It’s appropriate Gibbons draws the flashback story here, given the villain–Saveen–reminds a great deal of the villains in Watchmen. Moore doesn’t suggest a lot of superheroes in Tom Strong, it’s all a lot more science-based. The issue is, for a large part, a walk through Tom Strong’s past. Saveen’s set up a little museum to him and narrates the historical importance of the items.
As a storytelling device, it definitely works as it focuses the attention on Tom’s reactions, which a one or two panel flashback wouldn’t. But it pales compared to the flashback story–Moore unintentionally sabotages it.
The flashback story is done late thirties style with phenomenally appropriate expository dialogue. Gibbons’s art is great, restrained just enough Sprouse can still impress in the present day portions.
Finally in this issue, Moore seems to have established how Tom Strong‘s going to work. Solidly, if somewhat unspectacularly.
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