Astro City 9
The current story arc is a very feminist one, focusing on female empowerment. Winged Victory is still trying to get to the bottom of the plot against her, and the tension building as the so-called evidence framing her mounts is quite palpable, conveying a true feeling of helplessness. Vic gets a timeout when she meets one of the women from the Council of Nike from which her powers derive. Listening to the old woman's story of her life and the prejudices she'd had to overcome, Vic finds her own determination and courage renewed, and just in time for next issue's conclusion. As side issues, the men who support her feel helpless, too. There's nothing they seem able to do that can help and they know her preference is to solve the problem on her own. Added to the mix is the male youth who'd sought help at one of Vic's women-only shelters. Should the shelters be for all, we're left to wonder, or is there sufficient need for female-only shelters? And in good conscience, can they turn away a boy in need? The book poses some real questions along with the usual superhero adventures.
I'm really loving the art by Russell Dauterman. The story by Kyle Higgins is okay. It's competently written, Dick is in character, but things are starting to feel a bit too familiar, a bit too predictable, a bit too inevitable. The parents of the girl who saw his things and realized Dick is Nightwing have been murdered and the girl knows who killed them. She didn't tell the police, but she does tell Dick she knows who he is and that she knows and wants his help to get the killer. But before that, Sonia drops by to apologize to Dick for lying to him about her father. When I think of how many times Dick has moved, how many supporting characters have moved into and out of his life.... It makes me not want to get too attached to any of them. I've been enjoying Dick's time in Chicago, but I think it's time for him to go home. Despite making friends, he feels too much of a lone wolf sort of character and that's just not him. At any rate, now that Zucco is behind bars, I don't have much emotion invested in the book right now. It's the writer's job to change that for me, and right now, he's starting to lose me.