March 13, 2010

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Top Ten Book One

Written by Alan Moore
Illustrated by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon
Wildstorm

Alan Moore never ceases to amaze me in the way he creates new ideas that borrow off of the tropes with which we're intimately familiar and makes them fresh again.

This time around, it's Top Ten, where so many worlds have so many super-powered individuals that they slam them all into one nexus of a place and create a super-powered police force to deal with the resulting chaos. Enter the members of Precinct Ten: a rookie cop with her father's magical toybox, a grumpy Superman-like loner, a skin-shifter with exhibitionist leanings, a gruff lady in an Iron Man suit, a hyper-intelligent dog in an exoskeleton, a phasing lesbian, and someone with a powerful case of static electricity, to name just a few of the folks you'll meet.

They come together to solve crimes from rebellious mini-monsters (and their very big, very drunk parents) to a horrible killer to a ghost-goose who harasses women randomly. It's written with great plotting, spectacular dialog and a sense for creation that no other writer, not even Gaiman, can match.

That alone would be enough to recommend it it. But Ha and Cannon do an amazing job putting the world together. It's both familiar and unique, just like the characters Moore creates for it. However, there are some familiar faces if you're watching for them. Part of the fun of this series is looking at the little visual Easter eggs that Ha slips into the background. You'll find yourself lingering over crowd shots just to see if you missed anyone!

I cannot recommend this highly enough. It's written by a man who knows his superhero history, even if he chooses not to use it to tell stories in more familiar worlds and has great artwork. If you haven't read this yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.