I’m actually way behind on my booklog — about a month or so — so this next bit is going to be difficult.

I know I read Alan Moore’s Top Ten: The Forty Niners and Smax , but I don’t remember much more than that. A quick page-through reminds me that The Forty Niners is a post-WWII novel focusing on the lives of superheroes after they’ve won the war and are now being relocated to a special town; Smax is a spin-off following a detective from Top Ten back to his fantasy homeworld. I remember enjoying reading them, but since I’ve got so little else, I suppose “enjoyable, but forgettable” is about as accurate a description as we’re likely to find anywhere.

I more vividly remember J. Michael Straczynski’s Strange: Beginnings and Endings , though, because it sucked so thoroughly. In principle, it could have been interesting: It’s an updated retelling of Dr. Strange’s origin story, in much the same way that the first volume or two of Ultimate Spider-Man updated and retold Spider-Man’s origin story. The problem is, Straczynski makes a total botch of it. The story is dull, the characters are irritating and arbitrary, and the plot only progresses the way it does because that’s how it has to go. The two-page origin summary you’ll find in some old comic is both more absorbing and better-written.


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