August 31, 1999
by Chuck Miller
Like many people, I tend to make snap judgements, deliver my half-baked opinions in a loud voice, then regret them later. Unlike many people, I have the opportunity to do it in a public forum. So I have become rather accustomed to the taste of crow.
In this instance, I have never been happier to sit down to a dish of the stuff. Last year, I made some rather unkind comments about Alan Moore. I accused him of, among other things, having lost his touch. And while I still say "Supreme" is barely worth the paper it's printed on, Moore has proven to my satisfaction that he still has it, which I'm sure thrills him to no end.
Alan Moore, as you may know, is the brains and driving force behind America's Best Comics. A rather arrogant name for a company, you might say, and you'd be right if it weren't for the fact that Moore, like Muhammed Ali when he said, "I am the greatest," is MOORE than able to deliver the goods.
America's Best is a division of Wildstorm, which was recently bought by DC. This, I have heard, has caused Moore a little consternation on account of his well-publicized feud with DC a few years ago. However, he seems MOORE than happy to reap the benefits of the current association, and so am I.
The first ABC product that caught my attention was the magnificent "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," which I raved about MOORE than once last year. Well, that one is still going strong, though there seems to be a little trouble getting the fourth issue out, which reminds me uncomfortably of all the trouble they had with Miracleman at Eclipse years ago. Number four should have been out a couple months ago, and no sign of it so far. But the other ABC stuff is coming out like clockwork.
"Tom Strong," "Promethea," "Top Ten" and "Tomorrow Stories" are all very, very cool and well worth your time and money. Moore writes all of these himself, and the artwork, by a gaggle of the MOORE talented folks in the business, is a joy to behold.
Moore is a master of the superhero pastiche, and most of his new characters are derived from others. "Tom Strong," for example, is a Doc Savage type, but with a few very interesting twists. "Tomorrow Stories" is an anthology book with four new strips: "Jack B. Quick," "The Cobweb," "Greyshirt" and "First American and the U.S. Angel." All very funny stuff. "Greyshirt" is a bit of a "Spirit" knockoff, "First American" a very goofy version of Captain America, "The Cobweb" a tribute to all the scantily-clad superheroines of the 1940s, and "Jack B. Quick" is... well, that one seems to have come from nowhere but the mind of Moore.
Welcome back, Alan. I've missed you, old buddy. Here's hoping you are around for many MOORE years to come...
Oh yeah, Alan Moore isn't involved in this. I can cut the puns now.
Please read and support the new JSA monthly from DC. I do not want this one to be cancelled, and if it is, I'm going to hold all of you personally responsible and my wrath will be a terrible thing to behold. This is GOOD STUFF! For the moment, it is being written by James Robinson, and we all know that name means QUALITY. Robinson will be leaving after issue #5, but let's not think about that right now. (Similarly, let's not fret over the fact that Grant Morrison will soon be departing JLA.) I'm sure whoever takes over will uphold the high standards Robinson is setting.
And, while you're at it, get out there and read "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E." Written by Geoff Johns, this book is a breath of fresh air. The basic premise: A young girl winds up with the late Star-Spangled Kid's cosmic belt. The girl's stepfather happens to be none other than Pat Dugan, the former Stripesy (the Kid's original partner). The two DO NOT get along. But they fight crime together, Courtney with her cosmic belt, Pat with his cool Japanese-animation-style suit of robotic armor. It's FUNNY. It's COOL. READ it, please. Thank you.