NOTE: All the stories in this volume and more can be found in the more recently published DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
Alan Moore’s career in writing comics has been long and varied. It’s easy to forget that, between his early science fiction work for British comics like 2000AD and his epoch defining Watchmen, he was creating ‘standard’ superhero comics for the American company DC Comics. While he was working on the Swamp Thing series he also wrote a number of short stories featuring a range of DC’s characters. Some of these have been collected in this volume.
As short stories, they’re classic early Moore: superhero versions of the short sci-fi stories with a twist that he’d previously been doing for 2000AD. The style is inimitably Moore’s, with a minor shift in genre proving nothing of a hurdle. Compared to recent Moore however, there’s a certain innocence and playfulness to it, partly perhaps because of the length of the stories and probably also due to the rigidity of the well-known characters. Whichever it is, Moore doesn’t find the space to work on Swamp Thing style character development, so falls back on the short, sharp shocks of his 2000AD days.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the collection is the collaboration with artists Moore goes on to create further wonderful things with. Both Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and Kevin O’Neil (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) feature heavily in this collection and their presence adds further weight to the quality of the book, all of which has been reproduced in its original colour.
All told this is an interesting aside that the Moore collector will be drawn to and no doubt amused by. However, it remains little more than an aside in a writing career that has spanned decades and created far more interesting volumes than this.