Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Alan Moore, Zander Cannon & Andrew Currie
Smax (2004)

For anyone who may not know, Smax is a character from Moore's Top 10, a grunting blue giant given to thumping people whilst dispensing terse observations of a generally grudging disposition; and Top 10, in case that too should seem mysterious, is sort of a cop show set in a city populated by superheroes, but funnier than that probably sounds. The story of Smax, his background and origin, never really felt like a story which needed to be told, but I'm really glad that it was.

Smax is basically Alan Moore doing a Terry Pratchett, or if you prefer, giving fantasy fiction the treatment he dishes out to the superhero genre in Top 10; and so our blue man returns to his home dimension to defeat a dragon, and to do his best to not get married to his own sister. It's one of those tales which seems so simple and yet could have gone so horribly wrong at the hands of almost any other writer, or even at the hands of Moore himself under other circumstances; but it's cute without slipping over into twee, clever without being smartarsed, and the jokes are funny, even laugh out loud funny here and there.

After the mindfuck of nine-hundred-plus pages of Jerry Cornelius, Smax is exactly what I needed - warming and gentle without turning into Terry fucking Wogan; and in terms of this particular writer, it's also exactly what I needed after that Fashion Beast shite the other week. As with much of Moore's work for the America's Best imprint, you can really tell he had fun writing this book. Such a shame Wildstorm and DC had to go and fuck it up for everyone.

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