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Top TenWriter/Artist: Paul Pope

Publisher: DC (Vertigo)

Synopsis: It appeared mysteriously several years ago: the Heavy Liquid. Some said it came from a meteorite that fell to Earth; some claimed it was a government experiment that leaked out. Most people think it's nothing but a myth in the first place. But the Mysterious Mr. "S" is not one of those people. He knows the heavy liquid exists; he knows where to get it; and he knows some of the fantastic things you can do with it. Which is why several people want to kill him...

How Is It?: This may not be the first comic to attempt cyberpunk SF in the tradition of William Gibson or Philip K. Dick, but it's the first to really get the tone right: the world-weary, laconic hero thrust into a crazy situation, the stylish subcultural setting, the existential smirking. Pope's monochrome, sketchy drawings seem perfectly suited to the subject matter, and the ending nicely hits that surreal-yet-trancendant tone that only the masters of the subgenre have managed to pull off.

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