John's Reviews > The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2 by Alan Moore
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's review
Feb 05, 08

bookshelves: comics-and-graphic-novels, science-fiction
Read in January, 2008

I've been wanting to read the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen stories for some time now, both because I'd heard they contained a number of tropes I like (intertextuality, steampunk, obscure pop culture references) and because I'd enjoyed a couple of other Alan Moore graphic novels, most especially Watchmen . I finally got to them this past month after receiving volumes 1 and 2 as Christmas presents (thanks, gang!), and they did not disappoint. While the stories themselves are rather simple, the premise of turning protagonists of Victorian popular literature into a league of superheroes is quite inventive. But the real pleasure here is watching Moore create a single world in which seemingly all of the 19th- and early 20th-centuries' fantasy and science fiction narratives co-exist -- and in seeing how Kevin O'Neill renders that world, cramming nearly every panel with mutiple allusions (not that these are all obvious to a reader not steeped in the source material; I found myself turning to Google more than once to make sense of all I was seeing). A good read if you like this kind of thing, and an astonishing tour de force regardless. Lastly, I should note that each volume also contains a Victoriana prose pastiche by Moore, and I have found these frankly impenetrable.
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