This Week’s Haul

Top 10: Season Two #1 Top 10: Season Two is a sequel to Alan Moore’s earlier series, which was drawn by Ha and Cannon. The weird thing is, there already was a sequel: Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct, which was an uneven but enjoyable series by Paul Di Filippo and Jerry Ordway. That series was apparently set 5 years after the first series, although the exact timeline didn’t really matter for the series. Season Two is set shortly after the first series. Does it matter? Hard to say. It does make it a little more difficult to get enthused about this one.

The story involves a new commissioner taking over at the precinct – a guy from another parallel who doesn’t want to leave his world, so manages through a robot which displays his image. He also believes in keeping close to the rules, so he wants all the officers to wear standard uniforms and carry standard weaponry, which naturally doesn’t go over so well. He also sends along a new officer for the precinct, Slipstream Phoenix, who is immediately tagged by the local officers as a snitch. Meanwhile the usual case load starts up, most strangely with a dozen young women suddenly appearing, dead, in the pool outside headquarters.

The original Top 10 was written to feel like a TV police procedural with a large cast, only in a world of fantastic happenings. Basically, it was Hill Street Blues with superpowers, with a variety of cases and quirky personalities leading up to a major case to be addressed at the end. This issue has much the same feel, which means it’s similarly difficult to get into since everything feels like it’s happening at a distance; it took quite a while for the original series to make us really relate to any of the characters. Unfortunately, the two main characters from the original series, Smax and Toybox, don’t get much screen time here, so it again feels rather distant.

This is further hampered by the artwork, which has indistinct linework and a weird colored-pencil look to it, which feels out of place for this series. Ha’s layouts are rather understated themselves (he and Michael Zulli have very similar styles), and the washed-out look doesn’t help.

So the series is something of a mixed bag, less immediately engaging than Beyond the Farthest Precinct was. The first series was slow to get moving as well, so I’m prepared to be patient with this one, but the style of artwork really doesn’t work for me, so that doesn’t make me optimistic.