Monday, 1 April 2013
Each Monday this year I'll be taking a look back at a random comic, prestige format issue, graphic novel or collection of reprints from amongst my 3,000 or so comics that date from 1962 to 2003 - I figured anything in the last ten years would be too recent to hark back to.
The comics are chosen completely at random and apart from a four week lead-in period, even I don't know what I'll be looking at in the weeks to come!
TOM STRONG TRADE PAPERBACK #1 - June 2001
Alan Moore has rightly been praised for many of the characters and series he's either created or worked upon so there seems little to add to the man's many accolades. Tom Strong is another creation of his, harking back perhaps to a simpler time when heroes were lantern jawed and knew right from wrong, an almost Superman-analogue that could have become bogged down in similarities. Thankfully, Moore throws in a loving family and a supporting cast of both friends and enemies that really add something to the book. The stories, which appear stand alone at first glance, are a wonderful mix of whimsical, fun and - where necessary - quite brutal.
Tom's wife Dhalua is about as far removed from even the most forthright iteration of Lois Lane as you can get, a character who stands alongside Tom as an equal, not just a piece of eye candy. Her takedown of an old Nazi villain of Tom's is both violent and yet dignified:
But, as I said, it's definitely not all grim and gritty and there's a sense of Moore having some fun both with language and ideas such as a parallel Earth's technology-driven Aztech Empire ruled by one Moctecuzoma.
Needless to say, it doesn't end well for the Aztechs.
The stories in the book are charming and ably illustrated by the clean and deceptively simple lines of Chris Sprouse among other guest artists, and the book's well worth a read.