Want to meet the one of the cutest superheroes of all time?

How about TWELVE of her?  Your Major Spoilers (Retro) Review of The Many Worlds Of Tesla Strong #1 awaits!

Writer: Peter Hogan (script, plot)/Alan Moore (plot)
Penciler: Bruce Timm/Chris Sprouse/Michael Golden/Adam Hughes/Arthur Adams/Jose-Luis Garcia Lopez/Frank Cho/J. Scott Campbell/Claudio Castellini/Jason Pearson
Inker: Karl Story/Michael Golden/Phil Noto/Arthur Adams/Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez/Frank Cho/Avalon Studios/Claudio Castellini/Jason Pearson
Colorist: Dave Stewart/Phil Noto
Letterer: Todd Klein
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Publisher: America’s Best Comics
Cover Price: $5.95
Current Near-Mint Pricing: $6.00

Previously in The Many Worlds Of Tesla Strong: The premier science-hero of his world, Tom Strong is over a century old (thanks to a mystic herb known as Goloka) and has protected his city against threats big and small.  With the help of his wife Dhalua, herself a formidable warrior and their majordomo King Solomon, a talking gorilla, he has even raised a daughter, Tesla, who has inherited her father’s mind and curiosity and her mother’s indomitable will.  (It’s really good stuff, I recommend you go and seek it out, especially if you’ve wondered where all the grown-up comic book stories are.)  We open at The Stronghold, in the heart of Millennium City, as Tesla and Solomon try to stay out of trouble while Tom and Dhalua are out of town…

ManyWorldsOfTeslaStrong11Solomon warps away, and moments later the board returns, unmanned.  (Unmonkeyed?  Wait, he’s a ape.  Dis-ape-peared?  No, that’s terrible.  Sorry.  Bygones…)  Tesla quickly accesses the unit’s telemetry to discern where Solomon might have gone…


Tesla is determined not to let her pal suffer, and so sets out on the board to retrace his dimensional steps.  When Pneuman asks what to tell the elder Strongs on their return, she replies, “Tell them not to worry.  I’m a big girl now.”  Warping out into an alternate world, Tesla finds herself hovering over a devastated ruin of another Millennium City, when a familiar voice shouts for her to get down.


As the lights go dark, Tesla and Tekla are overrun by giant flesh-eating radioactive insects, and forced to fight for their lives.  Once they make their (extremely narrow) escape, Tekla explains that her world differs from Tesla’s in one major way: World War III devastated the planet in nuclear fire in the mid-1990s, and her warnings were not about the insects, but about excess levels of radiation in the above-ground regions.


Tesla finds that the warp-board has protected her from radiation, but that Tekla, too, has lost her gorilla-friend, due to a probable warp-gate accident while searching the universe for alternate worlds they could safely colonize.  With the realization that her gorilla isn’t present, Tesla warps on to the next world…

…aaaaaand nearly drowns.


Luckily, mermaid hero Tori Strong was on hand to save her alter-self from a lungful of ocean, and even manages to scare up a respirator so that Tesla can join her on a visit to the sunken city of Millenis (half Millenium City/half Atlantis.)  This world, like Tekla’s had one key difference that separates it from Tesla’s home-reality…


To answer Tesla’s question vis-a-vis the disposition of her ape, Tori takes her to the smartest man she knows: her merman pop, Terro Strong!


Once again unable to find out where Solomon has gone (but once again finding one of his gorilla counterparts missing), Tesla takes another hop, landing on a world her father has visited before: The strange funny-animal world of Warren Strong, super-rabbit!  She also finds that, rather than a direct counterpart, Warren has THREE daughters: Topsy, Turvy and… Delilah?


Please note: While Tesla Strong has a super-cute design, I find Phil Noto’s Tesla to be simply perfect, and a little bit heart-breaking.  With news of one more missing gorilla, Tesla once again warps away.  Elsewhere, the object of Tesla’s search awakens to find that he’s not only lost in space/time..

…he’s NOT alone.


Why is that gorilla dressed like Napoleon?  You’ll have to ask the ghost of Mort Weisinger for that answer.  Meanwhile, Tesla arrives in another familiar alternate world, crashing (literally) into the home of her implicitly Silver Age superhero counterpart, Tesla Terrific.  Quick thinking on the Teslas’ parts not only keeps them from discovery, but saves Terrific’s secret identity, a concept that Ms. Strong finds a bit silly…


This whole issue has been a parade of beautiful art, so you can imagine how happy I was to find this chapter done by Jose-Luis Garcia-Lopez, a favorite artist from way back who never gets as much acclaim or respect as he should.  The Teslas team up to deal with a giant robot menace, before Tesla Terrific’s super-senses discover an additional lack of great apes…


The original Tesla excuses herself, moving on to the next world, that of Tes of the Tigers, a jungle maiden who fights evil in the tiniest bikini you’ve ever seen (in a chapter drawn by Frank Cho, and a villainess who wears no top at all), and who once again confirms Tesla’s quantum gorilla domino theory.


Warping away to the next world, Tesla discovers that, ridiculously tiny bikini or no ridiculously tiny bikini, Tes of the Tigers isn’t the least-clad alternate version of herself to be found…


It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: A world where your parents are naked.  Tamla Strong and her dad Tyrone (interestingly, the ethnicities of this alternate’s parents are switched from Tesla’s own mom and dad) are puzzled by Tesla’s clothing, branding it the artifact of a parallel world where human sexuality has been warped, forcing them to put on “fantasy costumes” to cope.  After averting her eyes for several minutes, Tesla warps away, so weirded out that she completely forgot to ask about their gorilla.  Still, the next world is even stranger, as she finds herself snatched out of the air by a giant Tesla (“And I said *I* was a big girl?”) and taken home…


Fortunately, her father has likewise been to THIS world, and has forged a bargain with its technological ruler, Quetzalcoatl-9, who restores the warp-board’s jump history so that she can track down where Solomon ended up.

Remember Tesla Terrific’s warnings about wicked Tiberius Strong of Earth-B?


That’s… ominous.  While evil Twyla Strong takes her “self” off for a little torture, Tom Strong-Prime returns home, only to find it empty of organic life-forms…


Before she begins the physical pain, Twyla locks Tesla in her special dungeon, and gloats that she has sent the board back to Millennium City with a massive bomb aboard.  She leaves Tesla to stew in the knowledge that she has killed her parents and city, making the key mistake that every super-villain makes.

Enter: Peter Saveen!


The white knight version of Tom Strong’s archenemy, Saveen not only frees her, but gets her another warp-board, travels back in time a few minutes to give her enough lead-time to get home and anticipate the bomb, and sends in his allies to free Solomon and his brethren.  Tesla warps home, teleports the bomb to the skies of Tekla’s already-devastated world, and returns with her parents to Earth-B, where she discovers what happens when a roomful of monkeys gets angry…


Yes, I’m aware gorillas aren’t monkeys, but you know the old adage about a roomful of monkeys with typewriters, yes?  Tesla and Tom go head to head with Tiberius and Twyla, and are nearly overcome by their evil alternates, until…


Solomon explains that he’s perfectly unharmed, and that he and his other-selves passed the time by writing a play, as they were trapped in an abandoned typewriter factory.  And, remember Tesla’s talk with Quetzalcoatl-9?  She also took the time to ask if he might be able to assist Tekla and company in their search for a safe new world to call their own…


Tom is understandably disturbed by his evil self, but even more so by decent versions of Saveen and his old enemy Ingrid Weiss.  With the case of the Missing Ape finally solved, Tom and Tesla head back to see Solomon’s new play performed…


…before setting off on a father-daughter adventure of their own.  I’ve always liked that ending, especially given Tom’s usual dedication to duty and such, and it’s fun to imagine what sort of adventures they might get up to.  Indeed, the end of the America’s Best Comics line was a major bummer for me (the imprint disappeared with Wildstorm was acquired by DC, due to Alan Moore’s feelings about his treatment over ‘Watchmen’), as their comics were routinely head-and-shoulders above much of what was available at the time.  The Many World’s Of Tesla Strong #1 isn’t Tom Strong’s actual swan song, but it serves as a lovely coda to what America’s Best Comics was, with nearly a dozen talented artists cutting loose and having fun, with some old-school silliness to sweeten the deal, earning a well-deserved 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. 



Beautiful artwork galore, tied together with a dimension-hopping tale that's equal parts fun, heroic and clever, with a couple of really cool jokes.

User Rating: 4.65 ( 1 votes)
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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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