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London 1898 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 uatermain 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 Vol1 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 Vol1 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 entertainmentThere's much going on in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol1 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 Vol1 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 uartermain 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 uestions 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 wrongAll 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 himMoore 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 Vol1 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 funAlan 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 itReaders 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 uartermain Mythos and the Invisible ManAnd of course there is Jules Verne’s Captain NemoAn 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” uality of finding references to classic books is half the funBesides 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 onBravo And I’ll be reading

  3. says:

    While I liked this it did take me at least three chapters to get into it or care about the characters We have a group of rather strange characters whom most will recognize from some of the classic horror and sci fi tales working for a man they don't know really know anything about and of course the true boss hiding in the shadows The stories are interesting and kept my attention but I wasn't truly into it until the characters started forming bonds and being emotionally invested One thing I didn't like was speech bubbles in foreign languages that weren't translated I get not everyone speaks English and that's fine but if you aren't going to translate text into the language it's published in then just leave the speech bubbles out The art is good and keeps a dark muddy tone throughout with a splash of bright color here and there which I found very fitting I would recommend this for fans of classic horror and sci fi mashups Sherlock Holmes the Victorian Era or EnglandSide note There is a rather lengthy short story at the end in text form with some illustrations While it is a good story it is overly wordy and repeats itself using slightly different words or viewpoints at the beginning of every chapter It could've easily been a third shorter just by getting rid of that I would say read it or skip it it's up to you unless you are an HP Lovecraft fan If you are a fan I recommend reading it

  4. says:

    This was much better than I thought it would be Well done Alan MooreThe 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 EmpireThis 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 uartermain to Dr Jekyll I'll let you read the stories for yourself They are worth itThe League consists of Alan uartermain 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 indeedI 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

  5. says:

    Wow I should've known that Alan Moore the man behind V for Vendetta and Watchmen would bring his A game for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen which I can only describe as the best graphic novel I've read in a long time Fun and full of action the story twisted in a way that I wasn't expecting but was still easy to follow Nice to have in there characters we're already familiar with Holmes Jekyll Hyde etc THIS is how a graphic novel is done

  6. 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 uatermain 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 preuel to uatermain'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

  7. says:

    In a word? UnderwhelmingIn 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 uality 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 forcedWhile 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 eually nonsensical as the heavily reworked movie version if not so Yeah I said it The movie took a lighter Indiana Jones esue 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 uartermain's sad sack slumping for lack of narcotics I could imagine Sean Connery trotting around the world for ueen Country but this guy? No chance As for Minasigh Yet again we have Dracula fanfic wherein Jonathan Harker is reduced to a useless noodle andor 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 reasonI'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 obliue 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 seuences that made little sense to begin with I was not impressedThe 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

  8. says:

    Well gentlemen at least we now know why we're here British Intelligence has assembled us to thwart a plot against the Empire Ms Wilhelmina Murray aka 'Mina Harker'Now here was an inspired and rousing but yet problematic sci fi adventure story which is chiefly known or remembered other than inspiring Sean Connery's final cinematic outing before retirement I haven't seen said film version for uniting several fictional British characters for a group effort at the close of the 19th century It would seem like a 'sure thing' to unite Mina Harker Dracula Allan uartermain King Solomon's Mines Captain Nemo 20000 Leagues Under the Sea Hawley Griffin The Invisible Man and Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde 'nuff said into a new crime busting team which is formed by a distant ancestor of James Bond This initial outing boasted a pretty good storyline but there was still one particularly bothersome issue which kept this from being a great graphic novelIt's the disgusting actions of Hawley 'Invisible Man' Griffin Early in the plot he is tracked down to be recruited after committing several sexual assaults at a girls' academy private school One of these incidents is even shown in progress Several scenes later Griffin cold bloodedly murders a London policeman who was simply walking his beat to acuire his clothing That these crimes receive a 'hand wave' and are uickly glossed over by his teammates or that the writer included them at all shows incredibly poor taste I don't get easily offended but what the hell was Alan Moore thinking?

  9. says:

    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen created uite a stir when it appeared and I intended to pick it up long ago but then I saw the film and didn't think it was very good so I lost any enthusiasm for it I've finally gotten around to it and I'm glad that I did It's basically a very well written Victorian version of the Avengers utilizing famous literary characters from the end of the 19th century Penny Dreadful did the same thing several years afterwards told from a horror genre perspective There are several clever twists and turns in the steampunk plot with cases of incorrectly assumed identity and surprising revelations The artwork is uniformly excellent with many sly little Easter eggs and fun obscure historical and literary references I'm sure that I didn't catch them all There's irony aplenty too one good example being that the field leader of the Gentlemen team is a woman none other than Mina Murray The panels are laid out in a strictly traditional geometric style and the whole book is framed with period phrasing style and flavor There's a long prose story after the graphic section than features Allan uartermain which goes on just a bit beyond a comfortable length but it's a nice Haggard pastiche It's not a comic for kids there are some rape references and I doubt that readers without a working familiarity of Wells Verne Stoker Haggard and other such romance adventure writers of the time would get much from it It's much much better than the film; I enjoyed it uite a bit

  10. says:

    I found this utterly entertaining What i loved most are the dialogues The way the characters talk to each other is just beautifulCan't wait to continue with the series 3