DC Universe by Alan Moore TPB – Alan Moore

5 out of 5

A new version of this collection, now featuring all those Wildstorm stories you wanted!

…I kid, since I don’t think Moore’s Wildstorm stuff, maybe excepting Voodoo, is bad, but there’s also the double extra super irony here that Moore left the mainstream for his ABC line when Wildstorm was wrapped under the DC banner, so this collection sort of doubles down on poking the hoary ol’ Moore beast as a reminder of all of his stuff they own.

Setting creators’ right and squabbles aside (not that Moore’s reaction was without merit), this is a killer collection of stuff for a good price: $25 bucks for 400+ pages, printed on glossy but flippable stock, in a solid softcover.  I’d also say there’s been some great color touchup work done here, as checking out some of the originals, some important dynamics (like Mogo’s colors…) just aren’t there, and the more intricate artwork from guys like Kevin O’Neill and Joe Orlando looks that much sharper.  And in case you missed the previous edition’s Brian Bolland cover – we get a pretty awesomely bizarre Frazier Irving cover for this collection (only bizarre because Irving’s work generally is) – Bolland’s version is included as an interior page to separate out the short bits that were backups in other issues.  When Alan’s work was either the main feature or entire issue, though, the cover is reprinted, which is another plus.

Overall, this trade, for Moore fans, can’t be beat.  If you’ve already hunted down the individual issues, fair enough, but even if that’s the case, collecting all of these odds and ends in one location is a huge convenience, and for those who maybe only own the previously reprinted issues – like Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow? – getting a peek at Alan’s other DCU stuff (…plus Wildstorm) is a treat.  I wouldn’t say it’s all his best work, of course, and a lot of it is just sort of incidental, Future Shock-y kind of stuff, but it’s still generally better and more imaginative than the vast majority of comic writing done for the Big Two (which, eh, is dismissive of the difficulty of writing these interweaving soap operas month to month, but it’s sort of a wholly different genre than what Moore would write…).  The Wildstorm stuff is certainly aimed toward a different crowd, but I think it’s another interesting side of Moore’s style to experience.  Otherwise, the only DC thing I think you’d be missing in this set would be The Killing Joke, but that’s easily available in its own printing.

Note that the above is more a review of the value of the set; the contents are reviewed individually here: