Take the worlds of Marvel and DC comics. Fantastic stories of superhumans and supervillains. Yet, usually, these characters and events interact very little with the world and society in general. It's as if someone took a snapshot of the world, and painted these characters on top. Kurt Busiek's Astro City comes from a different perspective. Imagine a world mirroring our own, until roughly World War I, where a man known as Flying Ace gains the extraordinary ability to fly unaided by machine, only to be followed by all manner of "super heros".

Astro City is focused on the events occuring in Astro City, an amalgam of the many megalopolis cities in our nation, yet not replacing them, and existing by their side. Astro City is the largest city in the world, and also the target of the most supervillainous crime. It's also the location of the worlds most powerful superheros. In Astro City, the world is protected from world dominators and alien races by Samaritan, the First Family, Winged Victory, the Honor Guard, and others gifted with the most extreme abilities, while the city streets are monitored by an entirely different breed of superhero, such as Jack-In-The-Box, CrackerJack, and Nightingale. Patrolling the mystical and dangerous "old town" location called "The Hill" is the Hanged Man, his mysterious presence watching for paranormal and occult related crime.

The stories of Astro City are told through the eyes of its inhabitants. They are stories about the day-to-day life of people, and how living in such a world affects it. What if the building you work in were terrorized by someone out to even a score against a super hero? What if a battle between powerful beings crash landed on your front porch? Also related are the human interest stories about the lives of the superheros. Samaritan, the most powerful superhero on the planet, feels such a responsibility to save as many lives as he can, that he has no time for himself. When we catch him on a rare date, he is fully aware of the people he could be saving at that very moment. We follow the life of an aspiring hero, out to make a name for himself in a city crowded with wanna-be's. Brilliant, touching stories are told with equally masterful artwork in Astro City.

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