London,The Victorian Era Draws To A Close And The Twentieth Century Approaches It Is A Time Of Great Change And An Age Of Stagnation, A Period Of Chaste Order And Ignoble Chaos It Is An Era In Need Of ChampionsIn This Amazingly Imaginative Tale, Literary Figures From Throughout Time And Various Bodies Of Work Are Brought Together To Face Any And All Threats To Britain Allan Quatermain, Mina Murray, Captain Nemo, Dr Henry Jekyll And Edward Hyde And Hawley Griffin The Invisible Man Form A Remarkable Legion Of Intellectual Aptitude And Physical Prowess The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

10 thoughts on “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. I

  1. says:

    It s easy to see The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.1 as a fluffy action confection It doesn t smack you in the head with a puddle of blood and a happy face pin like Watchmen Nor does it open with a girl about to be raped in a post apocalyptic Neo Fascist London like V for Vendetta It doesn t open with extreme gravitas Instead, we get a fun variation of the classic spy mission opener Mina Murray nee Harker, nee Murray is ordered on a mission by Campion Bond grandfather of 007 to collect members for MI5 s Menagerie From this moment to the last, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.1 is a cracking tale of intrigue and action, full of famous literary characters who most readers are familiar with and probably even love It looks, feels and reads like a summer blockbuster too bad it was such a flop on screen But this is Alan Moore, and he always has a purpose beyond entertainment.There s much going on in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.1 Too much to talk about here But one of Moore s most important purposes is his need to challenge our conception of heroes and heroism It s a theme he tackles in all of his best works, but it takes on a special significance in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.1 because this time he is working with established heroes Moore makes each and every one of his characters unsavoury even nasty then allows us love them despite ourselves Captain Nemo is a pirate, Allan Quartermain is an opium addict, Jekyll Hyde may very well have been Jack the Ripper, the Invisible Man is a multiple rapist, and Mina Murray is a disgraced woman at least according to the conventions of her time who doesn t seem to like men much any None of these heroes seem as ugly as Rorschach or Comedian, nor are any as ruthless as V, so we enjoy their adventure, cheer them on as they cross swords with the first M who turns out to be the granddaddy of villainous geniuses , and overlook behaviours that are little better than the nastiest behaviour of some of Moore s easy to disdain protagonists What Moore wants us to consider is in the contrast between his characters and the established characters He wants to challenge our affinity for these heroes He wants us to ask questions about them and ourselves why do we overlook the behaviour of the League Why are we on their side Why do we support and why do they support a nostalgic view of Blighty s colonialism Why do we give these heroes a pass His answer is that we do it because they are familiar We know them We know of their exploits, either through first hand experience or through hearsay, and we are ready to embrace their greatness before we even start reading about them in the League We re steeped in their mythologies from the original books to film adaptations to stage plays to comic strips to animation, and having already accepted them as heroes we accept them as versions of us They are us, and we can t see ourselves as anything other than likable, so we cut the Menagerie considerably slack than we d cut for Moore s other heroes and Moore wants us to see that our willing delusion when it comes to these characters is wrong.All the way through this story I couldn t help thinking about The Three Musketeers It s one of my favourite novels, though I haven t read it for a while, and I don t know anyone who doesn t love d Artagnan Hell, I love d Artagnan What s not to love Right Well, plenty if one takes the time to really consider his behaviour He s a murderer, a rapist, and a purveyor of myriad nasty little vices Yet we all or most us love him.Moore wants us to think about that for a while He wants us to think about why we love the characters we love, then apply that knowledge to the way we see ourselves and the world around us I believe he wants The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.1 to provide as much meaning for audiences as his recognized masterpieces, Watchmen and V for Vendetta I think he succeeds, even though its manifestation is so subtle it can be easily missed The fault, dear Reader, is not in Moore s writing, But in our reading That is why we are underlings.

  2. says:

    Great good fun Alan Moore and Kevin O Neill collaborate on a TASTY tale where characters from literature and pulp fiction inhabit an alternate Victorian England and band together to save the empire and have a rousing fine rime of it.Readers will enjoy Moore s penchant for adding detail to his DELICIOUS mix of HAVEATYOU with inclusions of characters from Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Allan Quartermain Mythos and the Invisible Man.And of course there is Jules Verne s Captain Nemo.An erudite reader will also pick out scores of references to other characters and even a brief inclusion of a very special Dickens character The Where s Waldo quality of finding references to classic books is half the fun.Besides the CORNUCOPIA of allusions and references, Moore spins a novel and spirited tale to boot and adds greater depth to the characters than may be otherwise be imagined This is an intelligent, smart and entertaining joy ride and O Neill s illustrations are spot on.Bravo And I ll be reading .

  3. says:

    This was much better than I thought it would be Well done Alan Moore The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen takes place during the Victorian Era in London and it is a steampunk version of the British Empire A mysterious head of British Intelligence Mr M wants to put together a League to combat extraordinary threats to the Empire.This first volume has Mina Murray from Dracula Harker s wife acting as the recruiting agent The first few stories show how each member was recruited from opium addict Alan Quartermain to Dr Jekyll I ll let you read the stories for yourself They are worth it.The League consists of Alan Quartermain, Mina Murray, Dr Jekyll, Mr Griffin the Invisible Man and Captain Nemo There is an overriding threat to the Empire, London in particular, and the League must fight against the forces of a mysterious Chinese criminal warlord But the mystery of Mr M is finally revealed it is well done indeed.I enjoyed this story A great adventure in a steampunk version of the British Empire There are a variety of famous literary characters who make cameo appearances and are pleasure to see them come to life under Alan Moore s skillful storytelling It s top notch The art Kevin O neill s art isn t truly to my taste the characters seem to be distorted but it did grow on me It excels at depiction of large city or machine scenes but isn t as adept with certain human profiles But it never hampered the story and wasn t an eyesore Good story, decent art, great prose and wonderful characters Captain Nemo, Mr Griffin and Dr Jekyll are my favorites make for a great story I am a fan and will look for of this series.

  4. says:

    Bah This was another disappointing read for me I had high hopes for this series This book brings together a problem solving team composed of characters from Victorian lit Mina Murray whose brief marriage to Jonathan Harker has ended badly , the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, and Henry Jekyll Edward Hyde While Sherlock Holmes is not present in the flesh, he is certainly on everyone s minds How could such a premise go wrong Maybe Moore just needs a lot space and time in order to make characters work There are only two volumes in this series, and they are both slim There are a couple of interesting moments in the book For example, when characters speak Arabic or Chinese, there is no translation of the words, and the balloons go on for several panels On the other hand, there were long, apparently pointless digressions and disturbingly racist and sexist elements I m not sure what to make of those or why Moore feels obliged to reproduce those aspects of Victorian culture maybe they are meant to make a clever point that I am missing In the end, I found that I didn t care about any of the characters or what happened to them This volume also contains a painfully written short story by Moore that functions as a kind of prequel to Quatermain s part of the story Readers heavily invested in steampunk may find this volume a delightful romp through an alternate Victorian universe Note I have not seen the movie nor do I ever expect to Further note Sadly, I bought Volume 2 at the same time I bought Volume 1 If I make it through, I will post a review.

  5. says:

    In a word Underwhelming.In a sentence Boring as hell, needlessly bleak, oversexed to the point of annoyance The elephant in the room is, of course, the movie adaptation While I m not blind to the flaws of the film namely the varied FX quality the sprawling plot that bounces from one stage to another , I m not ashamed to say I prefer the screen version Indeed, I ll go a step further admit to a great cinematic crime I like the movie. It makes me smile This book, however, does not Certainly I m not opposed to dark stories as anyone who knows my tastes will confirm , but I dislike bleakness that exists solely for its own sake In this case, the overhanging gloom flag waving gothicness made the story incredibly flat forced.While there are recognizable elements that carry from paper to film, I have to say the adaptation crew did the best they could given a cast of unlikable talking heads a nonsensical plotline that is equally nonsensical as the heavily reworked movie version, if not so. Yeah, I said it The movie took a lighter Indiana Jones esque approach, that fits the original characters much better the paper version takes itself way too seriously it shows on every page, whether Griffin s rapey antics at the school or Quartermain s sad sack slumping for lack of narcotics I could imagine Sean Connery trotting around the world for Queen Country but this guy No chance As for Mina sigh Yet again we have Dracula fanfic wherein Jonathan Harker is reduced to a useless noodle and or oppressive jerk so as to allow him to be tossed aside before the story opens REALLY I agree with another reviewer who asks whether anyone has actually read the original novel At least the movie had the grace to make Jonathan deceased rather than maligned as a terrible husband for whatever reason.I ve read a lot of Victorian lit, including most of the sources these characters are based on plus many other Victorian penny dreadful sensational novels I mention this only for trolls who might assume my opinions are based on the movie alone Despite the failure of this particular book, I ll give a nod to Moore for including so many references to other 19th c works within this one That being said, the references were either so hamfisted as to be annoying example The Artful Dodger or so oblique that it felt like an excuse to show how well read the creators were example the Whitby sign As for the comic itself painfully dull dialogue with a plodding succession of panels that went from excruciatingly detailed walks down the street to skipping over action sequences that made little sense to begin with I was not impressed.The concept has so much potential But I think Moore would have been better served to write an actual prose novel include some illustrations for atmosphere something like Brom s Child Thief This collection has too much wasted space annoying dialogue bubbles that do nothing to bolster the characters Never for a moment could I forget this was fiction, poorly realized fiction at that.

  6. says:

    I found this utterly entertaining What i loved most are the dialogues The way the characters talk to each other is just beautiful.Can t wait to continue with the series 3

  7. says:

    1.5 to 2.0 stars I was really disappointed with this graphic novel after going into it was high expectations Not quite bad enough to rate 1 star as there are some clever scenes and some of the dialogue is engaging On the whole though, this is an AMAZING CONCEPT that deserved better treatment than it received here.

  8. says:

    Great concept, terrible execution Moore manages to reduce about a dozen Victorian adventure classics to fit into his apparently pea sized brain, and out comes this This book offended both my conservative and my liberal impulses, with banal pornographic sequences, flat, amoral heroes and offensive Asian stereotypes Moore has less sympathy for Chinese people than Tolkien has for orcs This book certainly isn t suitable for children, and it s too childish for me So I don t know who the audience is.

  9. says:

    Alan Moore has had terrible luck with the film industry The only adapatation of his work that he had the presence of mind to disavow before its release was the surprisingly good V for Vendetta The others of his works produced for the screen were the tepidly received From Hell and the god awful League of Extraordinary Gentleman adaptation, LXG The film was stillborn, creatively, lacking the tongue in cheek humor and moral ambiguity that made the books so enjoyable, and was very obviously the work of a group of movie executives who were determined to create a hit new action franchise The problem how to make a seriously intended action movie starring Alan Quatermain, a vampire, the Invisible Man, Dr Jekyll and Captain Nemo The answer you can t The comic opens with the retrieval of Alan Quatermain from a Moroccan opium den, by Mina Murray and Captain Nemo A confrontation with an evil spirit, documented in the appendices to the comics, has left Quatermain a shadow of a man, a bedraggled wretch lying on filthy mattresses, hopelessly addicted to opium Miss Murray and the captain are on assignment to the British government s secret service, and take their orders from stout gentleman by the name of Bond One by one, the team is rounded up, some of the members found in places that would not make it to the silver screen The terrifying Mr Hyde is the perpetrator of the Murders in the Rue Morgue, a job being investigated by Edgar Allen Poe s Inspector Dauphin The Invisible Man has been running rampant in a girl s boarding school, some of whose occupants believe they have come to be impregnated by the Holy Spirit Throughout the series, even minor characters are given a backstory most of them are borrrowed from turn of the 20th century literature The results are delicious and frequently hilarious Captain Nemo s first mate is a sailor from the Pequod one of the schoolgirls attacked by the Invisible Man turns out to be Pollyanna, who, not surprisingly, is determined to be positive about the whole affair Over the two volumes, appearances are also made by Professor Moriarty, Shelock Holmes himself and his allegedly brilliant brother, Mycroft, Mr Toad from Wind in the Willows , Rupert the Bear, Dr Moreau, the Martians from War of the Worlds, and the alien Sorns from C.S Lewis Out of the Silent Planet Topping it all off are the hilarious letters to the editor pages, managed by a draconian Victorian moralist and written in the purplest of prose Oh, and the artwork is spectacular.

  10. says:

    Not to be confused with the bizarre but hilarious British television show about a dysfunctional rural town, The League of Gentlemen.This graphic novel is daring, imaginative, artistic and engaging, and my favourite part of it would hands down be its characters The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is unforgettable and practically alive as a work of fiction.