Monday, November 22, 2010

Review: Top 10 Book 2

Picking up the story from where Top 10 book one stopped off, book two continues to follow Neopolis' finest in their mission to serve and protect.

Following a lead on a drug delivery, King Peacock travels to Grand Central, a parallel universe where the Roman Empire still reigns supreme. Though he is supposed to be following a lead, he unwillingly gets drafted into an inter-precinct gladiatorial tournament that pits him against super-cops from other dimensions. Meanwhile, back at Top 10, the crew is trying to keep their suspected "libra killer" under lock and key, while they tidy up shop in preparation for a visit from the commissioner.

While busy with housekeeping they also must contend with the Seven Sentinels, a world renown super hero team, who aim to free M'rrgla Qualtz, a former porn-star, and former member of the Seven Sentinels...however, around Top 10 they just call her the Libra Killer. To further muddy the water, Slinger and Smax investigate the suicide of a former pop-prince who also may have ties to the Seven Sentinels.

Top 10 book two is a continuation of the awesomeness that got started in the first book. I wasted no time in digging into this concluding volume, as I was totally hooked after reading book one. Top 10 has the feel of a great crime TV show along the lines of The Wire, yet with a science fiction twist. Moore does a great job of building up the case, and showing all the hard work and dedicated police work that it takes to break open a major case.

It was cool seeing "super heroes" use their brains as well as their powers to try and defeat the bad guys. Moore blended the super power aspect and the meticulous, painstaking attention to detail aspect of detective work well in this volume and the end result is another great graphic novel.

Top 10 is a two book, 12 issue, graphic series, so the story line gets completely wrapped up in this volume. Though this volume only contains five issues while the previous volume contained seven, there is no skimping on greatness here. The characters that I came to know and love in the first volume get further developed here. Moore adds in a few unexpected twists and character traits that add layers to many of the characters. Though Moore took time to develop each character quite well, I always wanted to see more of them, and learn more about their powers and what makes them tick. I think that constant sense of interest and intrigue was a large part of my enjoyment of this series.

Again, the artwork was great. The art team of Zander Cannon and Gene Ha prevail again. They skillfully filled each page with cool looking art, and brought the city of Neopolis and the world of Top 10 to life. A city filled to the brim with super heroes, robots and monsters would be a weird and strange place, and Cannon and Ha do a great job of crafting a bizarre, yet futuristic and fancy city that fits perfectly with the story.

Top 10 is an awesome cop/crime drama, and the science fiction twist is a great one. It never comes off as a cheap gimmick or a lousy mash-up of two tried-and-true genres. The world of Top 10 mirrors our own in many ways and thought it contains a heavy dose of the fantastic, it never loses touch with reality, and that is what makes it so special. This is a great example of how great comics can be. I strongly urge you to read this. You've been urged.



Seak (Bryce L.) said...

I've been debating picking up a graphic novel or two. I was thinking the Y series or Fables, but would you recommend this series?

I've decided I need more comics in my life. :)

Ryan said...

Hey Seak,

If your previous comic reading has mostly been superheroes, this might help ease the transition into comics made for adults, as it has oodles of super heroes but not in the traditional sense.

Y The Last Man is absolutely incredible though, I give that series my full recommendation.

In the fantasy vein, you cant go wrong with Planetary by Warren Ellis. I've only read half the trades (there's 4 of 'em) but they are all out in print. Though the fourth is currently available only in hard cover, but I believe the 4th one comes out in trade paperback format next week.

Good luck, let me know if you want any other ideas!

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Thanks, that's good to know. I've read some superhero and Watchmen, but your suggestions sound like a good start.

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