Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong (DC, 2003).

Going through my boxes of comics that I have not read since I bought them, I've found several that I wanted to give one more thumb-through before sending them off to new homes. One of them is this 64-page spinoff of Alan Moore's wonderfully fun Tom Strong series written by Peter Hogan. In it, Tom's adventurous daughter Tesla tries, unsuccessfully as ever, to save the day before her mom and dad get home from an important mission. This sees her hopping from dimension to dimension in search of her family's loyal and beloved assistant, Solomon, who's gone missing in a parallel universe.

About a dozen artists contribute to the story, each in charge of a few pages that illustrate the different worlds that Tesla visits while looking for Solomon. Some of the artists are given assignments tailored for their talents, most memorably J. Scott Campbell, who drew the cheesecake Danger Girl, gets a few pages in a nudist universe. In keeping with the rules of the genre, each world has parallel versions of the Strong Family, and all of them are missing their world's version of Solomon.

I seem to recall that this was released around the time that Alan Moore started growing bored with Tom Strong. It looks like Moore stepped down from the series after 22 issues, the last two of which were terribly delayed, in 2003, and several guest writers, including this title's Peter Hogan, carried the book to its conclusion. Despite the good art throughout, with contributors including Frank Cho, Chris Sprouse, Art Adams and Michael Golden, this is just an incredibly lightweight and fluffy bit of popcorn, with none of the excitement and unexpected twists that Moore and company brought to those four terrific years of the main title. Cute, but not really recommended.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Moore it seemed got bored with all his ABC titles except for Prometha. Which he stuck with till its end. I still have the original HCs for Tom Strong (just up to the last Moore story), Top Ten, and Tomorrows Stories.

Now I patiently wait the third Absolute Prometha since JH Williams III art looks amazing in the over size format.