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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II

Alan Moore is the shit. The League or Extraordinary Gentlemen proves that. This is the second installment, and solidifies Alan Moore as a Comic Badass. The first issue in this series brings together a bunch of Victorian Literature characters together, and this second volume reunites them. We already know the characters so we can have fun with them. That’s that Moore does. He jumps right into the story, and it’s a better story than the first one.

The first issue of this series is important, because it introduces the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Now that we know each character and what the represent, the new conflict will either make or break the ensemble, and there is more drama and tension if it does so. There is much more at stake than in the previous story. The plot recreates the War of The Worlds, and so not only must man deal with foes from beyond, but they must deal with themselves internally.

Mr. Hyde and the Invisible Man go at it. Much of what occurs between the two is implied, but it is horrific. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but there is man rape in this story. Savage, dirty man rape. And it is justified. Literature doesn’t have to spare feelings; it just needs to reflect the real world. And man rape is a part of the real world.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen celebrates literature. The second volume rejoices in it. You have cameos from John Carpenter and creatures from The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Wind in the Willows. The character are much more active and independent from their creative author, Alan Moore gives them much more room to explore their boundaries.

Alan Moore has fun unifying classic literary characters. He pays homage to their origins, but also makes them his own. Mr. Hyde is the best example of this. Everyone who pretends to be cultured knows about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Moore makes Hyde more of a villain and more of a hero than Robert Louis Stevenson ever could have fathomed. He redeemed Mina Murray in a savage and brutal, yet honest way, the only way that he could have.

The League of Extraordinary Gentleman is a great comic. There are more than two volumes, but they are all the evidence you need to prove their longevity. They are essential. They are necessary. They  are worth reading, so get on it.

Critically Rated at 15/17

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume One

Alan Moore is a genius. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is proof of such. There are a few volumes out already, this rant is about the first Volume. A bunch of characters from Victorian literature work together to recover a stolen item in order to prevent an aerial attack on British soil. Mina Murray, Allan Quaterman, Hawley Griffen (the Invisible Man), Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and Captain Nemo are the Extraordinary Gentleman (and Woman). A bunch of other literary characters also make cameos, it’s rewarding to whoever paid attention in English class.

Kevin O’Neill’s artwork is scratchy and rough, a good fit for Moore’s storytelling. It feels old fashioned, and it captures the vibe of Victorian London.

It is quite a chore to take characters from different authors and different genres and be able to tell a story that would actively involve all of them. It’s a pretty dense story, and Moore is able to give each character time to develop and contribute to the action. A lazy author would be content merely writing famous characters into an original story, Moore makes them his own and gives them something to advance the plot.

There’s a lot of steampunk technology, but it’s nowhere near as obnoxious as Wild Wild West. I won’t even comment about the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie fiasco. That shit was just insulting.

This is a cool comic book. It is essential reading if you like Alan Moore. You can bring up this book in literary conversations and advance the dialog. It’s a very smart comic, you have to have read classic literature to know these characters. Moore assumes that you know them, or at least know about them, and brings them together in a clever way.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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