Tom Strong, a comic written by Alan Moore and drawn by Chris Sprouse, is a nostalgic, yet incredibly clear eyed look back at old Silver Age superhero books. Our hero, Tom Strong is not an anti-hero, sneering at authority. He is an upstanding family man. His wife Dhalua is a new wrinkle to the formula. She is one of the Ozu, a tribe descended from escaped African slaves. She and their daughter Tesla work as side kicks to Tom, along with King Solomon, an ape man and Pneuman (short for Pneumatic Man: i.e. a robot).
The villains are not formerly good hearted souls that didn't get the love they needed. They are crazy bastards, devoted to the sole pursuit of what they want. Tom's origin does not involve radioactive spiders or aliens. His parents, Sinclair and Susan Strong, are Victorian era archetypes- the slightly mad scientist and his hapless, but loving wife. They sailed to a 'deserted' (to Victorian eyes-the Ozu live there, but..) island called Attabar Teru to raise the 'perfect' child.. They pull out all the stops- gravity chamber, language lessons, goloka root for longevity
This was cut short, as shown in the first issue. After, Tom rebuilds the island, and goes off to seek his fortune in Millennium City. Tom Strong's super powers are super strength and super intelligence. His super intelligence enables him to build machines to combat various threats to the peace such as Ingrid Weiss, a Nazi remnant, the Modular Man, and Paul Saveen. He is only once of the many science heroes that help defend the earth
Interspersed in the issues are "Untold Tales of Tom Strong" highlighting some adventure from the past. To me, they are often the most enjoyable parts- giving just a tantalizing hint into a rich backstory. This comic seems to be a true revival of the spirit of the Silver Age- an age where superheroes were told straight- an upstanding man saves the world. It's a simple story, and getting back to it feels really good
There are two Tom Strong collections under the America's Best Comics imprint as of this writing, June 23rd 2002. It has won Eisners for "Best Single Story" , "Best Serialized Story", and Alan Moore won for best writer and Todd Klein for Best Lettering. There are all 2002 Eisners.