The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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Press:Titan Books Ltd Titan Books Ltd (November 29, 2002)
Publication Date:2002-11-29
Author Name:Alan Moore,Kevin O'Neill


Comics scriptwriting supremo Alan Moore's incredible, reinvention of classic heroes and villains - now available in an eagerly-anticipated paperback. 
What if some of the best loved literary characters in history were to band together to fight crime? What if Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr Henry Jekyll (together with his brutish alter ego Edward Hyde) and The Invisible Man were brought together by a Miss Mina Harker (who once had a dalliance with a certain Count from Transylvania), to fight the menace of Fu Manchu? Enter the extraordinary world of Alan Moore with this fantastic collection to find out!


Science Fiction & Fantasy,Fantasy,Superheroes,Comics & Graphic Novels,Graphic Novels,Literature & Fiction,Literary

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Comment List (Total:13)

  •     I love this series and Alan Moore is a genius! I was only disappointed in the fact that the back page stuff was hard to read or get into because you couldn't have it physically in...
  •     For those unfamiliar with this series or the movie featuring Sean Connery, this graphic novel assembles a team of heroes from 19th century science fiction and adventure novels. Specifically, the team includes: Mina Harker (of Bram Stroker’s <i>Dracula</i>), Allan Quatermain (of H. Rider Haggard’s "King Solomon’s Mine" series), Captain Nemo (of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and other Jules Verne novels), Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde (of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel featuring their names), and Hawley Griffin (of the H.G. Wells novel, "The Invisible Man".) The team’s principle nemesis is Professor James Moriarty of Arthur Conan Doyle’s "Sherlock Holmes" series.Interestingly, this book follows the same general plot progression as the movie, but is much different in tone, settings, and character details. The plot progression of which I refer is that the team is assembled (with no small amount of mutual animosity) and they bond into a team as they face a grandiose threat of steampunk industrialization run amok. That plot progression aside, you’ll find an entirely different story otherwise. First, those who favor gender equality will appreciated that Mina Harker is in a leadership role in this volume, the role played by Quatermain in the movie. (That being said, this isn’t a group of individuals who take readily to being led.) Second, those who like darker, grittier tales will find this book more appealing than the movies. Allan Quatermain is found by Harker wasted in an opium den. Griffin is captured after having moved into a girl’s school to use his invisibility to lecherous advantage and the head mistress of said school is decidedly dominatrix like. I generally liked the grittier tone better, though it was hard to reconcile Griffin’s abhorrent behavior with heroism—anti-heroes are a challenge, particularly one who can disappear at will. Third, the team in the book is smaller and more manageable, with the movie having taken on two more characters (Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer.) Finally, the book doesn’t get around so much. The movie features at least four major settings—not counting the high seas, but the book takes place mostly in Victorian London.You don’t have to have read all the classic works from which the characters derive to get the story, but it does make it a little more fun. (Yes, I realize that I’m using “classic” for books--some of which--were considered the pulp fiction of their day. However, if your book is still in print after 100 years, I’d say you deserve the status and respect.) Those who’ve read the books will get some subtleties that aren’t critical to the story but are kind of nifty. That being said, don’t expect the characters to match their originals perfectly. The novels covered are wide-ranging, some rely on supernatural elements and others are more realistic, some are futuristic while others reflect the times more accurately. One can’t bring all these individuals into one world and have them be exactly as they were in their original domains.There are some extra features at the end including a short story featuring a time traveling Allan Quatermain and some art from the series.I’d recommend this book for those who read comics and graphic novels—especially if they’ve read the stories of at least a few of the 19th century characters. (If you haven’t read any of the novels, you should probably go back and hit some classics before you read anything else. Just my opinion.) It’s an intriguing concept, and it’s done well.
  •     Amazing story - using it in a comic book/philosophy class that I teach. I have a selection of graphic novels for the class to read and this one is always very well received.
  •     Good
  •     Wow...
  •     Wonderful stories by Alan Moore! He's still the best writer in comics!
  •     What if all of classic literature was real? What if all the amazing characters from fiction existed in the same world? And what if they were superheroes?
  •     In many ways, this feels like the League is running out of steam. Setting the story as an apocalypse in contemporary times, the plot device used to separate Mina from the Orlando and Quartermain does not seem to really work. Quartermain's return to narcotics use is prompted largely off-the-page. Finally, the dues ex machina and the Habbo's anti-christ are profoundly disappointing. The League just seemed to work out of steam and actually make less and less sense in the context of itself. The characters outside of Orlando, Allan Quartermain, and Mina Harker seem more tangential. Even the critique of the pulp settings and the British empire seem to fade into a commentary on Aeons that seems like weak-tea Thelema.A frustrating book by Moore is given, and Moore's bombs are still better than many comic writer's main runs, but this is a very frustrating book. The contemporary setting does not do much for O'Neil's art as he has less to work with outside of fairly conventional comic art. After 1969 Century book picked the run up a bit, this seems to let it down. IT does mirror some of the New Wave Science Fiction in its concern for flawed characters, but even that length of the comic book really doesn't have time to explore.Hopefully, few League books will have more to say. This feels like Moore wrote himself into an arc that he didn't to which he did not really enjoy the inevitable outcome.
  •     A great book, a good story and a very good drawing.It took me 3 days only (and I am busy it is the fastest in a couple of years)!
  •     Excellent work.If you are a fan of the league of extraordinary Gentleman COMIC you will get a good kick out of this.
  •     Love Alan Moore and Captain Nemo - always alot to take in
  •     Most of Alan Moore's most famous works are a critique of the superhero genre: "V for Vendetta" critiques the British system and an anarchistic response to it, "The Watchmen" critique the American culture of superheroes as liberal visionaries or right-wing vigilantes in the context of the cold war. This continues this critique but by referencing the 19th century literature, both classic and pulp. Indeed, Moore seems to be pointing out that the line there was always thin. In the context of the British Empire, Moore shows that heroes are basically imperialists. Furthermore, in a similar vein to "the Watchmen," most of the characters are much more morally problematic than their literary counterparts. Having a background in 19th century British literature helps: Bram Stoker's "Dracula," Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea," H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines," Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and H. G. Wells' "The Invisible Man" build the context of the main characters, and the personalities do seem rooted in the books. Knowing Ian Flemming's James Bond and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes' characters help as well. The art is very driven by pulp art as well as Victoriana in general. That said, the empire may not be all it seems and so too the problems of the precursors to comic books. This volume is a fairly straight ahead story as far as Moore is concerned, although the literary references build very quickly. At a surface level, this is not a subtle comic, but it works much more deeply in dialogue with its source material and with culture of superheroes: a genre that Moore seems to work in only to undermine.
  •     As is normally the case. The written word will always offer more depth, layering, and scope than is practical for movies or video.

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