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By Brandy DykhuizenLike most 19-year-olds, Drusilla Dragowski has the uncanny ability to project herself into the center of almost any situation, make herself out to be a martyr, and consistently be her own worst enemy. However, what Dru lacks in self-awareness she makes up for with incorrigible heart, making her somebody impossible not to root for.

That’s not to say it’s always possible to figure out what we’re cheering for – Dru’s bottled-up potential and limitless frustration frequently send things sideways for the teen, and it’s not always easy to watch. She has so thoroughly lost control of her daily life that she opts to gloss over those few crucial steps in adolescence in order to jump straight ahead to her number one goal: to become a superhero.

To say she’s lost control shouldn’t suggest that she’s surrounded by some kind of mystical chaos beyond her comprehension. No, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti bring us a girl whose turmoil is 99% of her own making. (Who else would orchestrate their own epic ass-kicking?) But her impotence in being able to affect the changes she desires is what overwhelms poor Dru.

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Suffering from the first-world problems of privilege (she cannot afford NYU’s exorbitant tuition, so why bother finishing school at all?), she spends most of her waking hours dreaming of how to save the world from a theoretical end of days. Rafael De LaTorre’s marvelous artwork deftly escorts us into Dru’s fantasies, where new planets and creatures emerge from her subconscious, and we watch as her teenaged, hunched-over posture transforms into a pose of power and badassery.

So why do we love Dru so much, despite all this self-absorbed battiness? Because when push comes to shove, Dru unquestioningly steps up against Super Zero‘s one true conflict: Tana’s smarmy, abusive father. Visions and reveries take a backseat as she abandons radioactive insect schemes in favor of a GoPro camera and old-fashioned patience, waiting to catch the creep in the act and send him to jail. Confronted with a true demon, Dru is tactical and brave, eschewing the customary list of distractions for direct action and persistence. A defense mechanism as old as time, Drusilla Dragowski ricochets between bullies’ fists and fantasies of heroism and deliverance. Somewhere in between we find that the true hero has emerged, ready for battle.

AfterShock Comics/$3.99

Written by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti.

Art by Rafael De LaTorre.

Colors by Marcelo Maiolo.

Letters and book design by John J. Hill.

8 out of 10

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