Reviews of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999) and related work
- Adaptation: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999)
This review covers volumes I–III and the Black Dossier.
One world of all fiction.
A superior inversion of Philip José Farmer’s To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971). Instead of bringing together everyone who ever lived, Moore, inspired by Farmer’s own Wold Newton family setting, brings together everyone who was made up. Both writers focus on celebrities from the same era; a natural choice for Moore.
The escalation of League across its volumes is exhilarating, from a quirky superhero team with excellent character writing to the bibliophile abstraction of the Blazing World, but the first two volumes are the best. Hyde in particular, designed like the same character in “Three’s a Crowd” (1932) where he similarly functions as a villain against characters from other works, is a compelling Moore superhero rendition of the id.
References here: “Ghibli” tag description, “Suzuki Toshio” tag description, Delta Green Tradecraft Manual excerpts, “I’m Going to Meet My Brother” (1963), Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1989), American Gods (2001).
‣ The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
I can imagine three nearly satisfactory reasons for giving this waste of millions a passing grade: It’s loosely based on a solid original, it’s almost funny, and it could almost serve as a reference work, in case civilization forgets the meaning of bad. It stomps on Moore’s vision.