Imagine a world where everyone has super powers. A world where dogs don prosthetic, metallic suits to become more human, a world with hookers named “Immune Girl” and lawyers that are ACTUAL sharks. For anyone who has ever read Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Watchmen) it should come as no surprise that Top 10 is set in a semi-surrealistic world.
Book one of Top 10 introduces readers to Precinct 10 in Neopolis, the mad dream city of former Nazi scientists brought to America to build and breed. The side-effect of which is a metropolis riddled with powered, mad, destructive, monstrous beings.
Try to image the world of Transmetropolitan, with less politics and monkey brain flavored ice cream and just a bit more craziness (yes, I realize what I’m saying).
The issues of book one take place over the first three days of Robyn “Toy Box” Slinger’s life on the Precinct 10 team. As the “new girl” she’s teamed with Jeff Smax: a blue, invulnerable, shoots-blasts-from-his-chest anti-hero. He’s gruff, rude and dismissive. He also has a secret. Slinger is treated more like a link in the chain than the focal point of the team, but she is a major part of the force and plays a part in each issue. It’s an interesting way to introduce a new (when they’re all new to the reader) character to a setting and then not force readers to focus on just that one person when all this other cool stuff is going on.
Much like a real police force Precinct 10 is dealing with myriad cases and investigations from homicides to narcotics, psycho-killers to mad scientists with an attack by a 100-foot tall drunk and puking monster thrown in for good measure.
To pick out a specific storyline to feature in this review would be a disservice to the book as a whole, but to pique your interest there are stories including: Ultra Mice and Atom Cats, an E.T. Pornstar going through a mid-life transformation into a vicious monster and a murder investigation (though no real investigation happens or is required) of a Norse God at a local tavern.
Top 10’s main cast of characters consists of five teams of two; Slinger and Smax I’ve mentioned. Then there’s: King Peacock (devil worshipping good guy) and Synaesthesia (she sees music), Irma Geddon (Russian wearing a kick-ass suit) and Girl One (naked Asian with malleable skin), Dust Devil (cowboy yokel) and Shock-Headed Peter (he’s electric!) and Jack Phantom (phasing powered lesbian) and Peregrine (powerful with wings).
Each character is the focus of one or more portions of book one giving the story depth and intrigue. Pieces of each member are provided, like Smax hidden qualities, Slinger’s unfortunate home life, Dust Devil’s soft side and the like.
I am intrigued as to where Moore will take these characters in the next collected edition. What adventures await them? What disasters? Check back next week to find out!
If you have suggestions for future Bin Fodder reviews, drop me a line in comments! Or e-mail me at [email protected]. Also, see below for this week’s Playlist!
Till next Wednesday…
Jonathan Coulton – Artificial Heart, Silversun Pickups – Three Seed, Blink 182 – Lemmings, The Juliana Theory – Liability, A Perfect Circle – Rose, Less Than Jake – This One’s Gonna Leave A Bruise, Fonzerelli – Moonlight Party (original), They Might Be Giants – Speed and Velocity, Interpol – The Scale, Quicksand – Transparent, Halifax – Sydney, Soundgarden – Blow up the Outside World, Fall Out Boy – My Heart Is The Worst Kind of Weapon (Acoustic), Cave In – Rubber and Glue, The Misfits – Dr. Phibes Rises Again (Amazing Version), Fightstar – Amathyst, Broken Bells – The High Road, Panic at the Disco – Do You Know What I’m Seeing (Acoustic)