Rodney's Reviews > The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
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Aug 09, 2011

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I'm a huge fan of Alan Moore, and I think that V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and Promethea are some of the greatest works of literature of the modern age. As someone who enjoyed the earlier books in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen very much, and who loves this style of literary acknowledgemens to populist culture, I looked forward to the latest installment of the League's adventures with great anticipation. Sadly, I feel somewhat let down.

Yes, all the pop culture references are there: Crowleyen magick is a primary theme (the bad guys include "Oliver Haddo", and a parody of Kenneth Grant), Atlantis Bookshop in London plays a role, and Michael Moorcock plays a gig beside the League's new HQ. The London buses are crewed by the "On the Buses" team, and if you look carefully you'll see The Second Doctor, Steptoe & Son etc. slinking about in the corners of panels. The highlight of this is a page where they meet the "Cure for Cancer" period Jerry Cornelius, in full negative mode complete with panda-skin coat. The teenage "New Worlds" fan in me danced a little dance of joy at that.

But apart from that, the story is... weak. Almost non-existent in fact. The League as it is now is down to three characters who are little more than coat racks for the 60s references, and have no depth at all. Or fun. There's a bit of sex & drugs & rock & role, since it is the 60s after all, but that's pretty much it. By halfway through I found myself not really caring what they were doing. And Jack Carter wanders through things, which is nice, but again, not fleshed out at all.

Yeah, it was ok, but it was lazy. And lazy is not what I expect from Alan Moore.

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