smax cover trade paperback tpb
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

A fun series that always surprises

Not as fun as Top 10

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Smax

Publisher: America’s Best Comics

Writer: Alan Moore

Artist: Zander Cannon

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2004

smax #1 cover top 10 alan moore zander cannon

Smax #1

Reprints Smax #1-5 (October 2003-May 2004).  An emergency has Smax returning to his home planet, and his partner Robyn “Toybox” Slinger is about to discover his fairytale home is no fairytale.  Now, Smax’s past is coming back to haunt him, and he must face it head-on if he hopes to return home and to the Top Ten.

Written by Alan Moore, Smax is a five issue mini-series spin-off of the Top 10 comic from the America’s Best Comic line.  The series features art by Zander Cannon and was well received upon its release.  The issues were also collected in Absolute Top 10.

Top 10 was a lot of fun.  Of the ABC line-up, it was my favorite, and while I fizzles on Tom Strong and Promethea, Top 10 was a must buy.  It was the type of comic that could be read multiple times and new things could be seen in both the story and the art with each reading.  The Smax series was a fun addendum to Top 10 and it is worth seeking out if you were a fan of the original Top 10 series.

smax #6 cover alan moore top 10 zander cannon

Smax #6

It should be noted that Smax really needs to be read as part of Top 10.  The comic book really feels like a mini-series and probably would be difficult to follow as a stand-alone story; plus, you would miss the richness of much of the context.  The only bad part about Smax is that Top 10 was such a great ensemble story (though Smax and Toybox were generally the heart of that series as well).  Top 10 only ran twelve issues under Alan Moore, and Smax is at least a nice addition to his work.

With Alan Moore’s smart writing, the series is loaded with great art.  Zander Cannon provides the penciling while Andrew Currie inks the series.  Part of the joy of the series is that the backgrounds of the comic are loaded with pop-culture references and in Smax.  That mostly means fantasy stories, but all types of references pop up.  You don’t even have to read Smax…the pictures are worth looking at on their own.

Smax and Top 10 should have had longer runs.  There was so much potential for the series and so many more stories to tell.  Following Smax, Top 10 did return in a one-shot prequel story Top 10:  The Forty-Niners which Moore did write and a second series of Top 10:  Beyond the Farthest Precinct was written by Paul Di Filippo.  Zander Cannon returned to Top 10 with Top 10:  Season Two in 2008.

Related Links:

Top 10—Book 1

Top 10—Book 2

Top 10:  The Forty-Niners

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response