by Zander Cannon and Gene Ha
There are very few examples of the fools errand that Zander Cannon finds himself embarking upon in this first issue of Top 10 volume 2. He joins Alan Davis (Captain Britain), Rick Veitch (Rick Veitch) and Neil Gaiman (Marvelman) in a small club of writers taking over a title after a hugely successful storyline by Alan Moore. Moore created Top 10 based on the throw-away idea of “what would it take to police a city where everyone has super-powers?”. And typically, being Alan Moore, he took this throw-away idea and creating a multi-layered, complex and throroughly enjoyable series from it. There are two excellent volumes of his work available, as well as the prequel volume The 49ers.
To say that it’s a difficult job to take over from Moore as a writer on the series is a supreme understatement. And it should come as no surprise that Zander Cannon starts his run on Top Ten sticking very closely to the Alan Moore template. Season Two starts with a new commissioner and a new recruit to the precinct. But everything else is similar, as the police procedural rolls on, cases are started, cases are closed and we get a glimpse into the private lives of the cast.
(Volumes 1 & 2 of Top 10 Season One, written by Alan Moore.)
Top 10 was always Alan Moore’s Hill Street Blues with capes. And now it’s Zander Cannon’s version of Alan Moore’s Hill Street Blues with capes. The effect is disconcerting; and I’m just not sure whether it’s a good comic because of Zander Cannon’s impersonation of Alan Moore’s writing or in spite of it. What makes it even more disconcerting is that it looks just like it did before, as Gene Ha has illustrated the main series from the start. So it looks just as great as it always did, with Ha’s delicate pencil and inks over Cannon’s layouts.
It’s a good comic, it’s possibly a very good comic and if it were any comic but Top 10, I’d more than likely be lavishing praise on it, but I just can’t shake the feeling that no matter what storylines Cannon comes up with in Season Two they’ll only serve to remind me just how good Alan Moore’s Top 10 stories were. Not fair on Cannon perhaps, but I bet that’s what you’ll be thinking as well.