cover image Tom Strong: Book Two

Tom Strong: Book Two

Alan Moore, . . DC Comics, $14.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-1-56389-880-8

Tom Strong returns as the interplanetary, interdimensional "science-hero." Created by acclaimed comics writer Moore (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ; From Hell ), Tom follows in the tradition of the sci-fi pulp hero, with elements of modern-day realism. As a newer superhero, he has his own mythic origin: raised by scientist parents, he is cultivated as a human experiment on the remote island of Attabar Teru. After his parents are slain, he lives among the island's Ozu people, where he meets his wife, Dhulua. Tom travels with his interracial superhero family, including Dhulua and their daughter, Tesla, a gutsy heroine-in-training. The Strongs also receive help from their assistants, a steam-robot butler and a bespectacled, bow-tied, intelligent gorilla. While the main story is set in the surreal 1950s metropolis Millennium City, this volume includes a variety of delightful substories that take place across dimensions, featuring incarnations of Tom at different ages and in different universes. Notable stories include "Tom Strange," in which Tom's parallel universe twin seeks help for his besieged earthlike planet, and "Tom Strong and the Phantom Autogyro," where Tom takes hold of a dimension-penetrating vehicle and pays a fateful visit to the realm of the half-dead. Fledgling superhero Tesla Strong gets her own adventures, such as "Flip Attitude," in which she encounters the mischievous girl villain Tilt, whose antigravity boots turn the world 90 degrees askew. Gordon and Sprouse's art ranges from cartoony to noir, and together with the intelligent, imaginative story, makes this work a welcome addition to the superhero genre. (Oct.)