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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. III Century
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2014
Century is the appropriately titled third volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, wherein Mina Murray's fantastic League pick their way through the tumultuous events of the 20thcentury. On the face of it, Century sees the plucky band trying to stop the fulfilment of a prophecy that will lead to the birth of the Antichrist; scratch a little deeper and it's really about the true horror of immortality and the imaginative bankruptcy of modern-day fiction.

We start in 1910, mere days away from King George's coronation. The Edwardian League's resident occultist Thomas Carnacki is plagued by visions of a mysterious cult and their efforts to create an Armageddon-bringing `moonchild.' The League is swiftly on the case - but as the ominous trail of events play out, they begin to feel increasingly outclassed and over their heads. Running alongside their investigation is the story of Captain Nemo's daughter Jenni, who has rejected her dying father's legacy and run away to London. An ill-starred fortune awaits her in the stink of Wapping docks, which unbeknown to anyone will lead to the birth of a monster and the deaths of hundreds... This is a darker, meaner century than the League are used to, and their brand of late-Victorian derring-do has had its heyday. It's a brutal awakening that sets the scene for worse to come. At the close of this initial chapter, Mina wonders aloud if they've managed to achieve anything useful at all - little suspecting that they've kick-started the very prophecy they were trying to forestall...

We pick the action up again in 1969. Mina, Allan and Orlando are all that remains of the once mighty team - heroes of Victorian and Edwardian stature being few and far between in these days of hedonism and social upheaval. Exhausted with the demands of keeping up-to-date with ever-changing fads and fashions, Mina and Allan are beginning to realise just what immortality means, and the implications are making their heads reel. Cracks are showing in their relationship, and they're finding Orlando increasingly tiresome. With the team becoming rudderless and inward-looking, the Moonchild plotline is kept bubbling over by the underworld investigations of London gangster Jack Carter, who keeps things nice and grounded with his brand of cockney scepticism. We also find out quite a bit about Oliver Haddo, the mystic who has been pitting his wits against the League in various forms since 1910. Various sub-plots come together at a concert in Hyde Park with terrible consequences for Mina...

By 2009, it's left to Orlando to carry the narrative. Having buried him/herself in war for the last quarter-century, he/she finally re-emerges from her nervous breakdown to pick up the threads of the League's last investigation. Mina has been missing since 1969; Allan and Orlando parted ways in the `70s. With no idea how to find either of them and time running out to halt the apocalypse, a desperate Orlando turns reluctantly to the League's former employers in M15 - and finds a surprising ally. Her investigations bring home the full horror of the end of the 1969 mission and force her to ask some awkward questions of herself. Finally the long-forestalled Apocalypse looms, as a broken and bitter Moonchild reluctantly confronts his destiny...

Overall, this is - admittedly - a far more difficult read than Volumes I and II. Those wanting the simple high adventure of those delightful romps might initially struggle with Century - but ultimately there's far more depth to this narrative. Not content to rest on his former laurels and crank out endless steampunk adventure yarns, Alan Moore instead uses Mina and the League to ask some big questions about the imaginative bankruptcy of fiction today, when so many `new' series seem to be simply yet another retread of Sherlock Holmes or Dracula or so many of the Victorian greats who shaped the genres. It's best not read in isolation either, as the Black Dossier and Nemo stories do snake in and out of this narrative. And then there's that conclusion, which is... well, divisive to say the least. It certainly comes with reservations, then, but all in all this is another worthy entry in the League's history, written and illustrated to the usual high standard, a beautiful love letter to popular culture.
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on 12 August 2014
Collecting the three issues under one hardcover may seem a little "double dipping" on the part of Moore and O'Neil, but the hardcover contains a few little extra bits, Italian cover and "bookplates" by O'Neil, but the main plus is that put together the story forms one cohesive narrative.
From 1910 to the conclusion in 2009 it rattles along and contains nods to the past of the series but never fails to move the characters forward, into some quite depressing and shocking areas it must be said, but it's never boring.
Once again, one of the delights of this series are the "cameos" by other fictional characters...after Dogtanian in the "Black Dossier" I didn't think they could better it....wrong! Sid the Sexist, Thunderbirds and Popeye!
The only complaint I have, as with the previous volume, are the mentions of Mina's other "Leagues" it just left me hoping that one day we'll get to see them!
For fans of Moore, well fans of comics in general this really is an essential purchase and shows just what the medium is capable of.
For me, at least, this series keeps getting better and better and is far superior than the incredibly overrated one by Moore that everyone else burbles on about, y'know the one I mean...doomsday clock, giant squid,smiley face badge, blue genitals...basically can't stand it. ( I'd better keep my head down next time I go t'comic shop!)
Bring on the next volume!
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on 24 September 2014
If T.E Lawrence was alive today, writing graphic novels, he probably wouldn't like this, but he isn't, i`am ,and I love it! a truly great piece of work, its been accused of being too cute,{too many pop culture references for some tastes},but that's just some readers looking at the surface, Alan Moore`s sense of humour, and a real understanding of story and character make this one of the most enjoyable ,and dare I say misunderstood series. As in all series, its best to start at the beginning, that said ,jump in ,the waters fine.
It`s addictive though,, after reading and really enjoying his take on Victorian literary charactors,, i had to get the "Black Dossier", not as I`ve read previously read, a back story filler, but a hugely enjoyable stand alone story in its own right. very highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2014
I'm not sure if this is intended to be the final outing for The league, but there certainly seems a finality to it.
Characters are introduced, others die. Major dangling plot threads from the Black Dossier are resolved. The "Antichrist" (for want of a better term) is revealed... and beaten by a surprise ally. It's all presented in style and verve with Alan Moore's writing ably supported by Kevin O'Neill's flawless artwork.
I'm hopeful for further adventures for the League, but I'm not sure where they can go now. Having said that, I never suspected that they would go where they have done already...
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on 15 June 2015
Wonderful. Read the combined volumes 1 and 2 book first.
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on 15 April 2015
Gets better with every reading
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2014
Again Alan Contributes Further Episodes to This Fascinating Saga1
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2014
The hardback is superb.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2014
This is the weakest of the trilogy to date. The volumes 1 and 2 are 5 star stories. The story line is bizarre and disjointed in places, saying that , it still is comic fantasy brilliance. There are sections which you keep returning to and going over again and again because there is so much stimulation to be found , for fans its a must new readers maybe for curiosity sake check it out. Would be nice if this volume was finally released in paperback collected instead of the 3 pitiful mini TPB's releasing the story before he hardback collection. I mean who reads pretentious hardbacks apart form granddads ? so get a paperback version of this volume out on the market and its a sale...
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