sharp, and engrossing. 

Ruairi Coleman and Lauren Affe continue to do near flawless work in fleshing out the story. The character designs are impactful and creatively unique. Even in an issue where there isn't a ton of action, Coleman strikes great meaningful stares from Kokin that speak volumes. Affe's colors are mostly light and wash out some scenes but overall keeps the world bright and vibrant in issue three. 

'Astonishing Times' #3 gives us more superhero drama as Infinite is introduced to Kokin's chagrin. The world-building of this ambitious and absorbing story of heroes is deliberate and increasingly thrilling. It's coming together and the players are being established. It makes for a rewarding read of a series coming into its own. 


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