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Tom Strong's Terrific Tales #10

Posted: Friday, April 23, 2004
By: Ray Tate



"Coloring Our Perception"
"A Cure for Cancer"
"Return to the Reef"

Writers: Alan Moore; Steve Moore
Artists: Peter Kruper;Art Adams(layouts), Kevin Nowlan (finishes), Wildstorm FX(c); Alan Weiss(p), Steve Leialoha(i), Wildstorm(c)
Publisher: DC

Jonni Future was meant to be a pulp queen. She was meant to be the busty heroine on the cover clad in a diaphanous, partially torn gown and being attacked by some unearthly goon. At least, that was her starting point.

This issue of Tom Strong's Terrific Tales continues the Cancer Blue story that I had pushed to the back of my mind. Good stories tend to stay with you, and even separated by months--on the whole America's Best delivery dates in Previews are theoretical--the next chapter can quickly catch you up.

In the conclusion to the Cancer Blue tale, Jonni finds a method for surmounting the dilemma the villainess left for her at the cliffhanger. Jonni interacts with the current time, and it's interesting that although she originates from the era, her experience sets her apart from those she intends to save. Jonni Future began as a wet dream from Sweaty, Spicy Space Tales, but she is now a different character than she was. She exhibits growth.

The story itself represents plausible science fiction, and the way in which Jonni winningly finds help and a way to stop Cancer Blue exemplifies intelligence from the writers.

The artwork is far less exploitive than what is usually seen. Fewer butt shots and camera angles of cleavage distract the reader from genuine drama and emotional characterization. The finishing touches by Kevin Nowlan lends a more action-oriented quality to the work, and this helps teas Jonni away from the tease.

The other two stories haven't a scintilla of the Jonni Future effort. The Alan Moore/Peter Kruper story is "bleah" to borrow a phrase from Charles Schultz, and as much as I hate Young Tom Strong, I hate him even more as Young Tom Hormone. Would it have killed anybody to weave bad-haircut-boy's coming of age into an adventure story?



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