- ASTRO CITY #10 – Can any of us really stand alone? According to Winged Victory, Kurt Busiek’s Wonder Woman stand-in for his amazingly crafted, Astro City Universe, the answer is simple: No. “That’s the thing. We’re not alone. None of us are,” she says in her narration. “Sometimes we make each other feel that way. Sometimes we do it to ourselves, and however it happens feeling alone — when we don’t want to be alone — can hurt worse than a physical blow.” Astro City, printed under the Vertigo label for the first time, is like any superhero story. Winged Victory, Samaritan (Superman), and the Confessor (Batman), are working together to solve the mystery of women missing from Winged’s academy. Just as there is a break in the case, she is summoned to appear before the Council of Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory. The disembodied women chastise W.V. for colluding with men — Samaritan and the Confessor. The council gave her the powers to be a champion for women. The council wants her to stand alone, to shun her collaborators and to fight for women without the help of men.
- (Cont…) They allow WV to return to finish her mission. There’s a brawl, and standard supervillain banter — bow, yield, kneel and what have you. But in Astro City, the standard superhero story is always a way to show something else. In this case, it shows how tired some of the tropes are in the long-underwear funny pages. “Look at you,” says Winged Victory as she insults the villain, Karnazon. “You used to do things.” The brief diversion of fisticuffs seems to almost distract from the main point of the story, but the battle is a device that shows Winged Victory that she not only needs her allies — who free the missing women — but that she is exhausted at playing by the rules other people set for her. She lashes out at the council. She is unafraid of losing her powers. She is unafraid of their judgment. “Do I send an imperfect message?” she asks. “Maybe. But this is how I choose to do things. To stand for what I stand for, with or without allies.” This Winged Victory does what she wants. 4.5/5.
(Click over to the next page for a pair of All-New #1 reviews, including one from guest-clergyman Lance Paul!)