Astro City #1/2. I’m a big fan of long-form storytelling but sometimes a great story only need eight pages. For almost 20 years Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson have been publishing Astro City and there hasn’t been a bad issue in the bunch, but their promotional issue, Astro City #1/2 is an eight page masterpiece.
The story is about an average guy who dreams of the same girl every night. He seems to know everything about her and yet in his waking world, she doesn’t seem to exist. He asks around to see if maybe he somehow forgot an old girlfriend or something but no one knows what he’s talking about until one night a spooky supernatural hero known as The Hanged Man shows up and tells him about a group of heroes who fought a time-traveling villain. And then he finds out who the woman in his dreams was. (You can read the answer in the image if you like.) The answer is heartbreaking and powerful and everything that makes comics great. I recommend this issue in particular and the series in general to anyone interested in comics both because of its quality and because you don’t need to know any back story to pick up an issue of Astro City and enjoy it.