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Comic Deep Dive: Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics

Comic Deep Dive

Hey, folks! Welcome back to Comic Deep Dive! During these COVID-related comics dark times, I’ve taken the opportunity to do some strange and exciting comic book reading to fill the time. This week, I’m talking all about Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics (ABC) imprint! Here’s the run-down:

The Story

  • Alan Moore hated DC
  • Moore was working for Image (Rob Liefeld and then Jim Lee) and started his own imprint
  • Lee sold Wildstorm to DC and Wildstorm became Vertigo, so
  • So Moore worked for DC again (kind of)
  • Ran from 1999 to 2005
  • A few character appearances in later DC comics

The Titles

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Promethea
  • Tom Strong
  • Top 10
  • Tomorrow Stories

The Events

  • None, which was a missed opportunity

The Crossovers

  • Moore created a “golden age” as he usually does full of homages to several popular superhero and pulp characters
  • Moore also used (again, as he usually does) several public domain characters from pulp adventure novels as well as the Victorian era
  • Merged with the DC multiverse after Rebirth

The Good Stuff

  • Mostly all written (or co-written) by Moore
  • A true example of the master at the top of his game
  • Beautiful artwork throughout the entire imprint
  • Reasonable to collect the whole line

The Bad Parts

  • Moore did not write every issue of every series
  • A few unnecessary “cash grab” sequels and spin-offs

The Creators of Note

  • Alan Moore
  • J. H. Williams III, Chris Sprouse, and Alex Ross
  • Some work from John Cassaday, Frank Cho, Humberto Ramos, Yanick Paquette, Jerry Ordway, Gary Frank, Geoff Johns, John Paul Leon, Ed Brubaker, Bruce Timm, Adam Hughes, J. Scott Campbell, and Phil Noto

Characters Off the Page

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film
  • Characters appear in an episode of Smallville
  • DC Direct toys

The Returns

  • Promethea showed up in the pages of Justice League of America (written by Steve Orlando)
  • Tom Strong graced the pages of The Terrifics (thanks to Jeff Lemire and Gene Luen Yang)

Overall Thoughts

  • This deep dive is something I should have done when they were coming out the first time around
  • It was an amazing experience to see Moore and his talented artist friends really tell some great stories
  • Promethea might be one of the best comics ever made
  • I’ll keep the whole line
  • My final grade: A-

See you next week for another comic deep dive! In the meantime, share your thoughts on Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics imprint with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you.

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