Wednesday, November 14, 2007


More Moore

The blog Again With the Comics, who a few weeks ago shined a spotlight on one of my favorite Alan Moore superhero stories, The Hypernaut chapter of 1963, now turn their attention to one of my favorite Alan Moore short stories from his days working for 2000AD, "Chronocops".

I think the first I heard of this story was an interview with Moore and Dave Gibbons in The Comics Journal, around the time that Watchmen wrapped up. This 2000AD "Time Twister", which is ostensibly little more than a parody of Dragnet in sf drag, was cited as a precursor to a lot of the formalist structure of the pair's seminal superhero collaboration. When I finally got a chance to read the story for myself a few years later, when it and the rest of Moore's 2000AD work was collected by Titan, I could definitely see the influence.

Moore later played with this kind of structure a fair amount in Tomorrow Stories and elsewhere, but there's something fascinating about seeing him work it out for what may be the first time. With the looping time travel narrative, he's able to revisit the same scene again and again (such as the meeting between the two pairs of Chronocops in the upper right panel above), and each time the reader encounters it, they see something different.

The story itself is a fairly clever twist on time travel cliches, but it's really in the structure that it soars. All five pages of the short are up at Again with the Comics, so check it out and see what I mean.

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