Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tom Strong Book Five Hardcover Review

Tom Strong Vol. 5
DC Comics - America's Best Comics
136 pages
$24.99 (2005) Hardcover
$17.99 (2005) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401206253

Contributors: Chris Sprouse, Mark Shultz, Steve Aylett, Brian Vaughan, Ed Brubaker, Pascal Ferry, Shawn McManus, Peter Snejbjerg, and Duncan Fegredo

Reprints: Tom Strong #26-30

Synopsis: Tom Strong is the science-hero champion of Millennium City and has been for the past 100 years. His life is filled with constant daring adventures and the bold tales chronicled in this collection include:
  • "The Day Tom Strong Renegotiated the Friendly Skies" - airplanes across the world can no longer fly. Tom Strong investigates and discovers a secret his father uncovered 100 years ago which allowed man to achieve flight! 
  • "Jenny Panic & the Bible of Dreams" - a strange corpse is found in Millennium City and Tom Strong investigates. He uncovers a girl with the mysterious power to breach the world of dreams.  She transforms Tom's world into a comic book parody and only one of the girl's dreams holds the key to saving the city
  • "A Fire in His Belly" - the origin and motivations of Pneuman are explored as we witness Susan Strong's final dying request of Pneuman - to ensure Tom never suffers! How far will Pneuman go to keep his word when his artificial morals are far different than our own? Features a battle with villainess, the Eye-Opener!
  • Two-part story
    • "The Terrible True Life of Tom Strong - Part 1" - Tom, Tesla, and Solomon track down a former sidekick of Paul Saveen's turned major science criminal - Eldon Morovia. He is trying to hijack reality with an ancient Mayan jewel/helmet artifact. Tom and crew seemingly stop the scoundrel, but then Tom wakes to his real life - mundane factory worker!
    • "The Terrible True Life of Tom Strong - Part 2" - Tom's therapist attempts to cure him of the bizarre dreams of being a science-hero and return him to the working world. The delusions get stronger when an accident happens at the factory where Tom works. Is he completely crazy or is there a larger conspiracy under the drab surface of his life?
Pros: Wide range of great writers/artists contributed, a few interesting concepts

Cons: Moore completely missing from book, wide range of art/writing styles are jarring, low page count with high volume price = unfair

Mike Tells It Straight: Moore and Sprouse are wholly absent from this volume (Sprouse still contributes covers) with a bevy of well-known writers/artists filling in. This volume was my least favorite so far, although the last three tales (including anchor story True Life) are decent. The price remains at $24.99 and $17.99 despite the low page count (which always rubs me the wrong way). Let's hope Moore and Sprouse return soon!

TO BUY and Recommendations: