I mentioned earlier this week that I picked up Alan Moore's Top Ten, as well as a big old pile of his other work, so I could write a story about him for the Geek in Review next year.
Top Ten ended up in my bag of holding because I said to one of the Comic Book Guys, "Okay, I want to pick up some Alan Moore that I haven't read, and I've narrowed it down to Top Ten and Tomorrow Stories. Which one do you think --"
"Top Ten," he said, instantly. "There's no contest, at all."
"Okay," I said, and pulled the first collection off the shelf, "Top Ten it is."
Without scooping myself and enjoying a Sunday afternoon "What the hell am I giong to write about this week" panic: Top Ten tells the stories of a police precinct in a city where pretty much everyone has some sort of super power. So you have this Raymond Chandler on Hill Street Blues sort of drama, with a little bit of James Ellroy writes Mary Tyler Moore mixed in*, but all the characters have various super powers. It poses and answers the question: what if everybody had super abilities? What if the extraordinary was, well, ordinary?
The characters are all well-developed, the artwork is great, and the layout is reminiscent of Watchmen. You may find yourself re-reading it and picking characters and events out of the backgrounds, just like we all did the first time we realized, "Holy crap, that was Rorschach!" In fact, if you're anything like me (I sincerely hope, for your benefit, that you're not) you may just read the first page, which takes place on a subway, over and over again, because even though it's a comic book, (and it's only four panels over one page) they make the experience of riding the train come to life in this totally cinematic style which tells the reader that this book is going to reward you if you take your time when you read it. And holy crap does it ever.
I can enthusiastically recommend this for just about any comic reader, whether they're a fan of Moore's or not. And this may just make you a fan, if you're not already.
* I'm sure this description is going to seriously piss off some Comic Book Guys, but it makes sense in my head, and is only meant as praise. I seriously love all of these things.