3 out of 5
While it featured characters from across the ABC line, the ABC Special essentially took the format of Tomorrow Stories – an anthology of short standalone bits – to do a roundup of the highlevel tone of each related series, erring more toward goofy humor than anything too memorable or enduring.
Which is fine: Alan’s a funny guy, and when he leans heavily into his style of self-aware, pulpy-silly shtick – such as the Sergio Aragones’ illustrated First American, or some one-page Jack B. Quick, boy genius strips with Kevin Nowlan – it’s great art plus some laugh-to-yerself silly dumbness. Sometimes, style trumps the entertainment, though, as on Kyle Baker’s-illustrated murky Splash Brannigan bit, and an indirectly presented narrative on Zander Cannon’s-illustrated Top 10 entry undermines its punchline.
Steve Moore contributes two pieces, one – Tom Strong – flops because Humberto Ramos’ art confuses the timing and clarity of the action – but his Promethea entry, which does a Little Nemo riff, is excellent, with no small thanks to Eric Shanower’s excellent homage to McCay’s style.
Also includes a reprint of the LXG board game, which is jam-packed with lil’ chuckleable nuggets, and the Wizard preview of ABC, which is a great addition as it’s probably the funniest thing in the book.