Book Reviews: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Vol. 1
by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

Set in 1898 this graphic novel is a delight for literary buffs. The cast includes classic characters like Poe's Detective Dupin, Stoker's Mina Harker, Verne's Captain Nemo, Stevenson's Dr/Jekyll/Mr. Hyde re-imagined as a team of misfits trying to save the British Empire. I've read many of the original books, but I want to pick up the ones I've haven't read that originated such great characters.

I loved that the "heroes" are such deeply flawed individuals: an opium addict, a selfish a man who is out for his own gain, another trapped by his darker subconscious, etc. There aren’t any “good guys,” just people trying to do something good.

The plot wasn’t flawless and the illustrations were sometimes geared too much towards teenage boys (think ridiculous busty women with tiny waists), but the premise hooked me. I love revisiting some of these characters in a completely new setting. I will definitely pick up the next volume.

p.s. Anyone else think it's odd that one of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's primary members is a woman? Possible not the best name for your organization.


Falaise said...

I suppose "League of Extraordinary Persons" didn't have quite the same ring about it!

B said...

I love the picture you included here. It looks like a really fun series! And yes, when I looked at it I thought the same thing you did about the woman. The name isn't exactly fitting, but it does make me want to read it!

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

One of my favorite graphic novels. Did you read it with the companion close by? Without it I wouldn't be able to get all the obscure references to Victorian literature. It's available for free somewhere online (just can't find it now :S)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Falaise - True, but I'd still be miffed it I was Mina.

Alexandra - What? A companion huh, that would be helpful. I'll have to look for it before Ir ead the next one.

Bybee said...

My book group was discussing this GN and saying how much better it is from the movie!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bybee - I cannot stress how much better the GN was. I was not a fan of the movie. There were parts I liked, but most of it was not good.

Will Errickson said...

The movie was *terrible* and is part of the reason Connery retired from acting! Love the comics, however--LOVED them.