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Top 10: The Forty-Niners
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Top 10: The Forty-Niners (Top 10 0)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  2,054 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
This is the tale of Neopolis, a modern metr-opolis with a citizenry made up exclusively of super beings. In this city where everyone is blessed with powers, it takes a unique and powerful police force to protect and serve. The officers of Precinct 10 encounter all manner of the super powered and the supernatural on a routine basis.

The Eisner Award-winning TOP 10 team of w
Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 22nd 2006 by WildStorm (first published 2005)
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Right. First off, this was written by Alan Moore.

Second off, this is a continuation of a series that I'm dearly fond of. Chronologically, it's a prequel, but it should really be viewed as book three in the series. It should be read as the third Top 10 volume (or possibly the 4th after Smax) not first.

Thirdly, this book has everything you could want in a comic. Superheroes. Nazis. Vampires. Robots. A time machine.

Fourthly, everything I mentioned up above is handled in a straight-up honest and
David Schaafsma
Feb 05, 2015 David Schaafsma rated it really liked it
The 49ers is a prequel to the two volumes of Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha, who seem at first as odd a couple as one might imagine in comics collaboration, one wild and one subdued. But the pairing works increasingly well, as they create a world rich in heart and humor, with plenty of references, some of them veiled, (some for reason of copyright, sadly) to comics history. In this series if you are a comics geek you can look at every frame for fun clues to all sorts of esoterica. I am not a ...more
Nov 16, 2008 Peter rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone

Call him what you like, but there's no denying it; Alan Moore is brilliant. And in Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, he proves once again that he can grip a reader without the usual "big name" comic-book characters.

That's not to say that the characters in TT:TFN are completely original. In fact, that's a large part of the charm; finding and recognizing characters who can't be identified within the text by name for copyright/trademark reasons, but who are identifiable nonetheless. Look careful
Jul 05, 2009 Dan rated it really liked it
"Top Ten" is not "great" like Watchmen--the satire can be heavy-handed (robots treated as 3d class citizens; nazi supermen "rehabilitated" by the winning side)--they are interesting, esp. as homage with the backgrounds littered with cartoon, comic book and strip characters milling around as average pedestrians, behaving like your average human.
"49ers" is the prequel. It's revelatory more in fleshing out the milieu of Neopolis than leading into something greater. It's not as fast and loose as th
Feb 14, 2016 RB rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Alan Moore's 'Absolute Top Ten" a large emptiness grew in me. I needed more, more of the characters, more of the city, more of the city population's stories and secrets. And so, I jumped into the Top Ten prequel, "Top Ten: 49'ers" as soon as I got my hands on it and read it and really enjoyed it. This is a great story all on its own, fascinated with the creation of Neopolis, Naziism, the occult, artificial intelligence, and homosexuality while all these themes are shown with brilli ...more
Richard Guion
Aug 30, 2012 Richard Guion rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I would be that interested in a prequel about Top 10's city, Neopolis, but I was wrong. Alan Moore has created a great backstory here. When World War II ended the "science heroes", airplane heroes, and supernatural creatures that fought the Axis came home to the United States, they needed somewhere to live in a controlled environment. And so Neopolis was chosen to be their home but also their containment away from the rest of America. We follow Jetlad (a thinly disguised version o ...more
Jan 06, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
What's great about this story wasn't necessarily the story but the characters. I felt like the story itself was rather simple, establish how the world came to be and it's first, real issue arose and was dealt with. But what's fantastic is how well he wove characters. How he constructed a roller coaster ride out of emotions (yes, what I just wrote is lame and slightly stupid) and allowed us to strap in and enjoy.

This isn't the kind of book you sit down and wait to be excited or blown away. It's t
Sep 30, 2016 Bill rated it liked it
Top 10: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore. My final graphic novel of the month, just something to end off the month and get me ready for October. This is the prequel to the other Top Ten graphic novels I read earlier in the month, dealing with the development and formation of the city of Neopolis. The city was created after WWII to house the super beings that fought the war and now were no longer required. Great graphics and an entertaining story. (3 stars)
Víctor Segovia
Dec 05, 2013 Víctor Segovia rated it it was amazing
Esta historia previa a Top Ten se me hizo ligera, pero no distante a lo que acostumbra Alan Moore a hacer con todos esos toques oscuros en los personajes.
Es un homenaje a todos esos personajes e historias de antes del amanecer de los superheroes, esos personajes que salian en las planchas de los periódicos tales como Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, Popeye y aunque se toma tambien algunos elementos y personajes de ya entrada la era de oro de los heroes de super mallas.
Pero no todo es reluciente aquí,
Dec 05, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who's Read Top Ten
Excellent short prequel series to the world of Top Ten- I'm just sorry it ended so soon!

We get to meet Captain Traynor in his Jetlad days, and thrill to the early adventures of the Neopolis PD as they face down ex-Nazis, political corruption, and Vampires!

As before, Gene Ha's visionary artwork really brings this oddball world to life, and the use of washed-out colours helps establish the late-40s setting throughout.
Jan 20, 2014 Jake rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel, series
Even the prequel is good! The retro strong-jawline madness of old school comics is here alongside Moore's always hyperaware weirdness, and it mixes so well. All about it. Nazis and vampires are second to a gay love story and a new town of superheroes? Fuck yeahs all around. Pass 'em!
Feb 18, 2017 Annie rated it really liked it
This volume includes an interesting introduction at the end of the book by Vaughan explaining the process of what goes into making a graphic novel. I was a little surprised to find out that most people find graphic novels disjointed because of all the hands that go into the pot in order to expedite issues for monthly production. If anything, all the series/graphic novels I have read seem to NEED that collaboration between writer and artist to translate their vision onto paper and I feel have bee ...more
Mar 24, 2017 Robert rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Prequel to Top 10, the Forty-Niners is a wonderful return to a city where every citizen is a superhero. This is the most superhero-focused series I've read and, even though the genre is not my favorite, these books are masterfully done.
Top 10 is the first series I've wanted to buy (I have to get just about everything from the library) just because it's so gorgeous. And I loved the way that so many characters were well developed and interesting, every panel was fully detailed, and the city was complex and as much of a character as any of the people. I know it was supposed to be a satirical take on superhero stories, but it was a lot of fun and I really wish there had been more issues. I wasn't sure I would be interested in this ...more
May 29, 2014 Mark rated it really liked it
Top 10: The Forty Niners
Author: Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Todd Klein, Art Lyon
Publisher: America’s Best Comics
Published In: La Jolla, CA, USA
Date: 2005
Pgs: 112


1949: The science heroes, mutants and robots are being forced into resettlement. Normal people are uncomfortable living alongside them. The government has founded Neopolis where all exceptional people can live together. This is the story of Steve Traynor, Jetlad and the beginnings of the Neopolis Police Depart
Feb 27, 2014 Fizzgig76 rated it really liked it
Welcome to Neopolis…a city which has been selected to house the world’s superhumans. The bugs and glitches of Neopolis are worked out as the streets flood with people possessing powers, Leni Muller (aka Sky Witch) and Steve Traynor (aka Jetlad) find themselves as new inhabitants. Leni explores her options among the superhuman police force, and Steve continues to work with planes. With a city of superhumans, there are bound to be troubles and Steve and Leni find themselves caught up in preventing ...more
Jul 02, 2014 Skjam! rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Top 10 fans, older comic book fans
In an alternate America with science heroes and other weird or wonderful “characters”, it’s been decided to move everyone who isn’t “normal” to one city, Neopolis. It’s 1949, and war veterans Jetlad and Sky Witch are reunited on the relocation train. The new city is bursting at the seams with the continuing arrivals, and crime is on the rise.

Jetlad, whose real name is Steve Traynor, finds a mechanic job with the Sky Sharks, an aerial team that themselves are at something of loose ends with the e
Mar 22, 2011 Julian rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Okay, rather than describe the book itself (it's Alan Moore; it's a prequel to 'Top 10'; what more do I need to say?) let me explain why it's only getting four stars.

I have three main reasons:

(1) A lot of characters are introduced, some of whom are really rather interesting, but given the constraints on space, they get rather cursory treatment and that's a shame. Worse still, there are three interlinking plot strands all of which are cursorily dealt with and tidied up in very little space. One,
Aditya Mallya
Sep 22, 2013 Aditya Mallya rated it liked it
Top 10: The Forty-Niners is a brief excursion into the past of Neopolis, the fantastical city of super-beings that was the setting for the acclaimed (is there any other kind with Alan Moore at the helm?) Top 10 series. This graphic novella takes us back to 1949, when the city was formed as a glorified dumping ground for discarded 'science-heroes' (and villains) that had proliferated during World War II. There is a funny scene at the beginning when the mayor informs the incoming super-citizens th ...more
Mar 10, 2008 Jace rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
FORTY-NINERS is a pretty solid prequel, and a great book for Top 10 fans looking to experience more of that world. Alan Moore's writing is amazing as always and the art is very pretty. The hazy, sepia style successfully sets the mood of a big city in days gone by.

It was great to see the origin of Neopolis and meet Jet Lad when he was younger. My only complaint is that this book feels a little too concentrated on the plot. Whereas the previous Top 10 stories were expansive and gave large glimpse
Michelle Johnson
Jul 17, 2014 Michelle Johnson rated it liked it
QUICK PITCH: During WWII, real-life superheroes fought alongside the armies of the Axis and the Allies! After the war, normal people didn't want to be neighbors with real-life superheroes! So we built 'em a city!

VERDICT: As the prequel to Top 10, Vol. 1, The Forty-Niners suffers a bit from Prequel Syndrome*. I don't think it'd stand well entirely on its own. As part of a set-piece, though, it's good to go back and see some characters differently.

I was a bit frustrated by the vampire gangs, most
Mar 14, 2009 Shane rated it really liked it
High hopes for this one. Top 10 is one of my all time faves and the whole thing is painted beautifully.

Moore pulls it off again. That retro feel with vampires and nazi's is really cool and makes me want to play City of Heroes again just so I can go sock it to some strigoi.

It was cool to get a glimpse of a budding Neopolis along with the toy maker guy and Traynor as a kid. I forgot he was gay and during the first half I was like, "Hey this german guys is hitting on him." Even though it was really
Sep 04, 2007 Benjy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: comic aficianados.
Shelves: 2007
I don't read comics much these days, but I'll buy anything by Alan Moore. His writing is always fun, subversive, thought-provoking, and smart in ways you never thought the superhero genre could be. This is a prequel to his series Top 10, a noir about a police precinct in a city that consists entirely of super-powered humans ("science heroes" in the book's lingo), robots (derisively called "clickers"), demi-gods, talking animals, etc. The Forty-Niners explores the city's founding shortly after WW ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Korynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovels
If you think homosexuality is icky, this is not your book. Otherwise, The Forty-Niners is an amazing tie-in to the series Top 10. This is a prequel in which Jet Lad, fresh from the skies of WWII finds himself adrift now that the war is over and is ordered to start anew is Neopolis, a science city of the future. We have multiple plotlines started and get a broad view of the different populations that inhabit Neopolis and the cultural clashes just beginning to erupt. I love the level of detail in ...more
Sep 29, 2010 Sophie rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I agree with the reviewer who said that this isn't a book you read because of the story, it's a book you read because of the characters. Here you get a glimpse of how Neopolis was "born". It's very atmospheric, the art is gorgeous and the writing is stellar. My favorite part was of course Steve's story (especially how he met Wulf etc.), but it was all extremely well done. The only bad things were that it was a) too short and b) it had your typical comics German. Although it wasn't quite as bad a ...more
Ryan Mishap
Aug 02, 2009 Ryan Mishap rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
That's 1949, the year Neopolis--that city built for the frea--er, Science Heroes--was created. The city is welcoming a steady influx of people with special abilities, among them those returning from fighting the Nazis. On the darker side, the vampires are moving in as well.
Soldiers re-integrating (some former enemies), the creation of a police force in a crazy city, vampire, unrepentant Nazis with plans, military intentions to take over the city, and being gay in a homophobic time--is that eno
Jan 22, 2012 Mel rated it really liked it
Forty-niners was basically a big gay romance. It featured the guy who'd end up the chief of the precinct and his partner of 50 or so years and looked at how they got together. There was also a sub plot of how the city of superheros got built and how the police started. But for me the most important thing was the relationship between the characters. The art style was also much more to my liking. It was much more muted colours and had a much more realistic feel. While I missed a lot of the cast fr ...more
Sep 02, 2012 D.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one-shot sequel to Moore's excellent Top 10 series is not quite as wonderful and involving as the series had been, but is still a better book than most. We see a couple characters from the previous books, here in their younger days, but mainly the focus is on an entirely new team during the earliest years of Neopolis. Forty-Niners is not meant to be a 'secret origins' story, rather just another well-done supercop tale, back at the beginning of what would become Top 10.
I wouldn't call this r
Jul 03, 2016 Jesse rated it really liked it
First, let me say that the artwork rivals Kingdom Come. Now, on to the real review (very minor spoiler, particularly if you have not read Top Ten book 2).

Only Alan Moore could have done this. Only he could have started with a Superhero-Pastiche-Historical-Cop Show-Prequel and turned it into a Vampire-Gangster vs. Reformed-Nazi-Paramilitary Showdown featuring Joan of Arc and robots, all the while burying in it a thoughtful, sweet gay coming-of-age story. Only Alan Moore could have done that, and
Feather Mista
Mar 05, 2010 Feather Mista rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: A los que les haya gustado Top Ten y a los que no también.
Recommended to Feather by: Que hacía mucho que no me compraba nada de Moore.
Este tomo lo leí sin haber leído previamente "Top Ten" y me pareció buenísimo. El dibujo espectacular, desde los diseños y la narrativa hasta el uso del color, y la historia muy bien pensada y llevada. Es más, tengo la teoría de que Moore aprovechó acá para usar varias de las ideas que originalmente habría utilizado para "The Minutemen", la precuela jamás realizada de Watchmen, no sé si algún estudioso del cómic lo habrá tenido en cuenta ya. Espero poder releerlo pronto y escribirle una reseña a ...more
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Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moor
More about Alan Moore...

Other Books in the Series

Top 10 (4 books)
  • Top 10, Vol. 1
  • Top 10, Vol. 2
  • Absolute Top 10
  • Top 10: The Forty-Niners + Smax

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