[Top Ten: The Forty-Niners] – (Alan Moore, Gene Ha)
“The Forty-Niners” is a prequel to Alan Moore’s “Top Ten” series and it sets the plot for the creation of Neopolis and its special police force. Neopolis is a post WW2 futuristic city where all the super heroes, freaks and societies misfits are being housed. It is a melting pot of humanity plagued by Nazi scientists and mafia like Vampires. Moore does an excellent job here of developing the characters and exploring social issues whilst still driving the story forward with exciting plots and subplots.
Moore’s writing is complemented by Gene Ha’s excellent artwork which is almost photo realistic at times. I admire the way Gene has captured an 1940’s feel to the backdrops and characters yet still made it futuristic in a sort of “Flash Gordon” style. The other thing that makes Gene Ha’s artwork so special is his attention to detail. There is always something going on in the background and he is one of the few artists that I study the frames just to see what sort of witty “easter egg” you may find. It is a bit like where’s waldo on every page. This book is an excellent introduction to the “Top Ten” graphic novels. [ISBN-13: 978-1401205737]. 8/10
[Top Ten (Book 2)] – (Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Zander Cannon)
I really enjoyed book one and this book continued to impress. Moore does an excellent job of developing the characters from the first book and adds a few new ones to the mix. The most enjoyable of the new characters is officer Joe PI who is a robot with a sense of humor. Joe PI integrates very nicely with the old team and generates some good story lines and one liners. The plots in book two are as good if not better than the first collection. There are tons of things going on on every page (many of them you will miss on the first read) but the book never becomes a chore to read. Highly recommended but you must read book one first. (ISBN-13: 978-1563899669).7/10
[Top Ten (Book 1)] – (Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Zander Cannon)
It took me a while to get into this book. For the first two chapters I was less than impressed by what seemed a generic superhero story but from chapter 3 onwards the interesting story lines and subplots really began to grab my attention. The characters are pretty strange but Moore develops them nicely as the book goes on and this really is a satisfying read. The artwork within the book is good although the quality of the paper could be better. There is a lot of things going on in the frames and it is worth a second read to pick out some of the funny things going on in the background. This book is definitely recommended for Moore fans. A lighter read than “The Watchmen” but none the worse for that. (ISBN-13: 978-1563896682) . 7/10