THE COMPLETE ALAN MOORE FUTURE SHOCKS (2000 AD, First US Printing, 2011; Softcover)
Collects selections from 2000 AD #189, 190, 203, 209, 214, 217, 219, 234, 237, 238, 240, 242, 245-247, 249, 251-254, 257, 265, 267-273, 278, 282, 291, 299, 308-310, 315-318, 320, 322-325, 327, 329, 331, 332 (cover dates December 6, 1980- September 3, 1983)
Writer: Alan Moore
Artists: Mike White, John Cooper, Paul Neary, Ian Gibson, Brendan McCarthy, John Higgins, Garry Leach, Ron Tiner, Jose Casanovas, Eric Bradbury, Dave Gibbons, Jesus Redondo, Robin Smith, Alan Langford, Jim Eldridge, Alan Davis, Steve Dillon, Boluda, and Bryan Talbot
Before Watchmen, V For Vendetta, or Swamp Thing, Alan Moore broke into the big time at 2000 AD, a weekly anthology magazine in the UK. Reading the list of artists that he collaborated with on this title reads like a who's who of British comics royalty, but think of it like the first season of Saturday Night Live. These were the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time-Players blazing the trail that the entire industry would soon follow. Everyone realized they were great later on.
The book is divided into four sections: Tharg's Future Shocks, which are sci-fi heavy tales; Time Twisters, tales about time travel and the ramifications thereof; a section with four unrelated tales; and, finally, Abelard Snazz, a series about a self-proclaimed genius who uses his intellect to create problems where there are none, albeit unintentionally so. Clever stuff.
The best stories are found in Time Twisters. Ring Road is a Twilight Zone style weird story. The Time Machine is another good one, but it is The Reversible Man which steals the show. Not only is it the best story in this book, it is one of the best stories that Alan Moore has ever written. It is a story about a man's life, from death to birth, and it's an incredibly moving tale. Moore rarely goes this emotional, preferring the cerebral to the gut punch, but when he does he can put your heart down for the count. There are reasons why the conversation about who is the greatest comic book writer of all time always turns back to him.
Those interested in the salad days of one comic's greatest writers should check this out. It's certainly better than Black Dossier. This is essential reading and belongs on your bookshelf next to Watchmen, V For Vendetta, and From Hell.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- 2000 AD trades are wider than standard US trade paperbacks, as UK comics are taller and wider than standard US comics.
Linework restoration: Mostly crisp and clean, although there are a few so-so spots.
Paper stock: Glossy stock, not optimal for black and white material.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Dull matte coating, sufficiently thick enough to resist scuffing.