By Alan Moore & various (DC Comics)
Alan Moore is one of the most lauded names in comic history, and much of his most memorable work has appeared – one way or another – under the banner of DC Comics’ various imprints. Here then, finally collected into one volume are all the stories he produced between 1985 and 1988, and set in the continuity of the DC Universe proper.
A revised re-issue of the 2003 edition, this book also includes, at long last, the Batman tale ‘The Killing Joke’ drawn by Brian Bolland and the two part ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?’ (with art from Curt Swan, George Perez and Kurt Schaffenberger) that ended the initial run of Superman and Action Comics prior to that character’s post-Crisis reboot in 1986.
The contents list is long and varied, beginning with ‘For the Man who has Everything’ with art by Watchmen collaborator Dave Gibbons (and adapted as an episode of the excellent Justice League Unlimited TV series) from Superman Annual #11, and followed by the two part ‘Night Olympics’ from Detective Comics #549 and 550, illustrated by Klaus Janson. ‘Mogo Doesn’t Socialize’ was originally a back-up in Green Lantern #188, again drawn by Gibbons, and the darkly controversial ‘Father’s Day’, with art from Jim Baikie first appeared in Vigilante issues #17 and 18.
‘Brief Lives’ and ‘A Man’s World’ drawn by Kevin O’Neill and Paris Cullins & Rick Magyar respectively come from Omega Men #26 and #27. The Superman team up with Moore’s signature character Swamp Thing, ‘The Jungle Line’, is from DC Comics Presents #85, illustrated by Rick Veitch and Al Williamson, and O’Neill returns for ‘Tygers’ from Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2.
Number #3 of that title provides ‘In Blackest Night’ from Bill Willingham and Terry Austin, Phantom Stranger is the star of the Joe Orlando drawn ‘Footsteps’ from Secret Origins #10, and the Batman Annual #11 was the original home of ‘Mortal Clay’ illustrated by George Freeman.
As a trawl around the DC Universe, you couldn’t find a more eclectic mix that still offered such stellar talents and high quality results. Along with Swamp Thing, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, this burst of creativity marked a watershed in comic book publishing and these tales would be welcomed on any aficionado’s bookshelf.
© 1985-1988, 2006 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.