The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore is a graphic novel collectors’ issue from the first run of this popular series. A movie by the same title was made in 2003, however don’t let that turn you away from reading this wonderful rendition.
Campion Bond, Director of England’s Intelligence service – MI5, has recruited a team of inventors, scientists, spies and adventurers who are known for being able to get their job done no matter what. This team consists of Mina Murray from Bram Stoker’s Dracula; Allan Quatermain, protagonist of H. Rider Haggard’s series from the late 19th century; Captain Nemo of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde of the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson’s famed horror novel; as well as HG Well’s invisible man, Hawley Griffin.
The team is ordered to recover an anti-gravity compound, Cavorite – invented by physicist Mr. Cavor (from H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon) — before the notorious Dr. Fu Manchu (introduced in a series by Sax Rohmer during the first half of the 20th century) can get his hands on it and attack London from the air.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 brings in a bunch of famous fictional characters, written by different authors, to a steampunk adventure that spans literature and imagination. The story serve as a wonderful introduction to the stories and authors of Victorian classics.
The graphic novel is illustrated with skill and talent, every panel has an aim and is worthy of close examination. Every panel is aimed at the reader who, with some knowledge of the classics, can appreciate the humor and genius behind the lines and words.
The characters that Mr. Moore “borrowed” are full of life and relevant despite their Victorian origins. While the main cast (The League) gets the majority of the panels, there are many more literary characters hidden within the novel. Hunting for them was a major part of the fun in reading this work. The story, together with the art, can be read as a very complex novel which is probably the reason it was not done justice being translated to the big screen.
This graphic novel is full of violence, blood, death and sexual situations and innuendos. That is not a bad thing, but let the informed buyer beware. Kevin O’Neill’s magnificent art compliments and enhances Mr. Moore’s storytelling. The imaginative panels of Mr. O’Neill breathe life into old favorites, you will never read those same classics again in the same way.Powered by Sidelines