Writer: Peter Hogan (with plot assistance by Alan Moore)
Pencils: Chris Sprouse, Michael Golden, Adam Hughes, Phil Noto, Arthur Adams, Jose Luis Carcia Lopez, Frank Cho, J. Scott Campbell, Claudio Castellini, Jason Pearson
Inks: Karl Story, Avalon Studios
Colors: Dave Stewart, Phil Noto
Lettering: Todd Klein
Cover date: July 2003
In the pages of Tom Strong #10, we saw the searchboard for the first time: a kind of surfboard built by Tom Strong by which multiple parallel worlds can be explored. Back then, a whole bunch of alternate Teslas met at the Stronghold, followed by their fathers who were seeking them.
Peter Hogan is revisiting that concept for this 64-page special. King Solomon, the talking ape, is playing around with the searchboard and is suddenly disappearing. He must have been gone to a parallel world, but which one? Tesla begins her quest for Solomon and starts visiting one parallel earth after another. On every world, she meets an alternate version of herself and learns that everywhere the local monkey has disappeared. That's the work of Tiberius Strong from Earth-B, where the heroes are villains and vice versa. With the help from Peter Saveen, the "good" version of Paul Saveen, Tesla and her parents can set the monkeys free and return to their home reality.
This story is two things: first, it's an ironic homage to the time before DC's Crisis, when the DC Universe had so much alternate worlds that everything got much too complicated. Second, it's a good way to do a jam comic, where lots of artists have the opportunity to do a few pages and then pass on the pencil to the next one. This works out very well, it's really fun to see how artists like J.Scott Campbell (Danger Girl) or Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows) handle Tesla and company.
The story itself is quite good and exciting, but it lacks Alan Moore's wonderful dialogues from the regular Tom Strong stories.
This book will be reprinted in America's Best Comics HC.
© 2003 LeGuy.
All images, characters and names are trademarks of America's Best Comics.