Monday, April 17, 2006

Top 10: The Forty-Niners

Written By Alan Moore

Drawn By Gene Ha

The Top 10 series is quite easily one of the funniest comics you'll read. Alan Moore might not be in a bad mood like he was in the eighties but he's definitely still into mocking the superhero genre. The original Top 10 collections are a police procedural story set in a city called Neopolis, where absolutely everyone is a superhero. Naturally this is fertile ground for all kinds of piss taking. Recently Moore released the spin-off Smax, which follows one of the supporting cast back to his home dimension, a hilariously clichéd fantasy world.

The Forty-Niners is another spin-off, a prequel retelling the founding of Neopolis after the Second World War. Not being familiar with old-timey superhero comics, the vast majority of the jokes and references in this collection went right over my head, so I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the others (although I did get a kick out of seeing Popeye and Captain Haddock having a drink together in a seedy bar). Moore seems to be treating the material he's parodying with a bit more respect this time around, so the jokes are less dense and the story takes itself more seriously.

However while I didn't like this collection as much as it's predecessors, I did really like the art. It's done in a washed out old movie sort of style, which suits the story very well.

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