Top 10
The Forty-Niners

Author: Alan Moore
Artist: Gene Ha
Titan Books
RRP 11.99
ISBN 1 84576 149 9
Available 26 May 2006

Being a police officer in Neopolis is a tough
job: the city is populated solely by superpowered citizens all displaying a dazzling array of abilities. And life is tougher still if you're fresh off the boat and fresh from World War II, just looking for a place to fit in - like Steve 'Jetlad' Trevor and Lena 'Skywitch' Muller...

The Forty-Niners is the latest collection in the Top 10 series of graphic novels from Alan Moore. This collection opens, after the end of World War II, with the movement of ex-service men and women to their new surroundings - Neopolis.

As you'd expect with Alan Moore, this is a good meaty tale with plenty of twists. Just how will our two heroes (Jetlad and Skywitch) fit into a society where vampires normal folk turn a blind eye to vampires? Where employment for women in the local law enforcement is almost unheard of? And where robots are not to be trusted? This twisted tale is obviously based on the real life experiences that American troops returning home after the Second World War would have faced (obviously without the vampires, robots etc).

Gene Ha's artwork gives this collection an almost retro feel and is certainly dark and gloomy - beautifully reflecting the tale's setting.

A little comic relief is injected with the introduction of the slightly unhinged robots that live in the city - as well as those that have made the journey there along with the ex-servicemen and women.

Another winner from the genius that is Moore.

Ray Thompson

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