America's Best Comics

America's Best Comics (ABC) is a comic book publishing brand[1]. It was set up by Alan Moore in 1999 as an imprint of WildStorm, an idea proposed to Moore by Wildstorm founder Jim Lee when it was still under Image Comics.

America's Best Comics
IndustryComics
Founded1999
FounderAlan Moore
Key people
Alan Moore
ParentWildstorm (DC Comics)

History

America's Best Comics 64 Page Giant
Alex Ross' cover to America's Best Comics 64 Page Giant, featuring many of the characters created by Alan Moore for the imprint.

America's Best Comics was a prominent Standard/Better/Nedor title during the 1940s Golden Age of comic books, starring such heroes as the Black Terror and the Fighting Yank. Those characters were integrated into the Moore version under the ABC imprint, where Moore has penned many well-regarded series; the most well-known being The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a strip which merged several famous Victorian era fiction characters into one world. Other notable series include Tom Strong, an homage to pulp fiction heroes such as Tarzan and Doc Savage; Top 10, a drama set around a police precinct in a city where everyone has superpowers; and Promethea, one of Moore's most personal pieces which detailed Moore's view on magic.

Peter Hogan and Rick Veitch had their own spin-off series, Terra Obscura and Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset respectively, and Steve Moore (no relation) co-wrote Tom Strong's Terrific Tales with Moore.

Regular contributing artists include Kevin O'Neill, Chris Sprouse, Rick Veitch, J. H. Williams III, Gene Ha, Zander Cannon, Kevin Nowlan, Hilary Barta, Melinda Gebbie, Jim Baikie, Yanick Paquette, and Art Adams.

All the lettering for the ABC line is done by Todd Klein, with the exception of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which was handled by Bill Oakley. The logo of ABC is mainly based on an idea from Alex Ross and was also done by Todd Klein.[2]

Wildstorm was later sold to DC Comics without Moore's knowledge.

According to the interview Moore gave George Khoury in the book The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore, when Lee first saw Alan Moore after the takeover, the tall figure of Moore holding his snake-headed walking stick impressed Lee so, he was sure Moore - who was then still ignorant of the sale - was going to beat him senseless. Moore was reluctant at first, but ultimately decided to accept his new situation as he had promised work to a number of his artist friends from Rob Liefeld's defunct Awesome Comics line. In the same interview, he said that it was better to go back against a principle for the greater good, than to have no principles in life at all.

Moore announced that the imprint's 'universe' would end with the 32nd issue of Promethea, where the ABC Universe would be met with the Apocalypse. Moore wrote the last issue of Tom Strong and two 64-page Tomorrow Stories specials offering a final farewell to most of ABC's characters.

Before those final stories, the ABC line continued a little while longer under other writers. Tom Strong, for example, had been written entirely by guest authors since November 2003. These authors have included; Peter Hogan, Geoff Johns, Mark Schultz, Steve Aylett, Brian K. Vaughan, Ed Brubaker and Michael Moorcock. A sequel to Top 10 called Beyond The Farthest Precinct has been penned by novelist Paul Di Filippo and artist Jerry Ordway and another title, written by Peter Hogan and Steve Moore, was going to explore the remaining secrets of all of the major ABC characters. This mini-series, America's Best Comics: A to Z, started in September 2005 but was cancelled after four issues.

Titles

  • America's Best Comics: A to Z (see below)
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • Promethea
  • Tomorrow Stories
    • Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset (a Tomorrow Stories mini-series spin-off, written and drawn by Rick Veitch)
  • Tom Strong
    • Tom Strong's Terrific Tales (a twelve-issue anthology spin-off)
    • Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom (mini-series spin-off)
    • Terra Obscura (a Tom Strong spin-off based on old Nedor Comics characters, written by Peter Hogan)
  • Top 10
    • Smax (a Top 10 mini-series spin-off)
    • Top 10: The Forty-Niners (a Top 10 graphic novel spin-off)
    • Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct (a Top 10 mini-series)

America's Best Comics: A to Z

America's Best Comics: A to Z was to be a six-part miniseries written by Peter Hogan and Steve Moore. It planned to reveal secrets and unknown facts about the characters that have appeared thus far in the ABC line. The miniseries was canceled after issue #4. Work had begun on issue #5, but its unclear how complete it was before the plug was pulled. There are no plans at present to publish a collection of the issues.

Each issue features artwork from character's original designer/co-creator and a cover by Terry Dodson. It was expected to signal the end of the ABC line, and was planned as a farewell to the characters.

  1. Featured Tom Strong and Jack B. Quick, with art by Chris Sprouse and Kevin Nowlan.
  2. Featured Greyshirt and The Cobweb, with art by Rick Veitch and Melinda Gebbie.
  3. Featured Terra Obscura and Splash Brannigan.
  4. Featured Top 10 and Teams (America's Best and America's Worst).
  5. Would have focused on Smax (in the style of a holiday program) and First American.
  6. Was never solicited, but the remaining topics that had not been covered include Promethea and Jonni Future.

Other one-off titles have included

  • America's Best Comics Preview (Mar 1999) (a mini-comic preview, free with Wizard magazine #91)
  • America's Best Comics 64 Page Giant (Dec 2000) (a collection of short stories involving all of the ABC characters)
  • America's Best Comic's Sketchbook (Dec 2001) (a collection of sketches of main characters by ABC artists)
  • The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong (May 2003) (a 64-page, single issue, Tom Strong spin-off. Released with two covers, by Art Adams and Bruce Timm)

Other collected editions

  • America's Best Comics (graphic novel collection of the 64 Page Giant, Sketchbook, and Many Worlds) (Paperback: ISBN 1-4012-0147-4)
  • Promethea Covers Collection (a collection of all 32 Promethea covers)

In other Media

The Weather Girls before appearing in the comics appears in Smallville season 7 episode "Fierce". Their names in the series are Carly Meadows (played by Elisa King), Tempest Drake (played by Christine Chatelain) and Tyler Crenshaw (played by Eva Marcille).

References

  1. ^ "America's Best Comics". Comic Vine. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  2. ^ "Logo Design: ABC Origins". Kleinletters.com. 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2011-02-03.

External links

American Crusader

The American Crusader is a fictional character, a superhero who originally appeared in Thrilling Comics #19 (Better Publications, 1941). The character was revived in the Modern Age in Femforce #59, by AC Comics, and in Tom Strong #11, by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse.

American Eagle (Standard Comics)

The American Eagle is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics. He first appeared in Exciting Comics #22 (cover-dated Oct. 1941), published by the Standard Comics imprint, Nedor Comics. American Eagle was revived by two others comics publishers: first AC Comics, and then by America's Best Comics, by writer Alan Moore as part of his Tom Strong comics and its spinoff Terra Obscura.

Cavalier (Nedor Comics)

The Cavalier is a fictional character that appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. His first appearance was in Thrilling Comics #53 (April 1946). The Cavalier was later revived by Alan Moore for his work at America's Best Comics.

Doc Strange

Doc Strange is a Golden Age comic book superhero who originally appeared in Thrilling Comics #1 (Better Publications, also called Nedor Comics) in 1940. Circa 2000, the character was revived and renamed 'Tom Strange' in Tom Strong #11 (published by America's Best Comics).

Fighting Yank

The Fighting Yank is the name of several fictional comic book superheroes.

Five Swell Guys

The Five Swell Guys are a fictional 'science heroes' team from the New York City in Alan Moore's America's Best Comics series Promethea. The team meet Sophie Bangs in the first issue as she is being tracked by the Smee and later Promethea in the third issue.

The team bear a resemblance to the Fantastic Four in their use of the '5' logo on their clothing and their floating platform, similar to the Fantastic Four's Fantasticar.

Ghost (Nedor Comics)

The Ghost is a fictional character, a superhero that appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. His first appearance was in Thrilling Comics #3 (April 1940). The character is loosely based on the pulp hero published by "Thrilling" at the same time that was called The Ghost/Ghost Detective/Green Ghost.

The character was later revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

Greyshirt

Greyshirt is a comic book character in Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories, published by Wildstorm (a subsidiary of DC Comics), under the America's Best Comics imprint. The character was co-created by Moore and Rick Veitch. The character is a pastiche of Will Eisner's The Spirit. The name draws obvious inspiration from the British pulp hero, Blackshirt.

Lance Lewis, Space Detective

Lance Lewis, Space Detective is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics. He first appeared in Mystery Comics #3 (1944), published by Nedor Comics. The character was revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

Liberator (Nedor Comics)

The Liberator is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics. His first appearance was in Exciting Comics #15 (December 1941), published by Nedor Comics. The character was later revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

List of DC Comics imprints

DC Comics has published a number of other imprints and lines of comics over the years.

Magnet (Nedor Comics)

The Magnet is a fictional character from the Golden Age of Comics. He first appeared in the Complete Book of Comics and Funnies #1 (1944), published by Nedor Comics. The character was later revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

Miss Masque

Miss Masque is a fictional masked crime-fighter. She originally appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics, and was later revived by AC Comics, America's Best Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment.

Princess Pantha

Princess Pantha is a fictional jungle heroine that appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. The character was revived twice; first by AC Comics, and second by writer Alan Moore for his Tom Strong spin-off, Terra Obscura. She first appeared in Thrilling Comics #56 (October 1946).

Pyroman

Pyroman is a fictional superhero that appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. His first appearance was in Startling Comics #18 (December 1942), with art by Jack Binder. This character was latter revived by both AC Comics and Alan Moore (for America's Best Comics).

Scarab (Nedor Comics)

The Scarab is a fictional superhero from the Golden Age of Comics. He first appeared in Startling Comics #34 (July 1945), published by Nedor Comics. The character was later revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

Smax

Smax is a fictional character from the comic book series Top 10 written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Gene Ha, and published by the America's Best Comics imprint of DC Comics. A Top-10 spin-off mini-series also called Smax focused on the character and provided him with more of a backstory. In advertisements and interviews leading up to the release of the first issue, the series was referred to as Smax the Adventurer.

Tomorrow Stories

Tomorrow Stories was an American comic book series created by Alan Moore for his America's Best Comics (ABC) line, published by Wildstorm (now a subsidiary of DC Comics).

Woman in Red (comics)

The Woman in Red is a fictional character that first appeared in the period known to comic book historians as the Golden Age of Comic Books. Created by writer Richard E. Hughes and artist George Mandel, she first appeared in Thrilling Comics #2 (March 1940), published by Nedor Comics. The character was later revived by writer Alan Moore for America's Best Comics.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.