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32 pages and 2 staples in Autumn
10.3.2003 by Scott, every Thursday.

Well, September has come and gone, and it seemed like it just blew right by without even a chance for a new comics column. That's because it blew right by without a comics column. But now that October is here, so will the columns be.

In comics news, DC Comics, publishers of Superman and Batman books, and a member of the Time-Warner-AOL super mega company, have been on a hiring blitz, signing several top talents to DC exclusive contracts. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (Spider-man: Blue, Batman: The Long Halloween), Grant Morrison and Phil Jimenez (New X-Men), J Scott Campbell (Danger Girl, G.I. Joe), and several other top writing and art talents have been locked in to work for DC, and DC alone. After they finish up their current contractual obligations, you'll only be able to find these guys in Metropolis and Gotham. Marvel and the other companies have made no public comments on this, or at least no outrageous ones. What this means for comics? Even I'm curious to find out.

I have taken some time over the past month to catch up on my reading, so I'll trickle out some reviews for you, a little at a time.

Top 10 - Book One: by Alan Moore, Gene Ha. ABC Comics. Alan Moore is best known for his work as the writer of 1986's “The Watchmen”, a critically acclaimed story heroes and a crisis in their involvement in how the world is run. A couple of years ago, under the imprint of Jim Lee's Wildstorm studios, Moore launched a line of comics under his brand, “ABC - America's Best Comics”. The foremost title from that line was undoubtedly the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, which was made into a so so motion picture released over the summer. But also in the ABC line was a book entitled “Top 10”.

“Top 10” is set in a bustling big city named “Neopolis”, where nearly every inhabitant living there is a meta-human of some sort. From cab drivers who navigate their fares using zen rather than their eyes to drunken Godzilla-like monsters, Neopolis is probably the most lively yet bizarre city in comics. The story follows a police precinct in metro Neopolis. The cops are, of course, meta-humans, and they perform all of the routine duties that cops do. But while domestic dispute calls are hardly out of the ordinary, if it was a lovers spat between a norse god and a super powered alien, you'd see how the fireworks could fly.

Part ”NYPD: Blue”, part ”Powers” and part ”JLA”, Top 10 was a fun romp in action comedy comics. The book was recommended to me by a friend who opinions on comics oft match mine own, and in this case he was perfectly right. I dug Top 10 plenty, and would recommend it to comic fans. There might be a few inside jokes that readers new to comics might not get, but even then, the stories with in can stan on their own merit. It gets a mighty four underoos out of five from me.

GoBoy 7: by Tom Peyer and Jon Sommariva. This is a new series from Dark Horse Comics, under the Rocket Comics imprint. It's about a boy who, along with his parents, are off to visit his estranged uncle. Then they get hit by a rocket, badly wounding the boy and killing his parents instantly. His unconscious body is brought to “GoBase”, where his uncle lives and operated a futuristic robot laboratory. The uncle saves the boys life by implanting him with cybernetic parts, that also grant him incredible powers. But who is responsible for killing his parents.

If my review seemed a little dry, I apologize. But “GoBoy 7” was a pretty bland comic book. Sommariva's pencils are inspired obviously by Humberto Ramos' (Crimson, Spider-Man), but lack Ramos' pop. Peyer's writing is simple and the dialogue borders on trite. The comic seems directed at a young audience, but it throws three deaths in the first issue, which may seem a bit extreme for a kids book. “GoBoy 7” gets a single underoo out of five. That translates to: Read it if it's on a friends coffee table while you wait for them to finish preparing dinner.

That's it for this time. Be on the look out for future columns with reviews of “Hellboy: Weird Tales”, “Usagi Yojimbo”, and “Goon”, a triple threat from Dark Horse.


-Scott MacIver

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