An all-star cast of writers fill in for Alan Moore in this one – Mark Schultz (of Xenozoic Tales), Brian K Vaughan (of Y: The Last Man and Lost), Ed Brubaker and Steve Aylett – and while the artwork and production values are up to the title’s usual superb standard, the stories aren’t quite as glittering as before. It’s no fault of the writers – they obviously worked hard (I seem to remember reading that one of them would throw up due to the self-imposed pressure that came from working on an Alan Moore title) and they’ve produced highly readable entertainments. But one of Alan Moore’s many incredible talents is to make the flimsiest of tales seem rich with significance. The stories in this volume remain whimsical, but lack a little magic. And there were things Alan Moore wanted to say and do with these characters – he had reasons for wanting to publish these comics – whereas the great talents working on this volume are reduced, if that’s at all the right word, to simply writing good stories about interesting characters.
Tom Strong: Book 5, Mark Schultz and Others, ABC Comics, tpb, 144pp.