COMIC REVIEW: The Ten-Seconders: The American Dream
Cool Concept Carries Latest North American 2000AD Release...
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Originally released in the UK in 2006, The Ten-Seconders: The American Dream is the brainchild of Rob Williams, best known for his Dredd stories and pre-2000AD work on Cla$$war. Together with solid art by Mark Harrison (co-creator of the phenomenal Glimmer Rats), an engaging story is spun of a near-future Earth controlled by "Gods". With supernatural powers, these beings have driven humanity underground, where bands of resistance fighters bravely assemble to take back the planet. The average life span of a human fighting a god? Ten seconds. It's a very cool concept, one that manages to carry the first 65-page installment - The American Dream - to a satisfying, yet incomplete end.
The second installment, called Make. Believe., is where The Ten-Seconders starts to loose steam. It's not that it's a bad story, but it lacks the crazy apocalyptic charm of the first half; that hopeless struggle of humanity fighting against something they can't possibly defeat. A gothic vampire cult and masked super solider are introduced - over-the-top additions that again pull away from that hopeless core concept of man battling a god.
The art of Make. Believe. is also a jarring experience. Where American Dream is all the fantastic work of Mark Harrison, Make. Believe. trangresses through THREE artists - Dom Reardon, Shaun Thomas and Ben Oliver - during its 67-page run. These artists all have their own unique style: Dom's very sketchy approach, Shaun's more traditional comic ink work, and Ben's use of realistic shading. The problem is that the styles are so different in such a short span of time; Ben Oliver's own amazing work radically changing to simple (rushed?) outlining towards the book's conclusion. The conclusion - while open to more installments - is also a bit of a letdown. I don't want to spoil anything, but lets just say that it's cliche. Some things are best left unexplained...
Rob Williams has a great story at the heart of The Ten-Seconders and Mark Harrison's art is to die for. The American Dream is worth the price of admission, while Make. Believe. tarnishes the experience. There is cool bonus concept art at the end, as well as a fascinating original story pitch to 2000AD from Rob Williams that brings The Ten-Seconders back for the win. In stores now priced at $19.99, The Ten-Seconders struggles to be a classic, but it's still an entertaining way to kill ten seconds, hell, a couple hours of your time. Check out the first 6 pages in our photo gallery below!
Review by Jeff Saylor
Review Sample Courtesy of 2000AD