The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1) by Alan Moore

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“If I work with the British, it is because I no longer feel even Indian. The sea, now is my only nation.”

— Alan Moore, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1)

          It’s been a while we haven’t heard from our good friend Alan Moore, huh? This time around, author of The Killing Joke, Watchmen, V for Vendetta and many more has a relatively short comic series for us. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, that is. With the help of artist Kevin O’Neill, Alan Moore reunites some famous literature characters to put them on a journey to save the world. Set in 1898, right in the middle of the Victorian Era, Mina Murray is given the task to recruit members for a menagerie for Campion Bond. This new group of British Intelligence, MI5, will then find themselves using their unique talents to protect the Empire from a supervillain that we all dread.

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“The only empire I’m interested in is my own: The Empire of Invisible Man The First ”

— Alan Moore, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1)

         I really wanted to be amazed by this little series; I say little cause it only has two volumes. Having known Alan Moore’s previous masterpieces, I was ready to type out a praise-filled review for this. However, you know how it goes. Honest is the best policy. Thing is, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has a brilliant idea serving as a foundation to the story. It’s how it executes it that was a little rocky. Throughout the plot, there are several clever moments where the classic stories behind each character is used to make some brilliant dialogue. However, more often than not, the story lacked intrigue. It never seemed to make me care for the events and had me wondering why this or that angle was chosen over a more substantial approach. In fact, the plot as a whole was less memorable than one could imagine. Even the action, the gore, the sexuality and the foreign language weren’t enough to compensate for lack of execution.

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“Bond believes we are his pawns. He thinks no-one observes his game. But I am no-one. I observe everything… And to play with Nemo is to play games with destruction.”

— Alan Moore, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1)

          The characters were all truly interesting with diverse personas that is sure to have readers surprised. In no world could one imagine such famous characters to have personalities like these. Henry Jekyll for example had me thinking of The Hulk and was a hell of a surprise once introduced. The Invisible Man and his first appearance was also one to be a shocker; who would’ve thought he would have such a fiery passion, if you know what I mean. In all honesty, the idea of gathering these characters together and gathering them on the Nautilus for some action-packed adventure was truly ingenious. However, the level of sexuality introduced into this plot was dumbfounding. I found it a little too overwhelming and unexpected for characters that have so much to offer. Toning it down would have definitely served a great purpose for the comic.

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“Why are men so obsessed with mechanisms that further nothing but destruction?”

— Alan Moore, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1)

          The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is worth being read for what it brings to the table. The artwork might be a little cringe-worthy, but it’s not the worst or the best work out there. Everything felt like they were starring at you with a lot of distrust. Come to think of it, I don’t think a single character showed a smile throughout the story. The art was pretty sketchy in the end. I don’t believe it served too much of a purpose in the storytelling either. Nevertheless, it’s in its uniqueness that the comic series shines. If anything, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a fresh taste to creativity. It brings new perspectives to original and amazing characters you’ve come to love in some of the most classic pieces of literature.

          Alan Moore’s comics have known their movie counterpart and we can all assume that some of them weren’t doing justice to the comic. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has a movie adaptation which doesn’t exactly follow the same story as Volume 1, but remains an adaptation to the idea. If you ask me, I don’t really plan on checking out the movie any time soon, but I’m still curious about what those who have think of the movie.

          As always, don’t forget to share your thoughts on this trade paperback and this review, as well as like and follow us as we continue to get you guys reviews to enjoy. So what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in this story arc, you can purchase a copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1) by clicking on this hyperlink !

My overall rating: ★★★☆☆/

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7 thoughts on “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Volume 1) by Alan Moore

    • transhaan says:

      My girlfriend also enjoyed the movie back in her childhood! It does look hectic and fun, but it also seems to contemplate a different plot compared to the first volume of the comic. Maybe some day I’ll find spare time for the movie, who knows. 😀

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

    • transhaan says:

      Totally right! I’ve come to the realization that book/movie adaptations are still a mystery to a lot of directors and writers. It’s sure is hard to judge a book by its movie! You should indulge the series (it is short after all) when you feel like discovering something less…epic as Alan Moore’s bigger works. 😉

      – Lashaan

      Liked by 1 person

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