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The year is 1949, and science-heroes and war champions are gathering in the city of Neopolis, now under construction as a home for those with extra-human powers and talents. One of those heroes is a very young ace pilot, Steve Traynor, also known as Jetlad, fresh from the battle-torn skies of Europe, and anxious for a new life and career. With him is his former enemy combatant Leni Muller, the Sky Witch, ready to prove herself worthy of the chance given to her in Neopolis. They are hardly prepared forthe challenges facing the experimental city. Science crime and unearthly gang violence has swiftly followed the heroes into this new, wide-open environment. Will their courage and skills be enough for the tasks ahead?
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Alan Moore is one of the most respected and admired writers in comics today. Among his many projects Moore is perhaps best known for the groundbreaking V for Vendetta, and the classic Watchmen. He has recently written Tom Strong and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and is currently plotting Albion, a major revamp of classic 1950s UK comics characters for DC Comics. Gene Ha is the acclaimed co-creator of Top Ten and has also worked on SupermanFrom Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. Retro-futuristic art meets postwar expansionism and superhero psychology in this tour-de-force graphic novel. It's a prequel to the often hilarious Top 10 series, which followed the cases of the police force in Neopolis, a city populated entirely by people with superpowers who are as petty, selfish and drunk and disorderly as normal humans. In The Forty-Niners, we see the Neopolis Police Department's early days attempting to bring order to a new city created just to contain the "science heroes" on both sides of WWII. Among the problems: German skull-masked ne'er-do-wells who have some secret plan afoot, and a gang of vampires who have taken over as the mob, running the prostitution franchise and shaking down bar owners. Moore (Watchmen; From Hell) has sketched the entire pecking order of this fantastic world and the wistful nature of the superhero diaspora. "You're gonna have a lot of feelings you ain't had before," warns the mayor of the super city. "Feelin' ordinary. Feelin' uesless. Feelin' like you're in the world's biggest freak show." Moore's boundless imagination dazzles as it reinvents the archetypes of religion, mythology and comic books. Ha's subtle, fluid watercolor-like art is equally rich in background sight gags, making this a book to savor. (Aug.)
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