Pick of the Week

10.01.2008 – Top 10 Season 2 #1

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

122
Pulls
Avg Rating: 3.6
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.8%
 
Users who pulled this comic:


Size: pages
Price: 2.99

Right away, let’s get something straight.  This is not Alan Moore’s Top 10, and no amount of pretending is going to make that so.  But, the fact is, we’re not going to get Alan Moore’s Top 10 again, and going in with almost no expectations, I have to say, this book brought a smile to my weary and thinly bearded face.

First, some history:  Top 10 was the result of Alan Moore, Zander Cannon, and Gene Ha collaborating to make one of my favorite short lived comic series in the last 10 years.  It was a slightly melodramatic, slightly silly story of superhuman cops in a futuristic city called Neopolis where everyone had powers and a costume.  It was expansive, and there were 12 issues of glorious comic book produced, plus a couple mini series before Moore got mad at DC Comics once again, and said NAY to anymore work for them.  There was a mini-series, Top 10 The Farthest Precinct, written by Paul de Filippo and drawn by Jerry Ordway which I had zero interest in reading, because it wasn’t Alan Moore.  When I heard that Zander Cannon, who had previously done layouts for the series, and Gene Ha, who is an underappreciated god of comic book art, were going to continue the series without the wizard himself, I was not that interested.  But the fact is, when I saw that book on the stands today, a little flutter happened in my chest, and I snatched it up.  Plus, look at the stones on this Cannon guy, basically saying, “No.  I will not let this die.  Alan, give me the keys, and we’ll take this baby out for a spin.”  You’ve got to respect that chutzpah. 

While certainly not as elegant as Moore’s work, there is value in this issue.  For one thing, there are no interlopers.  Ha and Cannon worked on the original book.  They didn’t bring anyone else in, and if there was anyone, other than Moore who knows these characters and this world better, I don’t know who they are.  After the goings on at the end of issue #12, Neopolis Police Department is left without a commissioner (a word I only hear being uttered by Heath Ledger in my head – ‘ka-MISHIN-errrr”), and the new guy is a tight-ass, by the books, jobsworth.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been there.  You work at a job that you don’t particularly like, and then one day, someone above you is replaced by someone else, and you have a meeting, and at said meeting, you learn that the job you could barely tolerate previously, is going to get much worse with a bunch of rules that were ignored for a reason, and without incident in the first place.  The cops of NPD will have to go back to wearing uniforms, and only using standard issue weaponry, which is a stretch for some of these characters, some of whom actually are weapons.  Additionally, there’s a new officer who’s a plant from the new boss, and no one likes him.  But, in a twist, it turns out that he’s actually sort of sympathetic, which is a better choice, not unlike Joe Pi from the last series.  Then some of the other officers, who I must say I’ve missed, get some of their own subplots going, and just like that, we’re back in Neopolis, and it might not be Alan Moore, but it’s not so bad.

Of course, a big reason for the success of the original series was the boundless talent of Gene Ha.  The guy can flat out draw comics.  He does pages so full and energetic, but at the same time, he can do human emotion and facial expressions like the best of them.  Look at the faces on Shock-Headed Pete.  He looks like no one else in the book, and is so expressive.  Even without words, you can tell what the guy is thinking and feeling on every panel.  There are so many fun character designs that thankfully haven’t gone to waste, and we’re back to see more of great characters like Irma-geddon, Kemlo, and Dust Devil.  Plus, he’s got a great sense of humor on these crowded pages.  Take the scene where Cathy and Jackie have a little chat about Cathy’s cross-dressing husband (I said it was melodramatic), in the medical examiner’s office.  They’re having this serious heart to heart talk, and in the foreground of the panel are the feet of a recently dead victim, and those feet are funny.  I think I can easily say that without Ha on this project, I wouldn’t have bothered, but with him, it takes me right back into this world.

Like I said, it’s not Alan Moore, but if you liked what came before, and you’re like me, wanting more, this is what you’re going to get, and that’s pretty good really.  I was pleasantly surprised about the smile this book put on my face, and while your mileage may vary, this was my favorite book in a mostly dismal week of comics.  If you’ve never read Top 10, I don’t know if I would recommend starting here, but if you liked it before, you’ll probably like this.  It’s a little clunkier than Moore’s work, but I kept watching West Wing after Aaron Sorkin left, and while at first I wondered, “who the hell are these people I’d previously known,” by the end I was certainly enjoying it once again.

Josh Flanagan
I could have used more Kemlo.
josh@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. GungaDin GungaDin says:

    I still have to go pick up Top Ten in trades. I’ve been meaning to, but I’ve never had the funds or that special moment…

  2. edward says:

    i am SO SO SO happy to hear this book is actually worth picking up.

     i loved the first series and was bummed about the less than awesome follow ups. this really is a good thing

     and i like the new uniforms

  3. piscespaul piscespaul says:

    love the west wing comparison

  4. *Sighs* This is the forth indepentent book you guys picked that I wont be able to get….Not saying it shouldnt be POTW but it really hurts trying to agree with your picks when my LCS doesnt carry these indie titles. But I cant just change shops cause there isnt another shop around for a good 20-30 miles from me.

    Great article as usual though it’s weird that even with a majority of DC titles coming out this week, you still find time to read more indie titles.

  5. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    I think that Wildstorm would be surprised to find out that they are now an independent company.

  6. projektidiot projektidiot says:

    NOTHING SURPRISES WILDSTORM!

  7. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    I can’t help that your LCS sucks.

  8. edward says:

    my store gets them, but just run out before i get off work. and i’m out getting a standing order, that’s the line in the sand i’m not willing to cross

  9. edward says:

    i mean "not getting a standing order"

  10. Gah, seriously didnt notice that this was Wildstorm (aka DC) property. My bad.

    Still it’s amazing to me just how little my (or probably a lot of people’s) LCS’s dont carry the issues you guys read. See it helps that the trinity of this show lives in major areas of the country and their city has the budget to make a LCS that can be either two stories tall or look like a martini bar and lounge. But it seems to me most people dont take into the account that a very vast majority of comic readers dont live in major metropolitan areas and also get a good share of every single issue that comes out every week.

    You see it’s not that my LCS sucks, cause it’s a great store and I wouldnt want to leave it for the world. But the fact is, is that most LCS’s dont have the budget to get every single issue known to man that comes out week after week. Most LCS’s seem to struggle to stay open for more then a year and sadly most dont get new customers to keep the cash flowing. Sure they can strive when they have a lot of DC and Marvel main books. But if they get the customers that want to read new things (like me) or want to pick up stuff up they see on a major website/article then they’ll be disappointed that they dont carry the issue, label it as a sucky store, and then that hurts overall sales for the store in general.

    So you can say that my LCS sucks, but you cant deny that their are readers out there (including on this site) that doesnt either A) have the buget to read new and interesting tales or B) have a major LCS store in their area that provides the new material so that we can develop new tastes for our expanding likes of comics. Although having a martini like bar in my LCS does sound a bit promising….

  11. Josh, check out my review.  I hadn’t checked the POW before I wrote my review, and I was wondering as I wrote it if you had read the book because I know you, like me, are a big Top Ten fan.  I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.

    As for the Beyond the Furthest Precinct mini, well, I’ll just be diplomatic when I say it was a complete and utter disaster.

    Top Ten > League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Anyone at all agree, or am I alone on this one?

  12. edward says:

    @NextChampion

     I agree. I’m an aussie and grew up in the middle of nothing. (Muswellbrook, NSW) my closest store was a few hours away. lucky my brother used to live in a city called Newcastle and used to pick my books up for me when i was still in high school.

     Since than I moved to a Canberra and have an awesome LCS called Impact Comics. Seriously, i don’t work there or anything (trust me) but i LOVE that store. it is so good picking up books on a weekly basis, SO GOOD

     Anyway, despite my brother’s bitching I think he liked going to the store for me. I drop in on him once after i was getting my own books and it turned out the Comic Book Guy for the comic store had moved into his share house

  13. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    Hey, if you like your store fine, but if they aren’t getting you the stuff you want, then they’re not doing a good job.  To me, a good shop knows what comics are out there, and then sells that stuff to their customers.  it’s a sales job.  And if they’re not interested in doing that, as is their right, they should at least be able to order you any comics you want.  All comics come from the same place, so if they need more copies of spider-man, they can order a few copies of anything Image prints.

    And living in the city is not a guarantee of a good shop.  I live in Queens, and the shop near me sucks.  Today, I had 3-4 Image titles I knew they wouldn’t have, so I went an hour out of my way to go to a different shop in the city to get them.  I feel your pain…

    @ultimatehoratio – Hey cool!  I’m glad I’m not the only one reading it.  I wouldn’t say Top 10 is better than LoEG, just different.  I like them both for different reasons.

    Also I am really not a Jerry Ordway fan.  I understand the man’s a legend and all, but I looked at the names on that mini, and just thought…no.

     

  14. @josh: But again they are trying to get the comics that the costumers want. Problem is, is that my shop (and I’m sure many others) just dont have the budget to get every single comic that comes out. I’m not saying my shop doesnt get a ton of comics, this guy has a great amount of major publishing issues out every week. But when it comes to smaller books and smaller publishers; plus add in a lack of marketing for both of these factors, then they arent going to spend more money if they did have the money to get them. (Sorry if I’m confusing you cause I know I tend to do that)

    Plus it also hurts that Diamond just wont give my shop some of these issues. This guy ordered a major (at least I thought it was) new issue of Dark Tower and Invincible and they down right told him that they couldnt do that. Now I dont know the specifics, it’s just something I overheard when I was at the shop. But if the company that ships these comics to the shops in the first place that wouldnt give them the issues at hand; how on earth is that the LCS’s fault?

    I understand you feel my pain and I’m glad I was wrong to an extent that living in a major city doesnt help get the comics you want. But I know my LCS guy well, and I’ve been going to him for a good year now, and it just seems to me that a smaller LCS will get picked on while major LCS’s will thrive because they know they have the budget to get these comics. Hopefully I’m wrong and this shop does have Top 10 because I would love to read it cause I know this site rate on judging a comic is pretty high…But if they dont then it just frustrates me cause I wanna get into a conversation but because the man wont help my shop out then I’m screwed as a poster on this site.

    Geez talking about comics is much more fun then studying for a big time test on Sociology. :)

  15. YoSoyJu YoSoyJu says:

    My shop gets about half of the indy titles I want, but I just ask the guy and he orders me a copy.  I did this with Crossed and the Roberts and it looks like I’m going to have to with Four Eyes if you guys say that’s good.

    But I just started getting Previews and anything in the book, he can order.  I just tell him what I want that I know he probably won’t stock and boom.  No hassle.  I get it when it comes out.  And 30% off cuz my LCS is awesome (and my pull list has like 60 titles).

  16. Jim Mroczkowski Jimski (@jimski) says:

    I think of the shop I go to as the best in town, but I was stunned last week when I went in for an Oni book and they told me that they order 1 copy of it for a guy’s pull list. I left sort of dazed; "if Star Clipper won’t carry an Oni book, what hope do any of us have?"

  17. leland222 leland222 says:

    I’m from Olympia, Washington and it’s such a hippy and sort of counter culture town that my local comic shop (Danger Room Comics.  Awesome name.) actually has a better selection of independent books than it does mainstream comics.  Luckily, I have a pull list so I pretty much get just about everything I can imagine.  Ah, to have a great shop.

  18. k5blazer k5blazer says:

    I was a bit skeptical of the new Top 10, but once I saw who was involved I decided to take a shot because of their familiarity with the characters.  I HATE when a new writer and/or artist comes on to a book and decides to throw out the status quo and go in a new bold direction.  Remember when Thunderbolts tried to be "Fight Club"…yuck.  And I think that the word "Legend" is thrown around too easily, I am not knocking his work but I wouldn’t consider Jerry Ordway to be legendary by any stretch of the mind.

  19. TehDave TehDave says:

    nice review. the shift in the art style from the older top ten stuff was a bit more off-putting to me.

  20. Kimbo Kimbo says:

    for me picks like this are why I visit this site b/c I honestly knew nothing about this book coming out.  And if your LCS does not have it you can always use some of the links off this site like DCBS, I did that for a few floppies and it was cheaper than if I went to my shop, even considering my shop’s discount and the S&H for the books.  

  21. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    The style is closer to what we saw in "The 49′ers" so it wasn’t so jarring to me.  The basic style of pencils is the same.

  22. ohcaroline ohcaroline says:

    It’s kind of cool that this is a light week, so I just didn’t bother to go yesterday, and I’m noting down things that people have said were interesting (Top Ten, Four Eyes, DCU Decisions) and I’ll pick them up today or tomorrow, along with the few books I was planning on.

     

  23. How long before Alan Moore runs out of comic book companies to get pissed at?  Soon he’ll have to resort to printing stories on scrolls.

  24. willhall says:

    Wow, I am reading too much Secret Invasion.  You say "scroll" and I see "skrull".  Of course I am guessing they would definitely be irked to have stories printed on them.

  25. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    You know Chris Staros is walking on eggshells around Moore. 

    "Whatever you do, don’t offend Alan."

    "What should we avoid?"

    "Well, we have no way of knowing."

    "I brought him lunch."

    "You what?!  What did you give him?!"

    "Turkey.  Why?"

    "Oh my god!  He hates turkey.  He’ll never work with us again!"

  26. @josh – I bet they even have to get approval on the font that they print his name in.  And the ink his books are printed in are required to have a certain percentage of berry in them.  Weird stuff like that.

  27. @josh – "New Times Roman has such a dismissive connotation to it.  I no longer have any use for you or your company!"

  28. deadspace deadspace says:

    just a general question to the people/person saying they can’t get some titles: is there no mail order or ebay where you live?

  29. Neb Neb says:

    This was a freakin’ awesome issue.  I love me some Top 10, and Ha’s art in this was so, so great.  I’m so totally excited for this series.

  30. Chris Rohling Anson17 says:

    Wow, Guess I’m just blessed with a great shop.  Its even in the suburbs.  They’ve never not had copies of a book that I’ve been looking for.  They even snuck one of the copies of Four Eyes into my pull when i went in tuesday to pick up some stuff.  love those guys.

  31. My LCS is run by a grouchy old lady who rails on Wal-Mart, UPS, and Blu-Ray (it’s a comic book and video store) every chance she gets.  This place is like the gas station in Cabin Fever of comic shops.  Even there they got this book.  Hell, they even get Tarot.

  32. ActualButt ActualButt says:

    Josh is right about the shop sucking for not ordering or anticipating your needs as a reader. It’s not expected that every shop order a copy of every issue. If you communicate your taste and opinions to the shop owner, and have a strong relationship with them, you should be getting the things you like. I go to two shops, both in prominent commercial districts of Philadelphia, and they both carry some different items. One seems to cater more to the serious reader and collector, whereas the other is more of a beacon to people walking down the street who see it and think "hey a comic shop, lets see if theres anything cool inside. One has an adults only section, the other has a large selection of vinyl designer toys. One has back issues, the other has fine art books.

  33. Spooky Spooky says:

    One question, can I pick this up without reading any of the previous Top Ten series?

  34. ActualButt ActualButt says:

    Yes and no. If you do, you don’t have to wait to read it to read the older stuff, but do yourself a favor and read the older stuff at some point.

  35. ActualButt ActualButt says:

    @ultimatehoratio, the font is Times New Roman, not New Times Roman. I am a huge font nerd.

  36. Spooky Spooky says:

    @ActualButt

    Ok, I’m gonna check out the other first even if that means that I have to skip the POW part of the podcast =(

  37. If your LCS is not getting an Indie book your interested in I ask this…

    A.  Did you ask if they can order it for you?  Regardless of a store’s budget, if they KNOW they can sell it… They’ll order it.

     

    B.  Start buying the monthly PREVIEWS catalog and PRE-ORDER books that interest you.  That way you’ll be ahead of the curve on the trends.

     

    Getting Indies are easy as long as you communicate your needs with your LCS Manager/Owner.  :) 

     

    My Pick of the Week is easily Joe Kelly’s FOUR EYES.  What a fun ride for a premiere intro. 

     

    the Tiki 

  38. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @spooky – You can listen to the show and it won’t ruin anything for you about this book.  But yes, you could read this first, if you wanted, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that order.

  39. @ActualButt – My medic alert bracelet says I’m fontlexic.  I’m taking Scientology for it.

  40. PudgyNinja PudgyNinja says:

    While I’m hopefull about this book, I kind of hated the first two issues of The Last Precinct, so I’m not really optimistic.  It being PotW is a good sign, though.  You’re getting my hopes up – just so that the disappointment can be that much more painful.  Top 10 really is one of my all time favorite comic series.

  41. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    This book has nothing to do with the Last Precinct.  It will succeed or fail on its own merits.

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