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Top 10: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore

Top 10: The Forty-Niners

by Alan Moore, Gene Ha (Illustrator)

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Top 10: The Forty Niners
Author: Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Todd Klein, Art Lyon
Publisher: America’s Best Comics
Published In: La Jolla, CA, USA
Date: 2005
Pgs: 112


1949: The science heroes, mutants and robots are being forced into resettlement. Normal people are uncomfortable living alongside them. The government has founded Neopolis where all exceptional people can live together. This is the story of Steve Traynor, Jetlad and the beginnings of the Neopolis Police Department. A new city is aborning with her labor pains including vampire gangsters and robot bigotry.

Comics and graphic novels
Crime fiction
Science fiction
Witches, wizards and magic

Why this book:
It’s Alan Moore and Top 10. I’ve loved everything that I’ve read by Alan Moore.

This Stories are About:
courage, working hard, doing the right thing, greed, friends, jealousy, love, caring, happiness, sadness, family

Favorite Character:
Jetlad. We’re experiencing this early days Neopolis through his eyes, largely.

Least Favorite Character:
There’s a lot of unveiled bigotry of the imaginary robotic kind and human on human racism as well. Those characters engaging in that are horrid.

Character I Most Identified With:

The Feel:
There’s nostalgia, mixed with some real world of the 1940s-50s stigmata.

Favorite Scene:
The showdown with the protection scheme vampires at the bar. Good stuff.

The final battle with the Morgia and the Skysharks and the Neopolis PD.

The pace is great. The pages seemed to fly through my fingers.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Unlike the other Top 10s, this one doesn’t have nearly the thickness of background with homage characters and items leaping off the back page at you at every turn. While there is some of that here, it isn’t nearly as omnipresent as in the other ones I’ve read.

Hmm Moments:
Vampire mobsters.

Robot bigotry.

The ghosts and the animal characters made to ride in the cattle car on the train into town.

Why isn’t there a screenplay?
I’d be worried that they couldn’t do Top 10 justice.

Casting call:
Beth Behrs as Skywitch. Don’t know if she could do a passable German accent or not, but I’d love to see her in the role.

Frankie Muniz as Jetlad.

Last Page Sound:
That’s good stuff.

Author Assessment:
I would read anything with Alan Moore’s name on it.

Editorial Assessment:
Well done. I wish the colors had been more comic book normal. There was a lot of mood lighting to promote the period piece-edness of the story. And it was fine. But I would have prefered a more real 4-color look.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
real genre classic

Disposition of Book:
Irving Public Library

Would recommend to:
genre fans ( )
  texascheeseman | May 29, 2014 |

Call him what you like, but there's no denying it; Alan Moore is brilliant. And in Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, he proves once again that he can grip a reader without the usual "big name" comic-book characters.

That's not to say that the characters in TT:TFN are completely original. In fact, that's a large part of the charm; finding and recognizing characters who can't be identified within the text by name for copyright/trademark reasons, but who are identifiable nonetheless. Look carefully, and you'll swear you see Kal-El, or possibly his father...as well as his earthly secret identity. You'll catch a glimpse of a certain Friendly Ghost, if you're sharp. Not to mention a well-known large-forearmed sailor man and his rather enormous nemesis.

I even spotted a rather ghoulish couple who frequently graced the pages of the New Yorker in days gone by, and were later adapted to television.

But that's just the frosting on the cake. The cake itself is a cracking good story; the story of a city after the end of World War II, a new city filled with the various super-powered and otherwise incredible characters who participated in the war (including to my amusement an analog of comic strip adviser Mary Worth).

I won't spoil the book for you. But the characters and plot are up to the usual high standards of Moore at his best. The art is also quite good, with a unique and memorable style that makes the search for familiar characters (on the second or third re-reading) a pleasure. This was a book that I didn't want to return to the library. And when I finished reading it, I wished there was more. ( )
1 vote PMaranci | Apr 3, 2013 |
This is a prequel to Moore’s Top 10 books, about police work in a swarming city where EVERYBODY has superpowers. It’s a fascinating place to visit, and this book is no exception. Set in the early days, when Neopolis was just forming, this follows the formula of the other books: a plot line dealing with a mystery while throwing in a hefty dose of everyday life in an unusual city. This is kind of like what Hill Street would be like if everybody wore tights and the crooks shot lightning bolts and rayguns. The best part for me, as always, is how Moore uses Neopolis to toy around with the superhero genre’s clichés (such as it’s sexism, or it’s underage sidekicks) or to comment on social phenomena (such as the racism towards robots). And as always, Ha’s artwork is a delight to watch, full of winks and references to all sorts of popular culture. Here we also get the cute beginning of the love story between Wulf and Jetlad, tenderly told. ( )
1 vote GingerbreadMan | May 22, 2010 |
La série Top teen du génialissime Alan Moore reste un syncrétisme de tout ce qui se fait dans le monde des super-héros. A lire absolument pour tous ceux qui ont eu leur enfance bercée par les comics. Ce tome est une grande réussite puisqu'elle narre l'origine de cet univers. les dessins sont beaux et le scénario toujours aussi intelligents. ( )
  Harpoete | Jan 13, 2010 |
Moore pulls it off again. That retro feel with vampires and nazi's is really cool and makes me want to play City of Heroes again just so I can go sock it to some strigoi.

It was cool to get a glimpse of a budding Neopolis along with the toy maker guy and Traynor as a kid. I forgot he was gay and during the first half I was like, "Hey this german guys is hitting on him." Even though it was really subtle. Then I remembered and it all fell into place as Traynor's coming out story (to himself mostly).

I did feel like it was 2 short. Like the 2 plot lines should have been expanded upon. They were just too quick. But maybe that's the difference between reading the comics as they come out and reading the collection. Hard to write for both audiences.

But it was still very cool. I wonder if they'll be more of these? ( )
  ragwaine | Mar 17, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Moore, AlanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ha, GeneIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed

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The year is 1949, and science-heroes and war champions are gathering in the city of Neopolis, now under construction as a home for those with extra-human powers and talents. One of those heroes is a very young ace pilot, Steve Traynor, also known as Jetlad, fresh from the battle-torn skies of Europe, and anxious for a new life and career. With him is his former enemy combatant Leni Muller, the Sky Witch, ready to prove herself worthy of the chance given to her in Neopolis. They are hardly prepared for the challenges facing the experimental city. Science crime and unearthly gang violence has swiftly followed the heroes into this new, wide-open environment. Will their courage and skills be enough for the tasks ahead?… (more)

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