of Top 10
by Alan Moore
. The series focuses on the titular character and takes place right after the events of the series it was spun off from. Like Top 10
it pays homage to genre comics, but instead of superheros and police procedurals, Smax
focuses on classical fantasy settings, with the titular hero coming from that sort of world.
Jeff Smax receives news from his homeworld that his adoptive uncle has died, and prepares to go back for the funeral. He also invites his partner, Robyn Slinger (AKA "Toybox"), to go with him. When they reach Smax's former home, Robyn learns that Smax is embarrassed of his homeworld, that with the exception of his twin sister, Smax's family are all dwarves
, that his "real" name is 'Jaafs Macksun', and that he brought her with him for more than just company, something she only finds out when he introduces her to his family.
After his uncle's funeral, circumstances manifest that remind Jeff of why he left in the first place, and that when he did leave, he left unfinished business behind. Because of this unfinished business, Jeff is eventually pushed into going off on a quest to slay a dragon named Morningbright. A dragon that he has had prior dealings with, and which is responsible for the presence of the hand-shaped mark on his chest...
This series provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Smax and Rexa's ogre father was particularly hard on Rexa.
- Action Girl: Rexa certainly seems to know how to use a battle axe.
- Adorkable: Given his characterization in Top 10 as the "strong and silent" type, it's rather surprising to find that Smax is incredibly awkward around family and friends, and altogether not very intelligent.
- Affectionate Parody: Of fantasy literature and games, for the most part.
- All Myths Are True
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Played with, as Morningbright can change his form at will.
- Bad Ass: Smax
- Badass Boast:
Morningbright: You see, it's like this. In the beginning, God created me... Then he made the universe, from what was left.
- Brain Bleach: Smax has this sort of expression on his face when he returns from his quest to find his elderly (adoptive) mother sexually dominating her dead husband's brother.
- Brother-Sister Incest / Twincest: The core of Smax's embarrassment about his home dimension. Not that it stops him from participating...
- Chess with Death: Well, Chess with one of the Deaths. The Death in charge of all those games is named Lionel, and he happens to be terrible at chess.
- Death by Origin Story: Smax and Rexa's mother - from being raped and impregnated by an ogre - she might have survived if they weren't twins.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Non-sexual example. Jeff accuses elves of swindling people and stealing babies. Major complaints against The Fair Folk in traditional folklore, yes, but also stereotypically believed to be things Romani have done.
- Fantastic Racism: Elves aren't really trusted on Smax's world.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink
- Foreseeing My Death: And upon death, he says "I knew this would happen!"
- Made of Iron: Smax and, presumably, his sister too. Bordering on Nigh Invulnerable,
- The Multiverse: Back home Smax was apparently aware of this, but only used it when he really felt the need to get away from everything.
- Mundane Fantastic: Particularly funny when signs come up that Smax needs to go on a quest, and he stubbornly tries to dismiss them all, including some impressive apparitions in the sky as weather phenomena.
- Oh Crap: Plenty, but most memorably when Toybox gets the message "Heed, Earthly Lass, Lest Our Rustic Orb Become Your Nemesis." Don't get it? Read the capital letters together; Morningbright gives an advance greeting to Robyn, somebody he hasn't even physically met yet.
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: And apparently every formally approved quest involves a mandatory dwarf quota. They themselves do some Lampshade Hanging on this.
- Playing with Fire: Morningbright's a dragon, and fire-breathing is definitely included in the package.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
- Rasputinian Death: Smax's father.
- Self-Made Orphan: From being born, Smax involuntarily killed his mother and then later kills his father for repeatedly raping his sister.
- Shout-Out: Far too many to mention here, as in most of Moore's works.
- Survivor Guilt: Smax left his home, and went as far away as Precinct 10, because he couldn't save a little girl from a dragon. Her handprint was permanently burned onto his chest, which didn't exactly help matters.
- The Grim Reaper: there are various reapers with different specialties.
- Your Magic's No Good Here: Robyn is dismayed to discover that her high-tech toys don't work in Jeff's home dimension.