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MOORE, ALAN & SPROUSE, CHRIS - TOM STRONG VOLUME TWO Ė2001 Americaís Best Comics.† 

 

In the year 2000 the immortal and irrepressible Tom Strong, accompanied by his Simian ally Solomon, find a colony of cowboys who had vanished from the prairies in 1850. Aliens had abducted them. Now they have three eyes, and they grow strange alien crops and treat monsters as cattle. They are shocked to learn the truth about themselves from tom, but decide to stay as they are as they like it. Tom agrees to keep their secret. Tom goes on to destroy a group of robot teachers who have a whole new sense of iron discipline for the young. Tomís daughter, Tesla, meanwhile, tackles salamander monsters in a lava pit while wearing a very fireproof suit. A great episode is that of Tesla and Solomon finding their HQ, and the whole of Millennium City turned on its side by the anti-gravity antics of a spoilt brat called Kid Tilt. Tesla takes Tiltís magic gravity destroying boots off her and makes the city go upright again. She is just straightening up the HQ when Tom strong comes home. The ending leaves you wondering if the Kid Tilt story is true or just an excuse to cover up a wild HQ trashing party Tesla and the ape threw in the absence of their parents. A whole arc of stories follows which involve parallel worlds and dimensions. Tom builds a machine that lets him travel to alternative worlds. In one, he finds himself in a carton Earth called Funnyland, where his alternate self is a rabbit called Warren Strong, and his archenemy is a sly fox. Tom and warren save the day and Tom comes home. Tesla now tries using the machine and ends up flooding the HQ with alternate versions of her before a whole bunch of alternate Tom Strongs come to take her home again and ground her as punishment for meddling. Tom now meets Tom Strange, a version of himself from a parallel Earth in our own dimension. Tom had met him on his world once before, in 1969.Now, with his world in peril, Strange has come to earth to seek Tomís help. He has not come in a spaceship, but has run all the way through space, over the space of thirty years. He is understandably tired. His friends have been killed or captured by a vast machine villain that plans on turning the other Earth into a giant space ship. Tom goes back with Strange in a spaceship of his own, and frees the various heroes, (a pastiche of hero collectives like the Justice League Of America, The Avengers and The X-Men). There are other stories here too, inkling too many on a similar theme, i.e., an idyllic space vacation that turns out to be on a hostile planet.Good to see Warren reappears in a struggle against multiple villains who steal a time controlling devise. We sadly donít meet Tomís evil nazi son again, but overall, itís still a huge cut above many comics a out there today.†† http://www.megacitycomics.co.uk/acatalog/ABC.html

 

Arthur Chappell

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