Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Superior Hardcover Review

Marvel Comics - Icon
192 pages
$24.99 (2012) Hardcover
$19.99 (2013) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9780785136187

Contributors: Mark Millar, Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Jeff Huet, Muasond, Sunny Gho, Dave McCaig, Javier Tartaglia, and Clayton Cowles

Reprints: Superior #1-7 (of 7)

Synopsis: Simon Pooni was a popular middle school student and star of the basketball team.  Then he developed multiple sclerosis and the debilitating genetic disease made him a prisoner in his own body.  Escapism through works of popular fiction became his only reprieve from the frustrating depression of real life.  All of his friends slowly disappeared from his life - it's too hard to be friends with a cripple who cries all the time after all.  Chris was Simon's only remaining, true friend who would spend time with him each week watching whatever action flick was out in theaters.

One of his favorite movie characters is Superior, played by actor Tad Scott.  Larger than life and ready to fight the good fight, it's Superior!  Four sequels later and Superior's box office proceeds are starting to dwindle along with poor Tad's career.  He's in a pinch to get any acting work, but no one wants to hire the typecast actor.  Not many fans with Simon's dedication are left out there.

An unexpected wake up call
Simon's life takes a bizarre turn as a tiny monkey in a space suit (named Ormon) appears in his bedroom one night and transforms him into Superior.  How is he going to explain this to his Mom?  Now Simon must deal with his transformation into Superior after being cooped up in a wheelchair.  Fortunately he's got his best friend Chris to help him figure out how to work all of the powers.
That's not your daddy's Superman!  
Why did Ormon give him powers in the first place?  Will Superior's rogue's gallery start coming to life next? Suddenly Tad Scott is under the scrutiny of the world media.  How did a movie character start performing miracles?  Becoming your greatest hero was never this tough, but Simon is blessed or cursed with amazing power.  Can he stay true to the high morals of Superior or will power corrupt him in the face of real life problems?

Pros: Excellent artwork by Leinil Yu, good concept riffed from Superman/Captain Marvel (aka Shazam!), typically solid writing by Millar, includes multiple sclerosis and kids with health issues, monkey space astronaut, swearing
That's an understatement
Cons: Very obvious riff on Superman/Captain Marvel (aka Shazam!), plot is fairly simple with only one interesting twist, low replay value, a kid nicknamed 'Sharpie?'

Mike Tells It Straight: Mark Millar continues his creator-owned mini-series projects after the wildly successful Wanted and Kick-Ass.  This time he performs a story mash-up of Superman, Captain Marvel (Shazam!), and the movie Big.  He gives a regular kid the power of a superhero and explores what happens.  It's a mildly interesting experiment, but a lot of folks (myself included) will notice nothing really new to the comic book medium is happening here.  It's just a riff on Superman/Shazam! with a few tweaks to the story.

I find it really interesting when people complain that all comic book or fiction writing today is a recycling of past concepts.  All ideas have come before and writers just riff on the concepts without any real talent.  We've all heard the argument from friends or on forums.  It's a valid argument.  I've read interviews with Alan Moore saying the same thing.  Then he goes and does The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen where he riffs on a bunch of Victorian fiction writers' characters who are no longer under copyright.
The damsel in distress

What's interesting to me is the fact the music industry is exactly the same way.  We've got countless artists taking other people's music (sampling and/or remixing) and putting their own spin on it.  We don't complain as much when a good song comes out of this conceptual thievery.  We bop along to it and the artists makes money (so does the estate of the living/dead original artist).  It's the same thing with comic books, particularly company-owned characters.  Creators can only riff on the characters because the company is too preoccupied with maintaining the viability of their creative asset.

I like the fact Millar has done a spin on Superman/Shazam! and made an entertaining story out of it.  The story didn't feel like an original concept, but it was amusing and had a few different things to say.  I don't think it has much replay value, but Millar has a major fast track to Hollywood these days and he's a smart cookie.  Maybe we'll see another one of his creations green lit for production.  I don't think it will be Superior, but keep trying Millar - let's see what else ya got!

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom Trade Paperback Review

Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom
DC Comics - America's Best Comics
144 pages
$17.99 (2011) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401231743

Contributors: Peter Hogan, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Jonny Rench, Darlene Royer, Carrie Strachan, and Todd Klein

Reprints: Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1-6 (of 6)

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, but on the eve of his daughter's wedding he is faced with the most dangerous challenge of his entire career!  Tesla is about to marry her love, the enigmatic Val Var Garm, prince of a race of subterranean lava men called "Salamanders" when a chronal vortex dissolves the happy present and replaces it with a nightmare.

Only Tom remains unchanged in a world where the Nazis conquered all during World War II and carried out their plan of ethnic cleansing.  Their leader is none other than Albrecht Weiss (formerly Strong), the illegitimate son of Tom Strong and Ingrid Weiss, former Nazi superwoman.  Albrecht was thoroughly indoctrinated with Nazi beliefs and possesses all of Tom Strong's abilities - super-strength and genius intellect.

The new, fascist Millennium City
Albrecht travelled back in time to exploit one of his father's rare failures and winds up rewriting history.  Who are the mysterious robots that made this victory possible?  Can Tom Strong prevail against impossible odds and what strange allies is he forced to engage?  Will the devastating loss of his family cause even Tom Strong to harm or kill his own son?

Pros: Clean art by Tom Strong co-creator Chris Sprouse, Peter Hogan's writing nails the feel of the characters created by Alan Moore, some good old-fashioned action, complicated time travel story

Cons: Bit too complicated with all the time travel (what time travel story isn't though?), Salamanders' link to the robots was a bit convenient, doesn't give any recap for new readers on Tom Strong or supporting cast (i.e. not a jumping on point for new readers)

Mike Tells It Straight: Alan Moore created Tom Strong back in 1999 as the front-man to his comics line America's Best Comics.  His idea was to create characters based on pre-Superman and Batman archetypes. Old pulp comics and science heroes were the basis for his new universe.  Gone were the typical superhero angst, secret identities, and eventual grim deconstruction of the modern day.  Tom Strong was all about action and excitement with trips to parallel worlds, alternate timelines, and secret underground caverns.

The original series was published from 1999-2006 when it ended along with the entire America's Best Comics line.  A spinoff title called Tom Strong's Terrific Tales featuring short stories ran from 2002-2005, ending before the main title wrapped up.  Fast forward to 2010 and we get Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom.  Nowhere to be found is original co-creator/writer Alan Moore, but instead Peter Hogan (who worked on the original series) writes and original co-creator/artist Chris Sprouse draws.
Albrecht meets a 'robot of doom'

I believe this mini-series was an attempt to revive the America's Best Comics line and Tom Strong in particular (last page of the final issue says Tom Strong and family will return next year).  It apparently didn't work as Tom Strong and family did not return in 2011.  My thought is Alan Moore has said his piece on Tom Strong and left the door open for others to tell tales.  He was highly collaborative throughout the publication of the first two series and a laundry list of top creators were involved.

This book fits perfectly with the previous volumes of the original two series (including Terrific Tales).  It's definitely not a jumping on point for new readers which may have worked against it during publication.  I enjoyed coming back to Tom Strong's world and thought this tale was a great progression to the character's supporting cast (with Tesla's wedding).  The story got a little convoluted and perhaps wasn't the best for the character, but it's a solid entry.

I just don't think the pamphlet format of comics will sustain further monthly tales and maybe not even a new mini-series.  Maybe we'll see Tom Strong again someday, but this review is the final entry as of 2013 for the character.  Check the complete list of reviews for more Tom Strong and don't forget to see Alan Moore's America's Best Comics for the collected one-shots.  

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Alan Moore's America's Best Comics Trade Paperback Review

Alan Moore's America's Best Comics
DC Comics - America's Best Comics
192 pages
$17.95 (2004) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401201470

Contributors: Alan Moore, Peter Hogan, Art Adams, Chris Sprouse, Jeff Campbell, Claudio Castellini, Frank Cho, Bruce Timm, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Michael Golden, Adam Hughes, Phil Noto, Jason Pearson, Karl Story, Dave Stewart, Todd Klein, Al Gordon, Tad Ehrlich, Kevin Nowlan, Alex Ross, Jim Baikie, Hilary Barta, Melinda Gebbie, Gene Ha, Rick Veitch, J.H. Williams III, Alex Sinclair, Steve Moore, Sergio Aragones, Kyle Baker, Zander Cannon, Dame Darcy, Kevin O'Neill, Humberto Ramos, Eric Shanower, and John Totleben

Reprints: America's Best Comics Sketchbook, America's Best Comics Special #1 (including America's Best Comics Preview), and The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong

Synopsis: America's Best Comics - "Quality is a Slogan, not just a Motto!"

"Skull and Bones" - Tom Strong's first adventure in Millennium City after growing up on the lost island of Attabar Teru!  He meets Greta Gabriel and takes on "Charley Bones"

"Jack B. Quick's Amazing World of Science!" - Jack explains quantum particles and how bottled water freezes in your freezer.

"Little Margie in Misty Magic Land" - Promethea helps the king of the sun find his wedding ring so he can marry the queen of the moon.

Meet the characters of the ABC universe...again
"How Mel Got Down with Science Hero Style!" - A nerd gets clowned by an evil dotcom exec at a coffee shop and vows revenge.  He picks up some swell Science Hero clothing to get his revenge.  It doesn't work out so good.

"Deadfellas" - It's a vampire-mafia meeting gone wrong as the cops of Precinct 10 pick up the pieces (or ashes).

"The FIRST First American" - The First American tells the story of his ancestors and how they were responsible for helping found America!  Huh?

"The Game of Extraordinary Gentlemen" - Wonder at the perilous board game for extraordinary gentlemen.  Play at your own risk!

"Specters From Projectors!?!" - Splash Brannigan must rescue his date from the black-and-white cartoons of yesterday!

"He Tied Me to a Buzz-Saw (and It Felt Like a Kiss)" - Cobweb reminisces over her imagined affair with arch-nemesis The Mongoose.  She remembers their life-and-death struggles fondly.

ABC Wizard Preview - Timmy Turbo takes a tour of the America's Best Comics offices to introduce the characters.

"The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong" - King Solomon, Tom Strong's talking British gorilla sidekick, accidentally activates the Searchboard, a flying surfboard able to travel between dimensions, and disappears.  The board reappears, but it's destination log has been wiped clean.  Tesla vows to find Solomon, jumps on, and dashes into another dimension!  She visits the home dimensions of all the different versions of herself she previously met when she accidentally discovered the Searchboard for the first time.

They include Tekla Strong from a post-apocalyptic Earth, Tori Strong from an underwater Earth, Warren Strong's kids, the super-powered Tesla Terrific, Tes of the Tigers, the naked Tamla Strong from a sexually-liberated Earth, a giant Aztec goddess version of herself, and the evil Twyla Strong from Earth-B.  In every dimension Tesla visits the gorilla sidekicks have gone missing and a greater plot becomes apparent.  Can she discover the secret of the missing simians before it's too late?

Pros: Reprints most of the America's Best Comics one-shots not reprinted elsewhere, the Tesla story is pretty good, some decent art and short stories, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen board game is pretty cool, Promethea story is great homage to Winsor McCay, inside the sketchbooks of the main ABC artists

Cons: A schizophrenic palette of multiple artists and short stories, some of the short stories and characters are duds (like Splash Brannigan, the First American, and Jack B. Quick)
The Strong Family run afoul of their evil versions
from an alternate dimension
Mike Tells It Straight: This collection is a grouping of different one-shots from Alan Moore's America's Best Comics imprint from DC Comics (through Wildstorm).  It includes the first ABC preview available with an issue of Wizard comic magazine, a 64-page ABC special consisting of many 8-page short stories, the Tom Strong one-shot featuring Tesla Strong, and the ABC sketchbook.  The sheer number of creators involved in these books is impressive (although quite jarring from a coherent story perspective).  Seems like Moore's preferred method of writing is short stories or chapters.

Some of the stories are quite good - Tesla's one-shot was a robust cross-dimensional tale featuring a bevy of artists to represent each different dimension (my favorite was Jeff Campbell's art for the nudist dimension of Tamla Strong), the vampire-mafia story from Top 10, and the Promethea homage to Winsor McCay's Little Nemo to name a few.  Some are terrible - Splash Brannigan's riff on old Plastic Man stories, the First American fell flat despite being drawn by Sergio Aragones, and Jack B. Quick just doesn't do it for me.

These stories exactly follow the inherent good or bad aspects of each of Moore's creations.  Taken as a whole they are pretty average (i.e. unremarkable).  I would recommend this volume if you are an ABC completist in collected format, particularly for Tom Strong, Top 10 and Promethea.  Especially considering the price is rock bottom at the time of this review.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tom Strong's Terrific Tales Book Two Hardcover Review

Tom Strong's Terrific Tales Vol. 2
DC Comics - America's Best Comics
176 pages
$24.99 (2005) Hardcover
$17.99 (2011) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401206154

Contributors: Alan Moore, Steve Moore, Art Adams, Chris Weston, Alan Weiss, Bruce Timm, Peter Bagge, Jason Pearson, Shawn McManus, Michael Kaluta, Peter Kuper, Al Milgrom, Kevin Nowlan, Andrew Pepoy, Sandy Plunkett, Steve Leialoha, Wildstorm FX, David Baron, Jeremy Cox, Lee Moyer, Phil Noto, James Rochelle, Darlene Royer, David Self, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein

Reprints: Tom Strong's Terrific Tales #7-12 (of 12)

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:
  • "Blanket Shanty" - A little boy dreams and travels to Attabar Teru where he meets Tom Strong and has an adventure.
  • "G-G-Ghosts at the Gear-Stick!" - An episode of the Tom Strong Cartoon Hour! where Tom and family are tricked into an infernal drag race by Paul Saveen and his henchdog Scrappy Saveen.  Can they outrace the ghouls to save their immortal souls?
  • "Millennium Memories" - A brief history of the most outrageous events in Millennium City's history including - giant robot pugilist bouts, a blimp-jam, annual ray nights where sciencists shoot rays into the sky, magno-boot marathons, and more!
  • "Coloring Our Perceptions" - A man daydreams he is Tom Strong saving the innocent, but the reality of his actions are far more sinister!
  • "Tesla Strong - The Danger Daughter" - Tesla is visiting Attabar Teru when she is kidnapped by a big game hunter.  It seems he is collecting jungle girls to fill an illegal game preserve.  Now Tesla must team up with a bevy of beautiful jungle girls to break free.  They include Sheelagh, Queen of the Jungle, Leona of the Lions, June, Bride of Torzoon, Betty of the Jungle, and more! 
  • "The Strongs" - Tom Strong is a washed up superhero living in the suburbs after losing popularity.  He feels trapped as Dhalua nags him to do chores.  It's the end of the road for the once-proud hero!

Young Tom Strong grew up on the island Attabar Teru after his parents died in a volcanic earthquake.  He was taken in by the islands natives - the Ozu tribe and particularly by Chief Omotu.  Tom balances the antiseptic teachings of his parents with the natural existence of the Ozu.
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Dark Gods' Gambit" - Chief Omotu's daughter Dhalua is kidnapped by an old enemy, Maktol Jun.  He has aligned himself with dark gods and wishes to sacrifice Dhalua to them.  Can Tom and the Chief rescue her in time and face down the wrath of the evil dark gods themselves?
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Memory Pit" - Tom visits the dormant volcano where his parents died and brings Dhalua along with him.  The pit holds ghost for Tom and frightens even him.  When Dhalua accidentally falls in he must face his fears and plunge in after her.
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Diary of Susan Strong" - Tom excavates the volcano where his parents died and finds his mother's diary.  What is the startling secret she kept from Tom's father, Sinclair Strong?
  • "Young Tom Strong - Return to the Reef" - Tom is a teenager and his hormones are raging.  He is now curious about the opposite sex, but is uncertain about what to do.  He goes to the Forgotten Shore to ruminate and encounters the same underwater girl he met years ago.  She is even more beautiful now and he is instantly smitten.  What happens next!?
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Flight of Fancy" - Fancy O'Keefe attempts the first non-stop flight from Millennium City to Rio de Janeiro, but crash lands on Attabar Teru.  She is terrified of the jungle natives, giant birds, and imposing volcano.  Can Tom rescue her before she gets into trouble?
  • "Young Tom Strong - Childhood's End" - Tom prepares to leave Attabar Teru and travel to Millennium City, the world of his parents.  He spend one last evening with Dhalua, but will he bring her with him?
Jonni Ray inherited her Uncle John's house and all its contents.  She barely knew her Uncle, but decides to stay.  The adventures begin when she discovers her Uncle was a time-travelling hero called Johnny Future and he chose her to be his successor.

  • "The Empress of the End" - Jonni comes back to the far-flung future Earth from her native 2003 and finds Jermaal, her sidekick, kidnapped by a death goddess.  She runs a highly profitable religion preaching the ecstasy of dying.  Can Jonni save Jermaal in time?
  • "The Masque of the Moonjacker" - Jermaal tells Jonni how the Earth's moon was stolen many years ago by Endymion Sin, the Moonjacker.  She visits him to get it back, but faces a fiendishly sublte trap!
  • Two-part story:
    • "Twice in Time!" - Jonni battles Cancer Blue, a sentient cancer living in an android body, who wants to travel back to Jonni's time to infect the livelier inhabitants of her era.
    • "A Cure for Cancer" - Cancer Blue has used the Time Bridge to travel to Jonni's era of 2003.  Now Jonni must travel back to stop her!
  • "Upon the Bridge of Time" - Jonni is crossing the Time Bridge when she meets her dead Uncle John.  He's younger and still alive.  The two get a chance to talk and become friends.  
  • "The Unfairest of Them All" - Jonni faces Mirror-Mirror, an alien who creates perfect duplicates and uses them for nefarious deeds.  She must stop her own duplicate, but will Jermaal be able to tell who the real Jonni is to save her?

Pros: Some interesting stories, Alan Moore scripts all of the Tom Strong tales with a rotating list of top artists, Art Adams does some excellently detailed work on Jonni Future (which include many scantily-clad women), finish to Young Tom Strong tales was good

Cons: Coloring is a bit off on the first half of the stories as the usual blacks are overlaid by the colors - must have been a trend in computer coloring at the time (fortunately only for a couple issues on some stories), a few stories are duds, rotating group of artists makes for jarring transition between stories, Art Adams gets fill-in artists and inkers for his Jonni Future stories

Mike Tells It Straight: The final volume of Tom Strong's Terrific Tales is a mixed bag (and includes the irreverent Peter Bagge).  The Tom Strong stories scripted by Moore were 50:50 hit-or-miss.  I liked the Tesla Strong story with Bruce Timm, final issue story with Peter Bagge, and Millennium story with Michael Kaluta.  The other stories were not as good, but felt like an experiment (I guess Moore still gets kudos for working outside of the box).

Steve Moore and Art Adam's Jonni Future stories seemed to suffer a bit as Adams lost some steam and had fill-in help.  The stories were also of differing quality.  I liked the Young Tom Strong stories and their final resolution even though it was a predictable trip to Millennium City to start his career.  Young Tom's stories were a progression as he grew up instead of merely short stories like the other two features.

Overall I enjoyed coming back to Tom Strong's mostly bright and cheery world after reading his original series.  I think Moore has finished with the character and accomplished what he set out to do - create and tell the tales of a science-hero with all of the naive exuberance of those original books from the Golden Age of Comics.  This series wasn't the last we heard of Tom Strong - another mini-series called Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom was released in 2010, but not written by Alan Moore.

TO BUY and Recommendations:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tom Strong's Terrific Tales Book One Hardcover Review

Tom Strong's Terrific Tales Vol. 1
DC Comics - America's Best Comics
180 pages
$24.99 (2004) Hardcover
$17.99 (2005) Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781401200299

Contributors: Alan Moore, Steve Moore, Leah Moore, Art Adams, Paul Rivoche, Alan Weiss, Jerry Ordway, Jason Pearson, Jaime Hernandez, Sergio Aragones, Wildstorm FX, David Baron, Giulia Brusco, Jeremy Cox, Matt Hollingsworth, Alex Sinclair, Dave Stewart, and Todd Klein

Reprints: Tom Strong's Terrific Tales #1-6 (of 12)

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:
  • "Tom Strong in the Dark Inside" - Tom investigates a massive crater in the Arctic where a group of Nazis disappeared.  What is the chilling secret of the dark inside?
  • "Live Culture" - Tom and Ursula X investigate a Russian space station which has gone offline. They encounter a bizarre crystalline structure and deadly organisms within.  
  • "The Rule of Robo-Saveen!" - Tom consults for a movie based on his battles with arch-nemesis Saveen.  
  • "Leap of Faith" - Tom must save a suicidal high-rise (of course) construction worker.  Can the big shot science-hero find a common ground with the common man?
  • "Collect the Set!" - A trading card photo shoot captures a sneak attack on the Strong Family!
  • "Goloka: The Heroic Dose" - Tom takes a dose of concentrated Goloka and has a massive reality trip as he ponders the universe.
Young Tom Strong grew up on the island Attabar Teru after his parents died in a volcanic earthquake.  He was taken in by the island's natives - the Ozu tribe and particularly by Chief Omotu.  Tom balances the antiseptic teachings of his parents with the natural existence of the Ozu.  
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Fiend of the Forgotten Shore" - Chief Omotu forbids Tom from going to the Forgotten Shore, a beach on the other side of the island with an old shipwreck.  Of course Tom can't resist investigating and discovers a secret of the Ozu, but first he must face a fearsome entity.
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Thunderbirds of Attabar Teru" - Tom is put through a rite of passage test where he must slay a deadly and massive thunderbird.  Can the ten-year-old Tom best the fearsome bird?
  • "Young Tom Strong and the View Beyond the Veil" - Tom partakes of another Ozu rite of passage.  This time he ingests a large dose of goloka root and slips into a coma.  He sees visions of his origins, but will Chief Omotu revive him before it's too late?
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Fairy of the Foam" - Tom is back at the Forgotten Shore and encounters a beautiful girl from the sea.  He is instantly smitten and must see her again despite Chief Omotu's warnings about the underwater people's dislike for humans!
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Mysteries of Chukulteh" - Tom spies on the rite of passage ceremony of the Ozu women and at the peril of his own life!
  • "Young Tom Strong and the Shadow of the Volcano" - Tom explores the volcano where his parents lost their lives and uncovers a bizarre mystery.  
Jonni Ray inherits her Uncle John's house after he passes away.  She didn't know him very well and his house is a bit strange.  It has a weird half-bridge jutting from the attic into thin air, but Jonni decides to stay and the adventures begin.
  • "The Halfway House" - Jonni Ray is startled by a massive animal who bursts into her Uncle John's house and races to the attic.  She follows and is mysteriously transported to the future where her Uncle was a hero called Johnny Future.  She inherits his duties and tools to protect the future as "Jonni Future!"
  • "Moth-Women of the Myriad Moons" - Jonni must face the deadly creatures who killed her uncle in her first mission.  How can she possibly stop the Moth-Women without any real training?
  • "...The Seraglio of the Stars!" - Jonni is kidnapped by the Space Panjandrum and added to his interstellar bordello.  She must mount a daring escape or become just another used up whore
  • "The Witch of the World's End!" - A trio of witch-hating religious-types from the 1800s ends up in the far-flung future where Jonni must save them from themselves.  
  • "The Garden of the Sklin" - Jonni explores a seeming garden of earthly pleasures, but it hides a dangerous secret.  

Pros: Really detailed art by Art Adams, Alan Moore's scripting/stories are good, Jonni Future's adventures include many scantily-clad women, a lot of top-notch art talent and writers, sense of fun and carefree stories
Art Adams must have had a blast drawing this story

Cons: Short story format - no plot progressions, vastly different art styles for each segment, nothing really significant happens to Tom Strong or supporting cast, no real danger in Young Tom Strong's stories - he grows up to be Tom Strong after all, some of the short stories are duds

Mike Tells It Straight: I reviewed all six trade paperback volumes of the first Tom Strong series (check out the list of reviews to see them) and enjoyed them.  In the later volumes Alan Moore enlisted a plethora of guest writers/artists for various stories about Tom Strong and his supporting cast.  Terrific Tales is an anthology book featuring three stories per issue, typically: Alan Moore scripts a grown-up Tom Strong tale with a rotating artist list, Steve Moore writes/Art Adams draws a Jonni Future story, and Steve Moore writes/Alan Weiss draws a Young Tom Strong chapter.

The anthology format has its ups and downs - some of the stories are duds, but you aren't stuck with several crappy issue in a row.  The art is fairly all over the place, but Art Adams does some really impressive work on Jonni Future.  He and Steve Moore were really bucking to spark a solo book for her from the looks of it.  Too bad, it's some of the best work I've seen him produce.

If you liked the first Tom Strong series then this follow up anthology book will take you right back.  The Jonni Future stories are solid eye-candy and Alan Moore puts out a few interesting chapters.  The Young Tom Strong stories are innocent and carefree.  Overall a decent book, but the lack of a continuous story progression weakens my recommendation.  The only new bits are Jonni Future's titillating exploits.  I'll check out the second and final volume next, but expect exactly the same.
From left: Young Tom Strong, Telsa Strong, Tom Strong,
Jonni Future, and Jermaal

TO BUY and Recommendations: