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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 246

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at Alan Moore and Gene Ha’s Top 10: The Forty-Niners…


The title of this original graphic novel refers to 1949, where the first settlers came to the new city known as Neopolis, the home of super-powered folks after World War II. The book tells the tale of the institution of a police force in the city (which eventually, of course, becomes the police force we followed in the Top 10 series set in modern times). The great unease felt at the creation of this super-city does not make it easy to create a police force, especially with so many different people having their own alternative plans for the city. Plus, we also get to see racism against robots and the vampire mafia.

Against this backdrop, we also get a slowly building romance between a young man and an older pilot. Alan Moore handles the romance beautifully. Speaking of beautiful, Gene Ha’s art is spectacular.

I don’t want to give away too much, so tell ya what, I’ll just give the first few pages and I assure you that that’s really all you should need to be intrigued by this tale…

(Click on the last image to enlarge – be sure to look for the little in-jokes Ha sneaks into the comic throughout the book, like Elzie Segar Marine Supplies)

What a well-told, well-drawn story. Top 10 was a great series, but this story – wowza.


This story was great, but I felt that it suffered from the same thing that all prequels suffer from: it’s telling a story with little suspense, where you know the end result has to be a certain way, and you know that certain characters will live and survive, etc. Not always a bad thing, and Moore handles it well, but I always like to re-read this one before I read the rest of Top Ten (which is also a magnificent series).

Incidentally, I can’t believe how gorgeous the art looks on a screen.

The Forty-Niners is one of my favourite reads. It’s fun, interesting and has some drama if not suspense.

Moore wrote a wonderful story and Ha was superb.

Is it just me, or does the set-up on SYFY’s EUREKA seem rather derivative of THE FORTY-NINERS?

“i’m a Hungarian-American with an inherited medical condition.
How about your wife, there? You’d like it if I ask she was a whore?
Yeah, that’s right. This is where you get off. Carlingville. I know where you live. My cousin, he’s right down the street from you.”

I just strapped myself in and knew I was going to enjoy the ride from that point. I think some people consider Moore’s funny stuff “lesser Moore”, but when he’s funnier than most writers, certainly most superhero writers, I don’t know how this can be. I’m very grateful that so much of the ABC was just balls-out hilarity, combined with all the othe awesomeness. The ABC line has got to go down as one of the greatest group of comics in a relatively short period of time ever.

Just absolutely love all of Moore’s Top 10 work – and thanks for reminding me how wonderful 49ers is. I will now definitely be re-reading it in the very near future.
By the way, I totally agree with you about how beautifully the romance aspect of this book is written: it makes the whole story, otherwise filled with robots, vampires, etc., so engaging and, well, human.

I just strapped myself in and knew I was going to enjoy the ride from that point

Yeah, that’s partially why I knew all I needed to show was the first few pages – it captures the attention beautifully right off the bat.

This is why it’s a crime when Gene Ha’s art is just digitally inked and then coloured by someone else. Those comics look good, but when you get the full Gen Ha experience it’s just gorgeous!

@Brian: “it captures the attention beautifully right off the bat.”

A vampire pun! Well played.

WOW a belated thank you for this, Brian. I had bought the original run when it came out in 99 or whatever and read it with love several times about five years ago, when somehow tragically issues 10 and 11 went out with the recycling. I’ve never read it since and haven’t bought any of the sequels, but your post inspired me to first buy the second collection and re-read the original story, and then to go buy this 49s.
I’ve read the whole thing twice over this week and really, really enjoyed it.
Are the Smax and the Farthest Precinct books comparable, anybody?

I only have Top 10 issues 1-7 of the original run, but I’ve read Smax a while ago, and have the first 2 or 3 issues of Farthest Precinct. They aren’t as good, definitely. But they are decent comics. I think Alan Moore wrote Smax and Zander Cannon drew, which was a good match. Paul DeFillipo (is that his name?) wrote Precinct and Jerry Ordway drew it, so it’s a decent looking, if not as awesome looking book.

Check out your local library. I know Smax is at one of mine.

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