America's Best Comics is an imprint of WildStorm Comics covering a number of comic series created and often written by Alan Moore. Moore agreed to create ABC with Wildstorm before their takeover by DC Comics. Despite the fact that he had at this point determined never to work for DC again, for reasons mainly related to the dispute over ownership of Watchmen, he agreed to continue with the ABC project to avoid inconveniencing and disappointing his other collaborators.
The line largely ended after Moore's final departure from DC, but in 2017-8 the shared-universe characters controversially began to be introduced to the mainstream DCU, with Promethea guesting in a Justice League of America issue and Tom Strong appearing in The Terrifics.
Oh, and if you're wondering why a man from Northampton founded an imprint called "America's Best Comics", the name comes from the title of a Standard Comics book published during the The Golden Age of Comic Books; Moore used some of the original book's characters in the series he created for ABC.
Comics published under the America's Best Comics name by Alan Moore were:
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: with art by Kevin O'Neill. Initially conceived as a Victorian Public-Domain Character version of the Justice League of America, later expanded into a series of stories set in a world where every British fictional character actually existed. The only ABC work to be creator-owned, and not to be a part of the shared universe the other titles take place in. Subsequently moved to Top Shelf Productions following Moore's final cutting of ties to DC.
- Tom Strong: with art usually by Chris Sprouse. A series about the Science Hero Tom Strong and his family. Tom is a character half-way between the superhero and earlier pulp action heroes like Doc Savage, while his relatives have resemblances to the Marvel Family. Conceived as an attempt to fuse the freewheeling vitality of the Golden Age, the optimism of the Silver Age, and the characterisation and storytelling sophistication of more modern works. From issue 23 Moore handed this title over to other writers, returning for the final issue 36, which crossed over with Promethea to provide a Grand Finale to the whole universe.
- Promethea: with art by J H Williams III. In which student Sophie Bangs finds herself the latest avatar of the Anthropomorphic Personification of creativity and the imagination. Began as an overt Wonder Woman Homage, but rapidly became an increasingly didactic homily on Moore's mystical religious and philosophical belief system.
- Top 10: with art by Gene Ha. A Cop Show set in Neopolis, a city where everybody is a superhero, supervillain, alien, or extradimensional being, with very overt Homage in characterisation terms to early Hill Street Blues. Also notable for the incredible density of Shout Outs included in the art to other works of all genres and media.
- Smax: with art by Zander Cannon. A mini-series following Top 10 characters Jeff Smax and Robin "Toybox" Slinger on a trip back to the Heroic Fantasy realm which he fled as a young man.
- The 49ers: with art by Gene Ha. A graphic novel dealing with the founding of Neopolis and the early life and love affairs of Captain Steve "Jetman" Traynor.
- Tomorrow Stories. An Anthology Comic featuring prepubescent Mad Scientist Jack B Quick, Badass Normal masked vigilante and Spirit Homage Greyshirt, Ms. Fanservice masked vigilante the Cobweb, parody superhero the First American, and slapstick comedy living-ink superhero Splash Brannigan.
- Tom Strong's Terrific Tales. An Anthology Comic featuring Tom Strong stories by Alan Moore, generally more quirky or artistically experimental than the main series, and also stories by Steve Moore (no relation) featuring Tom as an adolescent, and Ms. Fanservice Space Opera heroine Jonni Future.
America's Best Comics titles not written by Alan Moore, generally spin-offs from the Moore series, were:
- Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset by Rick Veitch. A mini-series featuring the Tomorrow Stories character Greyshirt, notable for its formal experimentation in storytelling, with normal comic stories, newspaper stories, and even in-universe newspaper comic strips all gradually combining to form the overall arc.
- Terra Obscura by Peter Hogan. A pair of miniseries set on a parallel Earth introduced in a Tom Strong story arc, featuring superheroes originally created in the Golden Age Standard/Better/Nedor comics.
- Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct by Paul Di Filippo. A miniseries continuation of Top 10, introducing some new characters and depicting the main cast dealing with a full-scale threat to their reality.
- Top 10 Season Two by Zander Cannon. An alternate continuation for Top 10, Beyond the Farthest Precinct not having been especially well-received by fans. Notable for being a four-issue miniseries that just stopped with no sign of resolving any of its several plotlines. A single-issue annual didn't resolve any of the plotlines either.
- Tom Strong and the Robots of Doom by Peter Hogan. A Tom Strong miniseries notable for explicitly retconning out the events of the final issues of Tom Strong and Promethea so that DC could continue to tell generic superhero stories in the universe without dealing with the major changes introduced there. And people wonder why Alan Moore gets upset with them...
- Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril by Peter Hogan. After a lengthy gap, a further Tom Strong miniseries which takes Tom back to the world of Terra Obscura.