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A masterpiece, my new favourite comic book series
on 24 July 2013
Alan Moore, who is best known for the epic superhero drama comic Watchmen and the dystopian revolutionary tale of V For Vendetta, unites his clever writing style with the gorgeous art of Kevin O'Neill.
The concept of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen imagines an alternate universe where all of history's greatest fiction is in fact reality, blending countless works of fiction together into one world. In a 19th century setting, Victorian superheroes unite to combat a common threat - female hero Mina Murray (Dracula), veteran adventurer Allan Quatermain (King Solomon's Mines), Indian mutineer Captain Nemo (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), shape-changing Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and Hawley Griffin (The Invisible Man) are assembled by the shadowy "M" (Bond series) to recover the Cavorite, a Wellsian device which will propel mankind to the stars. The team become trapped in the middle of a gang war between Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes' nemesis) and Fu Manchu "The Devil Doctor".
The comic makes references to so much outside fiction that it's hard to count them all without a fascination for literature. Unlike that dire and unforgivable 2003 film adaptation (*shudders*), this comic is certainly not for kids, as is typical with Alan Moore's themes. The comic satirizes British imperialism and demonizes many well-loved characters, while delivering intense action and spectacular fantasy. The idea of uniting literary characters in a pastiche is something that has been done before, but not to this level. The league of Extraordinary Gentlemen is an ambitious project which pays off spectacularly.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to read a superhero comic with something new to offer.