Author: Alan Moore
Artist: Zander Cannon
Titan Books
RRP 16.99
ISBN 1 84023 862 3
Available 17 December 2004

Returning to his home dimension for his uncle's funeral, Smax is faced with a small mountain of threats. Quite aside from unravelling the mysteries of his dragon slaying past, Smax must deal with his feelings towards his sister, patch things up with his cop-partner Robyn, and deal with the horrors of Quest Bureaucracy...

Smax is a bizarre tale, full of surprises and humour. Our hero's past is about to be unravelled - a past that he hoped was dead and buried once he left his home dimension. While some of their customs are normal to them, in our realm these traditions, like incest, are illegal. So hiding these little facts from his human working partner is not going to be easy for police officer Jeff Smax. The fact that he is blue is odd enough, but what will she think when she realises he was once destined to marry his sister? Or that he was once feared across the land for one very special skill.

There are plenty of nods to popular fictional characters throughout this collection. Look carefully in the background and you may spot Winnie the Pooh, Maggie Simpson from The Simpsons, Family Guy's Stewie and Luke Skywalker. There are also plenty of other subtle inclusions that you may miss if you're not paying close attention, including dragon poo, fairy prostitutes and the houses, which are a nod to the homes that the Smurfs live in.

Titan has rolled out the red carpet for this release. A hardback edition with glossy pages and an attached ribbon that acts as a bookmark, help to push this collection up a notch.

If you're looking for something light hearted, that is sometimes subtle and at others in your face, then this collection is certainly worth checking out. It will put a smile on your face and make you realise why Alan Moore is one of the greatest comics writers working in the industry.

Darren Rea

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