Day Three – Top Ten
I have to say I really like Top Ten. It’s easy to say “I like Top Ten” though, and for that reason I went through and re-read the twelve issues from Season One. What did I like about it? Well, I like a lot of things about this series.
At first glance, it’s a really great crime series. It’s also a great hero story and that’s where I’d like to pull most of my analysis from. The running theme of the book is the fact that everyone in Neopolis has a superpower and an alter-ego. The beautiful thing about that fact is that it becomes as natural to the feel of the book as does the quest for love or companionship that the characters experience throughout the series. We see Smax learning to accept and open up to his new partner Slinger, as well as glimpses into the home life of officer and mother Irma Wornow (IrmaGeddon).
I love the many scenes in the series when Irma’s partners, first Girl One and later Joe Pi, and how the partners deal with Irma’s husband and kids. However, what I find most moving about these scenes and interactions are the parts where the characters are their most vulnerable. Joe Pi, being a robot, has his personality and actions assumed easily by the rest of the precinct. It’s easy to expect, but the way he deals with the reactions of the other officers is really interesting. While Joe is simply a robot, he seems to be able to handle all situations of the human experience with a flair and compassion that we’d only find in self-help books. Joe is in fact so perfect that the only flaw that he has is the reactions of others around him.
Moore’s creates a world where the superheroics that separate Superman or Green Lantern from the rest of us is non-existent. Imagine being able to wake up and fly to work. This is the kind of world that we find in Top Ten, but the world in its own ways is as flawed as our own. There are still gang wars and traffic accidents, but they’re just as natural as people who can run at super-speed or telepathically control others. Watching how these people interact with each other is what really makes Top Ten special.
In the series, Duane “Dust-Devil” Bodine’s mother has a mouse infestation, but these are super-rodents. Upon calling the Ex-Verminator, who brings his super-powered cats to fight the super-rodents, an Crisis-like conflict occurs between the cats and mice. This is all very funny, but the consequence is similar to Crisis: no one remembers there was ever a mouse infestation problem. This manifests in the very small conflict of the Ex-Verminator being out the payment of his services since no one but he remembers.
Its small details like this that make Top Ten an incredibly enjoyable read. It’s also fun to try and point out all the various superhero-parodies embedded in the background of Neopolis, but it’s a great read for the simple fact that extraordinary superheroics become part of the everyday normality of life.
Happy Saturday! See you tomorrow!