Raised on a tropical island by his father, a brilliant scientist, Tom Strong was meant to be the perfect human specimen. Separated from the influences of society, and conditioned to be physically and mentally superior, he grows into a walking, talking, villain-beating bastion of scientific achievement.
With the addition of his beautiful island-native wife, and feisty teenaged daughter, they become Millennium City's protectors and beloved first family. Such is the premise of Tom Strong: Book One, the trade paperback collection of the first seven issues of the series published by America's Best Comics.
Series writer Alan Moore may be one of the most prolific talents in the industry. This is the same man who wrote some of the creepiest, and most macabre comics ever done with his Swamp Thing work in the eighties; yet Tom Strong is almost...light-hearted, despite the malevolent inclinations of some of the villains.
Moore has also created something that could be enjoyed by long-time comic fans, as well as new readers.
Those familiar with comics' Golden Age will see it's influences within the pages. Those who are not, however, will simply find a great story with self-contained history, all laid out before them.
This book also features some of the most talented artists in comics today, which makes it a veritable feast for the eyes. Arthur Adams, Gary Frank, Dave Gibbons, and Jerry Ordway all lend their talents to help round out this spectacular collection.
Oh, and the series' regular artist, Chris Sprouse, reveals his spectacular talent, as well. I enjoy Chris' style, especially the way he represents the main character; more thick and barrel-chested, the way some of the Silver Age artists used to draw Superman. This gives the character a more realistic appearance than most super heroes, drawn like cut/ripped body-builders.
Tom Strong: Book One can be found at comic shops, some bookstores, tradeshows, and online catalogs.
This book is highly recommended.
Tom Strong: Book One, published by America's Best Comics, 206 pages, $14.95.
Review by Mark Allen