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Paperback The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 Book

ISBN: 1563898586

ISBN13: 9781563898587

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

(Part of the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (#1) Series and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume I Series)

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Book Overview

For the first time in paperback: the New York Times bestselling "Century" trilogy sees our famous fraternity of meta-fictional marauders romping across the modern age, blending countless strands of... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Alan Moore....Lite

With The League, Moore shows that he can put aside the overt socio-political concerns that take centre stage in some of his other writings (From Hell, V for Vendetta) and construct as good an adventure story as anyone else in the comix genre. However, as Jess Nevins' indispensable Annotations can attest (which are freely available on the Internet), there is still a tremendous amount of depth and referentiality here. This is a simultaneous homage and indictment of the nineteenth century: a paradoxical time of innocence and exploitation. Moore, as usual, proves why he's the best, by doing what others don't. Foreign languages (Arabic, Chinese) are written in foreign characters, and clever puns and double entendres are generously sprinkled throughout the text. He also cuts and pastes some of the more famous storylines of the era and reinvents them to suit his purposes. The narrator's affectations completely nail the tone and attitude of the era. A book is never just a book with Alan Moore; he always stretches the limits of the traditional graphic novel, introducing such elements here as a novella, games, and biographies of people having nothing to do with the narrative. Truly, the artwork here is nothing short of amazing. Kevin O-Neill's colours brilliantly match the flow of the narrative, running the gamut from drab to dazzling. His full-page illustrations are immaculately detailed and very pleasing to the eye. O'Neill is no mere comix illustrator: he's a full-blown artist. His ability to effortlessly move from the abstract to the concrete is remarkable. Pick up this book. As bizarre a conceit as a 19th century version of the Justice League of America stacked with England's more famous fictional heroes/heroines of the time merits a look. The fact that it's Alan Moore quarterbacking this experiment makes things all-the-more interesting.

It's no "Watchmen", but ...

Think the Avengers or the JLA of the late 19th century. Mother England needs protection, so MI5 enlists those with proven courage under fire. They are: Mina Murray(Harker) of "Dracula", Alan Quartermain (an Indiana Jones type character from pulp novels), the reluctant Captain Nemo from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Jekyll and Hyde, and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man. Of course, this isn't a typical adventure. It's a mystery, teeming with cameos and reference. When compared with writer Moore's other works, it is surprisingly humourous and lighter in subject matter. Moore does darken some of the charcters though, reminding us that Captain Nemo is an Indian prince embittered with England, Quartermain is an opium addict, and the Invisible Man ... well, just read it and see. The art is, as always with Moore's works, reflective of the time period. The comic panels usually look like Victorian era etchings, which makes for a nice effect.Overall, it is a great read, leaving you satisfied for having done so. More to the point, it will leave you desperately awaiting the live action movie this summer, starring Sean Connery as Allan, a role he was born to play. Come on, it's Alan Moore. Just buy the sodding thing already.

The first adventure of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

I knew they would never be a sequel to Alan Moore's classic comic series "The Watchmen" (and I wish Frank Miller had let well enough alone with "The Dark Knight Returns"), but certainly "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is a kindred spirit in key regards. If the Watchmen were supposed to be superheroes that we recognized, even though we had never seen them before, then the League offers up recognizable fictional characters that we have never seen together before. Going back a century for inspiration, Moore creates a Pax Britannia circa 1898 where the "superheroes" are fictional characters who had been created by that particular point in time, to wit: Mina Murray (Harker) from Bram Stoker's "Dracula," Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea," Alan Quartermain from H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines," and the titular characters of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and H. G. Wells' "The Invisible Man." There is also reason to believe that "M," the shadowy figure who orders the League about, might in fact be Mycroft Holmes (and if you do not know what literary series he is from then just totally forget about enjoying this series).If that, in and of itself, is not enough of a hook to get your interested in checking out this collection of the first comic book adventure of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen let me remind you that Alan Moore is doing the writing. The artwork by Kevin O'Neill is certainly evocative of the turn of the last century, or, more to the point, does not look like a contemporary superhero comic book. Moore and O'Neill also maintain a wonderful conceit throughout the series of presenting the comics as being published at the time of the story, filled with wonderful "ads" that are often as interesting as the story (one of which actually required the initial print run of one of the issues to be destroyed, a story you will have to find related elsewhere, patient reader).Moore's intention was to deal with a superhero group before all the clichés were established (again, similar to how "The Watchmen" was in a different reality unencumbered by the DC and Marvel universes). Seeing an obvious parallel between the Hulk and Jekyll/Hyde, Moore let his imagination roam in his alternate, technically more advanced version of Victorian London. The more you know about literary history from this period (e.g., Emile Zola's Nana is killed in the Rue Morgue by Hyde), the more you will enjoy all this work. But this first adventure for the League still works if late 19th-century fiction is not your forte. British Intelligence has discovered that cavorite, a material that makes flying machines possible, has been stolen by a mysterious Chinese figure (Oh, come on, take a wild guess who it has to be). Campion Bond of MI5 has been ordered to assemble a team of adventurers to retrieve the cavorite, which is crucial to the race to get to the Moon. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is real

A literate delight

As a 19th-century scholar, rather than a graphic novel fan, I was prepared to be picky about how TLOEG portrayed characters from "my" era. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise. This is clearly the work of someone who not only loves but understands 19th-century fiction, both its enduring appeal and its sometimes exasperating conventions. The shining example of this series' achievement is the character of Mina Murray, the brilliant heroine of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Here she becomes even stronger and more assured, the clear-eyed, coolly efficient leader of this motley crew of "gentlemen." Yet, appropriately and hilariously, the men in the group (who tend to confound Victorian stereotype by being more emotional than Mina) respond to her assertive intelligence by labelling her a harpy, a shrew, a revoltingly "mannish" creature. As far as I'm concerned, Mina is the real hero--and what a hero! Finally, a woman in a graphic novel I can really admire and empathize with. TLOEG offers many such delicious treats for fans of Victorian fiction or intelligent, witty adventure tales. Dig in and enjoy.

Victorian "superteam" of known characters

I said in my review of Top 10 volume 1 that that was Alan Moore's first super-hero team since WildCATS. I was forgetting this, the very wonderful League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.The idea is simple: during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, tales of heroic fiction were popular. In this series, characters from those tales are brought together for a shared adventure. In this volume, you can see Miss Mina Murray (from Bram Stoker's 'Dracula') leading a group consisting of Captain Nemo ("20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Mysterious Island", Jules Verne), Allan Quartermain ("King Solomon's Mines" and lots of others, H. Rider Haggard), Dr. Hawley Griffin ("The Invisible Man", H.G. Wells) and Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde ("The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Robert Louis Stevenson).These characters are such classics that even the most casual of readers will have heard of some of them, and if you are interested in the fiction of that period, it may well be a wonderful treat. Asd well as these characters, the book is liberally peppered with characters from various Victorian sources, up to and including pornography! Mr. Moore has certainly researched this one closely before applying his wonderful imagination.Having said that, the art by Kevin O'Neill is certainly not completely in character with the art illustrating stories of the period, but Mr. O'Neill has toned down the style he often uses to better suit the content.But wait, there's more: the volume concludes with a text story of Allan Quartermain, which features him in conjunction with Randolph Carter, John Carter and the Time Traveller (created by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells respectively) which ties in, at least in part, with the main story.I'd like to reveal the villains of the piece, but that would be telling given that the revelation is part of the story's plot! Good choices, though. And a very enjoyable read.
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