Alan Moore's Top Ten, a short-lived comic series now collected into two wonderful bound volumes, sits off to the side when most people talk about his greatest works as Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell hog the spotlight. Yet for the casual reader, Top Ten probably holds the most appeal. Without the daunting reputation of being a juggernaut of the genre like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, Top Ten establishes itself quickly as an accessible, interesting, and entertaining read. A police procedural comic set in a city where everyone and everything (including household pests!) has some sort of super power; it's a Hill Street Blues for the cape-and-cowl crowd.
Top Ten has many highlights, from the well-developed and diverse cast of characters, to the art filled with sly comic book jokes and references amongst the background characters, to the smart, sly subversion of both police procedural and superhero tropes. Those wary of Moore's tendency to constantly destroy, maim, and murder characters in his work take note: as this was originally planned as an ongoing series, the characters have a surprising survival rate. Overall, for anyone who likes new twists on familiar concepts, both volumes of Top 10 are definitely worth checking out. While not as lauded as some of Moore's work, Top 10 is one of his more 'fun' works, and the artwork by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon is superb. Don't mistake 'fun' for light, however, as the crimes these super-powered police officers have to deal with can get both intense and disturbing.
Tim @ Central