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Trolls, dragons and sight gags.Fission-powered dragons, troll incest and a singing sword with a passion for Abba. Sounds like a bad Terry Pratchett plot but, springing from the engine of perpetual creativity that is Alan Moore, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Spinning out of his Top Ten series (Hill Street Blues with superfolk), it sees Officer Jeff Smax returning to the bad fantasy cliché that is his home dimension where he can’t help being sucked into a quest of the dragon-slaying variety.
Jokes, parodies and clever word play pile up relentlessly but there’s a solid enough plot beneath it all, and Moore takes the time to flesh out even the most incidental of characters. Zander Cannon’s bright, cartoonish art is occasionally roughened a bit too much by Andrew Currie’s inks, but the background is detailed with sight gags galore, and the dragon Morningbright is wonderfully original. In the literary stakes, it’s no From Hell but then it doesn’t need to be – it’s just damn good fun.
Smax by Alan Moore, Zander Cannon and Andrew Currie, out now published by DC Comics.
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