This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast, Rodrigo, Matthew and Stephen take a look at Top Ten from Alan Moore.

Top Ten Volume One
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Gene Ha, Zander Cannon

The story revolves around the day-to-day lives of the police officers at the 10th Precinct Police Station and is similar in tone to classic television police dramas like Hill Street Blues, which Moore has described as an influence. The book also addresses a wide range of prejudices and issues, but with a science-fiction twist; monsters, robots and fantasy creatures often face the bigotry and problems faced by real-world human minorities.

The series is noted for its comic-book references and visual “sight gags” relating to the genre. For example, a caped street-corner watch-vendor uses a cardboard sign advertising “signal watches”, and a hot-dog vendor cooks his wares with heat vision. One plotline involves a boy-band called Sidekix whose hit single was called “Holy Broken Hearts”. Likewise, most advertising, signage and graffiti in the Top 10 universe contains references to the world of comic books and super powers (e.g. a clothing store called “The Phonebooth”) and crowd scenes usually feature many characters from sci-fi and comic books.

Join in on the discussion by ordering the book here Top Ten (Book 1)

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The Author

Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the Robot Overlord. Robot Overlord may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. The Robot Overlord contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Robot Overlord begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt the Robot Overlord.

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  1. June 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm — Reply

    I loved this book as a whole. Even the Smax mini-series. I always got a kick out of spotting who was popping up in the background: X-51, the machine man; Gort; Scarlet Witch, and others.

  2. litanyofthieves
    June 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    I love this book so much – in fact I’m frustrated, because I just lent my trade of it to a friend so he could read it, and thus I can’t re-read it before you guys ‘cast about it.

    This comic is fantastic to me because it’s so textured and detailed both in the art and the storytelling, yet it never feels like it’s overwhelming. When the Cannon and Ha draw a huge splash page full of pop culture references, it’s like a comic book where’s Waldo, without feeling cluttered or over the top. Alan Moore’s characters feel like real cops who just happen to have superpowers, and the tension between robots and biological beings is obviously an analogy to race relations in the real world, but it feels like a realistic part of the world.

    Also, if the part about the guy being diagnosed with “S.T.O.R.M.s” is in this book, I want to say, that as a lover of black humor, it is one of the darkest, funniest things ever committed to print.

  3. tidge
    June 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm — Reply

    Top Ten (and the sequels/spin-offs) was a wonderful comic, especially for fans of comics/pop-culture that tolerate network TV police dramas. There are many comic books that demonstrate Alan Moore’s mastery of the medium (Promethia! Supreme!) but this book has convinced me that this man could pretty much tell any story he wanted to using the comic book medium.

  4. June 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm — Reply

    The original mini was excellent. It had a great story with phenomenal artwork. Moore knows how to tell a complex story with characters who are interesting and “real”. He can take something “stupid” (a dog as a police sergeant) and treat it seriously (maybe with a grain of salt) and it comes off well. This is one story I’d be happy to read again in the future.

    It seemed odd, but the story seemed to finish with issue 11, though the mini wasn’t over until issue 12.

    The sequels I didn’t find to be as enjoyable as this one.

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