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Top Ten: The Forty-Niners
By Alan Moore and Gene Ha
Published by America's Best Comics; $24.95 USD

TOP TEN: THE FORTY-NINERS is just as good is the wondrous 12-issue TOP TEN and the SMAX sequel were, and a visionary, affecting work of deep human feeling. Gratifyingly, this original graphic novel is also understandable all in its own right, with no knowledge of the previous works.

But for those of us who have read the previous stories, well, the opening view of the Neopolis-under-construction literally brought a tear to my eye. Never let it be said Alan Moore doesn't know how to infuse his stories with genuine emotion and respect and love for both his characters and his readers. Neopolis, unfinished and new, is so arresting a vision because even though we know that, in the story, decades lie ahead of the city, this very likely is the last time we as readers will ever see it.

That we see it unfinished may or may not be a meta-comment from Moore on the sad end of the ABC universe in any relevant sense, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Longtime Moore watchers know that layers and nuance find their way into his best works both intentionally and accidentally.

THE FORTY-NINERS is the best graphic novel of the year so far, a profoundly moving love story and a love letter to some of Moore's best ideas, and to the readers who followed him on his own decades long magical journey through the artform of comics. We'll miss him, yeah, but at least he left some of the best parts of himself behind for us to revisit from time to time and remember that once, it was possible not only for superheroes to soar, but for their stories to, as well.

-- Alan David Doane

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Alan David Doane
Comic Book Galaxy Reviews
24 Larose St.
Glens Falls NY 12801

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The ADD Blog by Alan David Doane. Trouble with Comics Reviews of comics and graphic novels. Commentary about the artform and industry of comics. Get back to the main page.

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