Sunday, 30 June 2013

Top 10 book two

Alan Moore, Gene Ha & Zander Cannon Top 10 book two (2002)

Not wishing to perpetuate the beef, but reading Alan Moore immediately after Grant Morrison really throws the work of the two into sharp relief, not so much because they necessarily have anything in common as with regard to their ongoing exchange of sneering commentary. The major salvoes appear to have been launched from the mystic slaphead camp, seeming particularly poorly targeted and fuelled by what looks a lot like butthurt - as keyboard warriors are wont to refer to the resource in question. Most notoriously, Morrison referred to Moore's Watchmen as the three-hundred page equivalent of a sixth form poem, which is a bit rich coming from the creator of Gideon Stargrave; and for all that Marvel Boy is readable, compared to Top 10, at best it's a precocious sixteen year old playing you his Muse albums. I'm not aware of either title being particularly suggested for mature readers - or at least no instructions of that sort appear on my copies - but Top 10 at least features themes which will be familiar to those who mow lawns, hold a driving license and are able to prepare their own meals, as opposed to themes which are only going to make sense to comic book obsessives.

Shocking contrasts aside, Top 10 is - very roughly speaking - a caped variant on Moore's D.R. & Quinch treated as photorealist soap opera. One might argue it's the last word in the engrittification of the superhero which began with Peter Parker complaining about school and acne, and ends here with characters who are in themselves more interesting and remarkable than their powers or casually absurd appearance. Top 10 is funny just as real life tends to be funny, occasionally poignant and sad without needing to break out the violins or fire puppies from a cannon, and it impresses by getting on with its own business whilst assuming that readers will be sufficiently mature to form opinions of their own. Top 10 is as perfect a superhero book as you're ever likely to find, and it shows up all the shouting and bombast of the genre for wind blown down empty tunnels; a million alternate realities collapsing into a quantum space-arse will never be so powerful as the raw force of human farts.

No comments:

Post a Comment