Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Deliriously twisted tales of sci-fi horror"


Alan Moore is probably my favorite comic book writer EVER solely because Watchmen remains a personally influential work for me (and, to a lesser extent, his erotica Lost Girls). I didn't know what I was going to get when I bought this, but my faith in anything Moore has written had allowed me to risk purchasing this almost obscure work of his, at least as far as I know.

The Complete Future Shocks is an anthology of comic strips, ranging from one-spread stories to at least four to six pages of narrative. Originally, it was also "a long-running series of short strips in the weekly comic 2000 AD in 1977. The name originates in a book titled Future Shock, written by Alvin Toffler, published in 1970 (source)." There has been a handful of successful writers who wrote for this series and one of them is Alan Moore and this collected edition proves just that. Collaborating with a roster of some of comics' great artists, Moore has created dimensional and self-contained stories exploring the many hilarious and disturbing possibilities of alien invasion, entanglements of theoretical time travel, and the campy adventures of a man with a two-storey brain.

The anthology is divided into three collected series: (1) Tharg's Future Shocks that mainly covers extraterrestrial contact sprinkled with literary allusions to the tropes of horror and sci-fi genres while dressed as cautionary tales; (2) My personal favorite Time Twisters which is composed of the often distressing if not nearly tragic complications about time travel; and (3) Abelard Snazz, a series of convoluted adventures concerning a genius with a literal two-storey brain. Moore's sardonic dark humor is ever-present in this installment, perfectly depicting the absolutely absurd hero who ends up damaging anything he encounters even if his intentions all along is to fix problems.

Some of my favorites are the ones which have a tinge of sadness to them despite their comedic tone like the The Wages of Sin, One Christmas During Eternity, The Reversible Man, and Chrono Cops. Others are just plain disturbing like Eureka, Ring Road, The Startling Success of Sideways Scuttleton, Dad, The Lethal Laziness of Lobella Loom and The Last Rumble of the Platinum Horde. Still, the rest of the strips are always engaging and funny which only show the caliber of Moore's writing depicted by the wonderful artwork of artists like John Higgins, Dave Gibbons, Steve Dillon and Eric Bradbury.

RECOMMENDED: 9/10
* The Complete Future Shocks has been a thrill to read. It's the perfect reading choice if you merely want to unwind and relax, but all the while it's still very much capable of baffling and impressing you.

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