Sometimes I forget how much fun Allan Moore can be as a writer. I shouldn't, but I do, perhaps because sometimes the only stuff people want to talk about is his serious and semi-anarchic ventures, like
and V for Vendetta
, which are good but in a different way and not my favorites. Top Ten
is his lighter vein, and, while the art is a bit dated and underwhelming (I hate close-ups of faces in which the lines become broken, as though you've zoomed in far enough to mess up the resolution of a digital image), the content is delightful, full of jokes both visual and verbal about superhero comics. There are bits about continuity and alternate universes, jokes about crossovers, advertisements for "gamma pants" featuring the Hulk, robot rap, and so on. The book reminds me somewhat of Transmetropolitan
in terms of how packed each page is. Even the graffiti is relevant and funny and carefully written. But what of the plot and character development? It improves throughout. It's not exactly a police procedural, in that stories overlap too much for that from issue to issue, but it's not entirely bound up in continuous narratives either. Not every character is well developed by the end of the second (and final) volume, but if the series had continued they might have been, and Moore certainly did give himself enough characters to work with. He also nods to his own particular interests--nontraditional religions (Satanism, in this case) treated with respect, transgressive sexuality--but the book never gets preachy and it remains entertainment-driven.