Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Quick Review of Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

If you were to ask me my personal opinion of what Alan Moore's enduring legacy as a writer will prove to be, I'd be straightforward. In my opinion it's his run with League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

The evidence speaks for itself.  The initial serial exploits of this League were compiled into two volumes, and after a long wait the Black Dossier arrived (with 3D glasses!).  Now, via Top Shelf, the latest (though hopefully not final) three part series runs through the amalgamated literati universe inhabited by the very fictions we have as a culture cultivated, to be adapted, patch-worked like a fine quilt, in the manner with which we have become accustomed to the Northampton magician.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore

The initial premise sounds like a promising pitch, collecting classic characters such as Captain Nemo, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and his Mr. Hyde, colonial hero Alan Quartermain, and set them under the direction of Wilhelma Murray (once the focus of Dracula's affections, if you recall), all in the service to late 19th century England, God save the queen, etc.  Coupled with the supremely talented Kevin O' Neil (of Judge Dredd fame), Moore sets these gaslamp understudies in adventures that at the outset play with conventions of literary heavyweights, icons that got to play opposite of Abbot and Costello.  Moore is a writer who likes playing with the toys of others, so to speak, in a world where many, and perhaps all fictions Moore is aware of, in some capacity, collide, coagulate in an ancient and more resonant sense of storytelling.  Cut him or any other writer free of restrictions, and if they're smart, talented, driven, or all of the above, they'll stay consistent and prolific.

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