Book two of Top 10 collects the final five issues of the twelve part mega-series and continues the exploits of Precinct 10 and its incredible officers of the law.
The nice part of a series with a designed end is that you’re able to wrap storylines up without the mess of it appearing forced; or at least Alan Moore makes it appear that way.
The amount of subtext in Top 10 is captivating. Moore and Ha, together, create a world outside the world we see. As book two starts off, Peregrine is spotlighted as she investigates the happenings of a botched light beam transportation. An unlicensed teleporter causes the fusion of three travelers. Two are a humanoid couple on vacation, the third is a giant creature whose sole purpose for existing is to be part of a universal chess match of white versus black. It’s amazing existentialism fodder.
In an effort to ensure the continuity of the overall story Moore is trying to present, however, the department itself and the cases they are working are visited by Commissioner Ultima for an inspection. What happens next is certainly surprising. Not only is a traitor and murderer uncovered during the visit, but a member of the Precinct 10 team is killed, another hospitalized.
And what, you ask, is the big wrap up? Well, it seems that Moore decided to let his dark side out to play in these last issues, not just his weird side. A group of heroes, formerly famous for awesome deeds they accomplished (all lies it is discovered) turn out to be just a group of pedophiles that go through sidekicks faster than Batman…yeah, I went there.
Top 10 is wacky and crazy. And that’s just fine by me. Even with the awkward and somewhat disturbing reality-encroachment of sodomizing villains, the series has its softer moments too. For instance when we finally see the secretly-gay member of the squad outside of the office as he returns home to a nicely prepared meal to have pleasant conversation with his long-time lover. Additionally, Moore leaves the characters with a future. This may sound odd, but a lot of comic series don’t. They tend to create the illusion that the events you just read were the alpha and omega of these characters’ existence; that without the mega-cataclysmic events of the storyline they fail to serve a purpose. Top 10 does the complete opposite of this.
Each of the issues is a dense read. Moore rarely lets a panel go to “waste” strictly on the art. This leaves artist Gene Ha to cleverly sneak in his background jokes and odd asides.
Overall Top 10 is a great series and well worthy of an A grade from this reviewer.
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Till next Wednesday…
Fall Out Boy – Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying, Alkaline Trio – Exploding Boy, The Misfits – Bruiser, The Format – Sore Thumb, Daft Punk – Derezzed, Jimmy Eat World – Call it in the Air, People on Vacation – Rainy Day, R.E.M. – Bad Day, Snow Patrol – Ways & Means, TOOL – 10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2), Coldplay – See You Soon