NewThe America’s Best Comics Universe Reading Order


One of Alan Moore’s most interesting projects, America’s Best Comics

A line of comics that was generally a cut above its competitors in thoughtfulness and wry self-parody. With very few exceptions, every single issue was a compelling read (although it must be admitted that now that it continues as a publishing endeavour without Moore’s involvement, it is closer to standard superhero fare).

The timeline below does not include the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics, which were also originally published under the ABC banner. Moore has been quite insistent that these comics did not take place in the same universe as the other titles. Accordingly, I have compiled them into a separate Reading Order.

Please note that unless otherwise specified, all comics in this timeline are written by Alan Moore.

1949

Top 10: The Forty-Niners
original graphic novel (2006).

1999

Tom Strong, Book One
Reprints Tom Strong #1-7 (June 1999 – March 2000).
Concludes on December 31, 1999.
Top 10, Book One
Reprints Top 10 #1-7 (September 1999 – April 2000).
Takes place during October 1999. Must follow Tom Strong #3.
Top 10, Book Two
Reprints Top 10 #8-12 (June 2000 – October 2001).
Takes place during October 1999.
Tomorrow Stories, Book One
Reprints Tomorrow Stories #1-6 (October 1999 – March 2000).
Takes place in the second half of 1999.
Promethea, Book One
Reprints Promethea #1-6 (August 1999 – March 2000).
Promethea, Book Two
Reprints Promethea #7-12 (April 2000 – February 2001).

2000

Smax
Reprints Smax #1-5 (October 2003 – May 2004).
Tom Strong, Book 2
Reprints Tom Strong #8-14 (July 2000 – October 2001).
Tomorrow Stories, Book Two
Reprints Tomorrow Stories #7-12 (June 2000 – April 2002).
Promethea, Book Three
Reprints Promethea #13-18 (April 2001 – February 2002).
Promethea, Book Four
Reprints Promethea #19-25 (April 2002 – May 2003).

2001

Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales, Book One
Reprints Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales #1-6 (January 2002 – April 2003).
Contains stories set at several points in the timeline, but must be read before Tom Strong, Book Three as it is the first appearance of characters who return there.
Tom Strong, Book Three
Reprints Tom Strong #15-19 (March 2002 – April 2003).
Set in October 2001.

2002

Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset
Reprints Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset #1-6 (December 2001 – August 2002).
Written by Rick Veitch. Takes place in late 2001 and early 2002.

2003

Terra Obscura
Reprints Terra Obscura #1-6 (August 2003 – February 2004).
Written by Peter Hogan.
Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics
Reprints America’s Best Comics Sketchbook #1 (December 2001); America’s Best Comics Special #1 (February 2001); & The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong #1 (July 2003).
The Many Worlds of Tesla Strong written by Peter Hogan.
Promethea, Book Five
Reprints Promethea #26-32 (August 2003 – April 2005).

2004

Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales, Book Two
Reprints Tom Strong’s Terrific Tales #7-12 (July 2003 – January 2005).
Contains stories set in 2003 & 2004.
Tom Strong, Book Four
Reprints Tom Strong #20-25 (June 2003 – May 2004).
Written by Peter Hogan (#23-24) & Geoff Johns (#25).
Tom Strong, Book Five
Reprints Tom Strong #26-30 (July 2005 – February 2005).
Written by Mark Schultz (#26), Steve Aylett (#27), Brian K. Vaughan (#28) & Ed Brubaker (#29-30).
Terra Obscura: S.M.A.S.H. of Two Worlds
Reprints Terra Obscura #1-6 (October 2004 – May 2005).
Written by Peter Hogan.

2005

Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct
Reprints Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #1-5 (October 2005 – February 2006).
Written by Paul Di Filippo.
Tom Strong, Book Six
Reprints Tom Strong #31-36 (April 2005 – May 2006).
Written by Michael Moorcock (#31-32), Joe Casey (#33), Steve Moore (#34) & Peter Hogan (#35).
The appearance of The Barbary Rose in #31-32 is also featured in the The Elric of Melniboné Chronology; #36 retells the story of Promethea, Book Five (above) from Tom Strong’s perspective.

2009

Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom
Reprints Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom #1-6 (August 2010 – January 2011).
Written by Peter Hogan.

2010

Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril
Reprints Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1-6 (September 2013 – February 2014).
Written by Peter Hogan.
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