Top 10: The Forty-Niners

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Cover to graphic novel

Top 10: The Forty-Niners, a graphic novel published by America's Best Comics in 2005, is a prequel to the ABC series Top 10, a police procedural set in the city of Neopolis, where superpowers, robots, monsters, and other comic fodder are the norm for all citizens. It was written by Alan Moore, drawn by Gene Ha, and colored by Art Lyon, with lettering, logos, and design by Todd Klein. Unlike the original series and its spin-off Smax, it was released in one 112 page edition instead of being released in separate issues and collected later. It won the 2006 Eisner Award in the "Best Graphic Album: New" category.

The Forty-Niners is set in 1949, in the founding days of Neopolis. After World War II, realizing that average citizens do not want to live next door to the science heroes, mutants, and robots largely responsible for the Allied victory, the U.S. government built Neopolis, where all of these exceptional people can live together. The story primarily follows a young Steve Traynor, a.k.a. Jetlad, the boy fighter ace who will later become Captain of Neopolis Police Precinct 10, from which the series derives its name. The primary story lines follow Jetlad's meeting with the great love of his life (seen at the end of Top 10: Book 2) and the formative days of the Neopolis Police, as they try to prove that they can bring order to the chaos of Neopolis in the face of vampire gangsters and bigotry against robots.

The story features several characters who either appear in the original Top 10, or else who are alluded to in conversation or background picture.

Cast of characters[edit]

see List of characters in Top 10: The Forty-Niners

Plot summary[edit]

16-year-old Steven Traynor is stateside after fighting the Axis forces in the skies over Europe. Joining him on his train ride is Leni Muller, a defector from the German Luftwaffe who fought Steven on her industrial broomstick as the Skywitch. Both are headed to the newly founded Neopolis, a city where the "science heroes," robots, mad scientists and other unique characters are being located to (out of the public's eye). After registering at town hall, Steven and Leni both head to their lodgings at Betty Doesgood's.

Outside the train station, Doctor Omega orders Steelgauntlet to take the brunt of the vampire attack, while the other officers rally around fire hydrants. Leni is dismayed at the sight of Steel's armored body being torn to shreds, but Doctor Omega assures his survival. Standing on the edge of the city reservoir, the Maid blesses the water, allowing the police to unleash gallons of holy water on their attackers. Leni rushes to Steelgauntlet's side, only to be shocked at his electronic inner workings. Just as she is about to scour the air for any remaining bats, the robot district erupts in flames.

Steven catches up to the Skysharks, managing to down Lars, but Sharkey begins to strafe Steven, until Leni swoops in and catches Sharkey off guard with a grenade launcher.