Well, Alan Moore used to write this one...

*I feel a lot better. It was a shit of a day anyhow, but at least my health is flowing back. There's been sickness all over the land this week.

*This “Promethea” #32 review I was writing for today is turning into a monster. I’ll have to finish it up for tomorrow morning. STAY TUNED!

Tom Strong #31

Meh. After the fine Ed Brubaker/Duncan Fegredo arc we had for the last two issues, this one feels a bit weak. Michael Moorcock takes the writer’s seat, and spins a dimension-hopping yarn as Tom and the gang pose as pirates on the high seas, chasing after a foul villain, although they wind up sailing through the portals of time and space. Seeing pirate ships cruising through psychedelic skies with their fancily costumed crews gaping through their eye patches as lizard people glance upward from the ground and tree gnomes hop about… that’s pretty amusing. The story is especially jumpy, as if Mr. Moorcock had somehow overestimated his available pages by four and had to make some judicious edits. We sometimes feel like we’re hopping from event to event with very little connecting material, especially in the final third of the book (the story is divided into three chapters).

Actually, my favorite part came right at the beginning, before any pirates show up at all. Solomon, bold ape that he is, strides into a proper English pub to escape the rain, and proceeds to strike up a conversation with a fellow Englishman, Sir Seaton Begg, a recurring character from various Moorcock prose and comics stories. The two sit down and shoot the breeze, and the reader’s ‘eye’ drifts around a bit to examine other Millennium citizens drinking and socializing. But artist Jerry Ordway milks the absolute maximum amount of fun out of the fact that Solomon is, well, a gorilla with glasses wearing a suit, still prone to bearing his teeth when angry, much to the fright of nearby patrons. All matched up to Solomon’s ‘bally well, wot?’ type dialogue, a bit thicker here than usual.

The book’s all in good fun, but that sort of thing is better fun. The pirate stuff, well, once you’ve see the requisite tavern brawl and enjoyed Tom’s fluffy powdered wig (along with the fact that nobody seems to mind that he’s got an ape and a robot aboard his ship - pirates are jaded souls), that's about it.

So… yeah. It’s passable.