Last night, as happens so frequently, I was looking for something fast and light, so I picked up Alan Moore's Tom Strong, Book Two . As one might guess from the name, this is the second collection of Moore's Tom Strong comic book.

Ironically, I picked it up because I was misremembering the first volume. I remembered accurately that it was in the style of pre-Silver Age comics, but I falsely extrapolated that into thinking that it was a completely simple and straightforward tale of a musclebound man fighting against alien menaces and evil villains.

There is plenty of that, yeah, but it's rather more complex than that. In fact, this is almost a satire of old-school comics -- it plays with conventions, varies dramatically in visual and writing style, and has plenty of postmodern winkiness. It's pure fun of the best kind, and was precisely what I was looking for.

I actually think that this may be my favorite Moore comic of the moment: Promethea is dreary and pretentious, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is neat in concept but lacking in execution, and Top Ten is... well, actually, I really liked the first volume, and have the second one waiting to be read, so we'll see.


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