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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – What Was the Best ABC Title?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!



Promethea, but really, all of them were exceptional.

They really were, which is why it’ll be interesting to see who ranks where (except that I think we probably all expect Tomorrow Stories to finish fifth).

Promethea was probably the best, but Top Ten was my favourite!

Shouldn’t we have had some of the results for the others by now?

OooOh, what a tough question.

My personal order for right now is:

Top Ten
Tomorrow Stories
Tom Strong
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Which pretty much alternates with every other day’s order of:

Top Ten
Tomorrow Stories
Tom Strong
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Shouldn’t we have had some of the results for the others by now?

Nope, it’s all on schedule (every Tuesday the finished results go up).

Promethea was more awe-inspiring, but on the level of pure storytelling and characterization, nothing beats Top 10. Promethea is one of those works you can admire for it’s vision and scope, but Top 10 was much more likable. Tomorrow Stories was great fun to read too, it proved that Moore is an unending source of cool ideas. LoEG did interesting things with the pre-existing characters and was full of all sorts of funky details for the reader to catch, but I thought the actual plots weren’t that impressive. Never read Tom Strong.

Top 10 it is.

I know it asks which one was “best,” but I couldn’t help but choose Top Ten, because that’s the title I continuously go back and re-read. Promethea is fine wine in comparison to Top Ten’s… uh… I don’t drink all that much alcohol, maybe a good bottle of scotch? Ineffective analogies aside, Top Ten was way too much fun.

And no mention of Terra Obscura? I guess it didn’t run all that long (then again, neither did Top Ten), but I would rank it well above Tomorrow Stories.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 11, 2009 at 7:15 am

Between Promethea, Top Ten, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I was so torn because they were all unforgetable due to story and art and equally superior to the rest of ABC titles.

I went with Promethea.

Count me in for Top Ten. Original flavor, that is, Season One. I don’t know what kind of scam Season Two was, but let’s just say I’m not too happy about it. Why plot out a ten issue (or whatever) storyline when you know you’re only going to be publishing four issues? That was a total bait and switch. Either commit to publish the whole story or write a story that actually fits into the planned publishing schedule. Jesus.

Both were the most fun to read for me.
I have to go for TOM STRONG because it reminded me of the best ABC title not published by ABC : Alan Moore’s take on SUPREME.

It was a tough choice between PROMETHEA and TOP TEN, but I went with the former because it’s the most ambitious project ABC ever published. The Immateria, the Smee, the End of the World, the Painted Doll and its implied debate about self-awareness and the identity of God, sex as a mystical experience (echoing a theme Moore had already explored in SWAMP THING), the two Promethea’s road trip through the Kaballah… comics like this one appear once a decade, if that.

PROMETHEA is to TOP TEN like a gourmet dinner is to a family barbecue. The family barbecue may be more fun, but the gourmet dinner is a whole other level of experience.


Promethea #2

Tom Strong #3 (only for the Alan Moore issues. Peter Hogan really couldn’t carry the title)

Pleasantly surprised to see all the love for Promethea, which I also voted for. It seems to be one of the less talked-about of the ABC line, but it was a beautifully done comic. For me, that and the League were my only contenders for #1.

Top Ten gorgeous art and a wonderful imaginative collection of characters and cast.

The number one slot is between Promethea and the League. Although I may have liked Top Ten more. The last place is definitely Tomorrow Stories with Tom Strong a bit above it. Tough one.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

I had to vote Top Ten, because it’s tied with Promethea for having the best character work in it, and unlike Promethea it never completely subordinates characterization to plot.

League is great stuff, but it’s ultimately a little dry, a little remote because its primary purpose is to comment on Victorian pulps (and through them, their descendants in today’s action-adventure genres.) It’s clever and allusive, but the characters come to life in moments rather than throughout. Tom Strong is similar: it’s about genre reinvention, and at too many points the gimmicks of the plots — wonderfully executed as they are — determine the characters and themes, not the other way around. And Tomorrow Stories had an anthology format that ensured everything in it was a stylistic exercise rather than a fleshed-out story.

Didn’t like any of them really. (altough I’ve tried)

I still need to read all of Promethea, but League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has consistently rocked my socks off. So I’m going with that.

Tough call. League is my favorite, I guess. It has the best concept, the most interesting stories, and Kevin O’Neil. Promethea is probably the best of the bunch from a technical standpoint, but as much as I admired it, I never quite loved it. Top Ten is great, though. Nice characterization and lots of fun bits, but it’s kind of slight, I think. Tom Strong is also quite good. And of course, the Eisner/Kurtzman/Cole zaniness of Tomorrow Stories is very enjoyable. Damn. I really miss ABC.

I went with League by a hair. Second place is Promethea, and Top Ten in third. But maybe my vote shouldn’t count because I never read Tom Strong or Tmorrow Stories… yet.

I’ve read all of these, and out of all of them, Top 10 is the one that got re-read the most. It had the characters I liked the most, very good storyline, and images that were just fun to stare at to find all the nods to… well, just about everything.

Like everyone else, it was a tough choice between Top Ten and Promethea although I haven’t completed either series. Promethea got the edge since I read it more recently and JH Williams III’s art does more for me than… whoever did Top Ten. It was actually the art on LoEG that keeps me from ranking it above those two.

Man, this is tough. Okay, Tomorrow stories is out because it was too inconsistent. Tom Strong too light-weight. LoEG slips because the coloring was so dark and murky it was actually hard to read.

Top Ten was the most fun, but I have to go with Promethea.

agan a hard call for all the titles fitt and were worthy of the title. but my choice was the loeg for loved the concept of having characters from great works of lititure formed together as a team. alan moores talent at its best.

I chose the League, but all of the series are amongst the best comics I’ve ever read. Interestingly, my comic book guy thinks that Tomorrow Stories is the best. Taken as a whole, the ABC line sort of encompasses almost every approach you can take to science fiction and fantasy. The sheer breadth of storytellig techniques, narrative and artistic devces at play in these series is phenomenal. Anyone who thinks Moore hates superheroes needs to read these books.

Tough call between League and Promethea, but I went with Promethea.

What’s important to mention is that all 5 were some of the best comics being done at the time, usually far superior than anything else from Marvel or DC.

These books were really good and technically superior, but I just couldn’t bring myself to LOVE any of them (although I certainly liked them, and felt something akin to love at some points and during some issues) because Moore seemed to be more concerned with mocking the comic book as an art form than with actually telling good stories with good character development. Don’t get me wrong, there were MOMENTS of great characterization and some really great plots, but the two rarely seemed to coincide. Also, in a lot of issues of these books, Moore seemed to suffer from the syndrome that many writers struggle with: telling a serious story with comic relief instead of an all-out parody/farce or seriously depressing/mind-bending/gratuitously violent comic book story (or abstraction, in some cases).

What’s this crap about Top Ten being #1.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen IS OBVIOUSLY SUPERIOR to all the choices. It’s the most involved and most well thought out of all the choices.

Promethea was good but it really didn’t tell us anything new about magic or the nature of imagination – even though it tried very hard to do so. Yes the art is absolutely gorgeous, but if the story isn’t there then it’s just a glorified poster book.

The Alan Moore Tom Strong Issues were fascinating but Moore seemed to lose interest – quickly.

Top Ten was the most boring of all the series. I don’t know what anyone sees in it. It was a police procedural with comics in-jokes. Big deal.

Tomorrow Stories should just have been Johnny B. Quick with Kevin Nowlan art. All the other strips were throw-aways.

I love the League as an idea and have a great time spotting all the references I can; Tom Strong is the most up my alley as a Doc Savage fan; I admire the scope of Promethea more than I actually enjoy it; but just in terms of solid storytelling I had to go with Top Ten.

Daniel O' Dreams

October 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I think Top Ten was the only one that ever degenerated into parody (well O.K. Fighting American and Jack B. Quick also) and it was usually loving and clever parody.
So hard to decide; Promethea’s grand themes and beautiful art or League’s simply amazing use of Victorian characters and themes.
I’m going with LOEG just because I’m STILL enjoying the plot (scant as it might be) while Promethea lost the pretense of a plot long before it ended.

What no Smax? ;-)

I went with Tomorrow Stories. I’m a sucker for a good anthology book.

This is the hardest of all these polls, because I was/am a huge fan of the ABC books. I went with Top Ten for its wonderful mix of Moore’s plots and dialogue with Gene Ha’s eye candy artwork and multitude of pop-culture in jokes.

Though every single one of the books is top notch and better than most anything else being put out by DC and Marvel right now…

It was tough for me to pick between Top 10 and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen given how much I’ve enjoyed both series, but ultimately I went with League if only for Moore’s characterization of Hyde in volume 2, which is probably my favorite single character that Moore has ever written.

I did a writeup about it for a Watchmen contest at 4th letter a while ago, should be relatively easy to find for anyone interested.


October 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen IS OBVIOUSLY SUPERIOR to all the choices.

Well… shit.

Guess we better call the whole poll off!

I voted for it, but it was a tough call, and it probably only got ahead because I’ve read new issues of it since it’s ABC days, so it’s fresher in my mind.
Had it not been a few years since I read Tom Strong, that may well have been up there.
This and the Justice League Poll have really hurt to make a choice on!

What next?
Which Ellis Wildstorm title do you like best?

Yes the art is absolutely gorgeous, but if the story isn’t there then it’s just a glorified poster book.

Because Black Dossier and Century are story driven, and aren’t just a writer and artist playing with a bunch of different tropes and styles?

690 votes in and it is a dead even tie for first place.

Promethea is one of Moore’s best works, right up there with Watchmen or V, but the League comes in at a close second.

League had the most impact on me, so it got my vote. Promethea was extremely enjoyable until the issues dealing with magic. Beautifully drawn, but a chore to read, and I gave up on the series around issue 20. I’ll probably get the last dozen issues someday, but I’m not in a huge hurry.

Top 10 was the most fun, though. I think League’s scope was broader and its characterization was sharper, but Top 10 was always a good read.

Tom Strong never did much for me. Tomorrow Stories was inconsistent, but Jack B. Quick was hilarious.

Between LEAGUE and PROMETHEA for me, and since PROMETHEA was the ongoing series (as opposed to minis) and LEAGUE is still continuing outside ABC, I went with PROMETHEA.

You left out Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales, although I doubt if it would have gotten enough votes to matter. Promethea for me, due to the art and the fact that as much as I loved Top Ten, it was just too TV like-too many “cop show” cliches.

Perhaps a followup poll on the Best ABC miniseries–Smax, Terra Obscura I, Terra Obscura II and Greyshirt?

PROMETHEA was not only the best ABC series, but also the best story Alan Moore’s ever told, and also my favorite comic book of all-time, by any artist, so that makes this one pretty easy for me.

looks like i’m in the minority– Tom Strong is far and away my favorite. Chris Sprouse, Jerry Ordway, Art Adams, Dave Gibbons, Gary Frank, Alan Weiss, Paul Chadwick, Gary Gianni, Kyle Baker, John Cassaday Howard Chaykin, giant electric aztec snake god, nazi semen-harvesting amazons, time travel, alternate realities, dimension hopping, interracial nooky, drug references, cartoon animal heroes, all polished up to look like a Fawcett classic, this book had it all. It’s last issue may have ended on a sappy note and ths issues not written by Moore suffered without Sprouse, but Tom Strong together with Terrific Tales made me feel like a boy collecting again.

Promethea was the best series, but the Jack B. Quick strip in Tomorrow Stories was the absolute highlight of ABC.

I only recently got into Top 10 and love it, so I was going to vote for it. But then I remembered how great I thought League was, and it got me nostalgic, and I went with that one.

I must reread both volumes of that one, if only to see if it lives up to memory (if not, oops, sorry Top 10).

Roman: I completely agree (the characters are all being subtly mocked). I have Tom Strong collection, and I feel like I should love it, as it covers all the areas that I like, but the whole thing is presented as a parody. You really feel that the writer does not care one bit about these characters.

I’ve gotta go with Top Ten.

I have great respect for LoEG, it is a very clever book, but it was never a completely satisfying read for me. There were many references I didn’t get and that distracted me from the story as I was reading. It felt more like an assignment at times.

I love Promethea. Love it. I think it is a stunning achievement with some of the most amazing artwork to ever grace a comic book page. But, again, there were issues where it felt more like homework.

Top Ten just rocked my socks. It was a good story, it had imagination in spades, and it made me laugh out loud several times. I laughed to the point of tears at the sight of Galactapuss. I used to have an avatar of the “I’ve got a Giant Size Man-Thing” graffitti. I just really loved everything about it.

Ooh… this is a tough one. I really, REALLY like Promethea, but the story does kinda fall apart after issue 17 or so… but Top Ten never had a dull moment (well, if you ignore the 49ers, at least). After much hand-wringing, and with deepest apologies to JH Williams and Mick Gray (some of whose original art adorns my wall, I’m glad to say), I’m going with Top Ten.

As for League, I think it’s one of Moore’s weakest, and every time I see something new in that series I die a little bit inside, because I would rather he continued *any* of the other ABC series rather than that one.

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