Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Don't Miss Crime Drama: Top 10 #1

Police dramas have been around for quite a while. It seems like almost every possible permutation of this genre has been done somewhere, in books, TV, or movies. Leave it to Alan Moore to come up with a new twist on the "cop show," one that perfectly combines the best elements of the classic police procedural with the best elements of super-hero comics.

Top Ten, originally created by Alan Moore and Gene Ha, launched a while back as part of Moore's America's Best Comics line. Top Ten exists in a universe of countless parallel dimensions, where the Omniversal HQ oversees a multi-dimenional police force. Each dimension has its own way of doing things, but that hasn't worked out too well for the officers of Parallel 10. Theirs is a world in which almost everyone has a super-power, and a heroic (or villainous) identity. That makes keeping Parallel 10 safe pretty difficult, especially when the former commissioner went a little megalomaniacal.

As Top Ten: Season Two begins, the men and women of Parallel 10 have to get used to a new boss. The new commissioner, operating remotely from boring Parallel 61, has some big changes in mind. The worst of which, for a world full of colorfully dressed super-folks, includes getting rid of the officer's unique costumes and exotic weapons. In order to help the new boss keep an eye on things, he installs the straight-laced (but awesomely named) Slipstream Phoenix to work with the folks at Parallel 10.

Unfortunately, that isn't the worst of Top Ten's troubles. On top of having to deal with a new boss and a new guy on the team, a very unpleasant mystery turns up in the fountain right outside HQ. In the apparent blink of an eye, 12 strangled teenage girls appear floating in the tranquil pool. Amazingly, all the bystanders happened to be looking the other way when the bodies appeared. And all the surveillance cameras glitched at the key moment. This is not the kind of mystery any police department wants on its doorstep.

Writer Zander Cannon and returning artist Gene Ha, bring action, mystery, and character, to the fine folks policing Parallel 10. If you loved the first series, you definitely don't want to miss Season Two. If you have never met the officers of Top Ten before, this is a great place to join in the action. In fact, it would be a real crime to miss this guaranteed Book of the Week. (Police-related pun fans, you're welcome.)

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