Each chapter in this collection is a standalone story, highlighting different aspects or characters in the Astro City world. The city's leading super-hero tries to be everywhere at once, and berates himself for every wasted second as he longs for just a moment of his own. A smalltime hood learns a hero's secret identity, and tries to figure out how to profit from the knowledge. A beat reporter gets some advice from his editor on his first day on the job. A young woman tries to balance the demands of her family with her own hopes and desires.
Despite the fantastic settings, the characters in these slice-of-life stories feel like real people, and that gives the stories real power.