The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999)

Creators

Kevin O’Neill (artist), Alan Moore (writer).

Extent

This review covers volumes I–III and the Black Dossier.

Subject

One world of all fiction.

Commentary

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: American Gods (2001).

fiction sequential art series

Adaptation:

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) IMDb

Commentary

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.

fiction moving picture