Laura's Reviews > The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 by Alan Moore
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's review
Aug 17, 2014

liked it
bookshelves: alternate-history, cthulhu, don-t-read-on-bus, graphic-novel, fanfiction, monsters, vampires
Recommended to Laura by: Matt Segal
Read in August, 2011

Since the reign of Elizabeth I, England has expected extraordinary people to serve in extraordinary ways. Also, has generally kept them on retainer. For reasons that aren’t explained, there has been a break in this tradition, which is convenient for us because we get to see the league reformed under the auspices of “M” – who has a decided connection to the late great detective Sherlock Holmes, and Mina Murray, who survived Dracula and has become . . . something. She drags Allan Quartermain bodily from an opium den. Nemo is retained for transportation and firepower. Doctor Jeckle, Mr. Hyde and The Invisible Man rounds out the crew. Her Majesty’s government requests and requires them to retrieve space faring technologies and materials from Someone Who Does Not Have England’s Best Interests In Mind. Wackiness ensues.

I’ve read this twice with pleasure, but, I fear, not with a great deal of understanding. The prose sections are a little overwhelming, but necessary for a lot of the richness of the story. Plus, if you don’t know that Allan Quartermain came back from King Solomon’s Mines and spent some quality time in the time-slip with John Carter of Mars trying to warn him of the coming Yuggoth Apocalypse, WHICH HE HAS LARGELY FORGOTTEN, a lot of the urgency of the text fades.

Without spoiling the next volume too much, there’s an interesting meditation here on invisibility and morality. Without anyone watching (snicker), the Invisible Man’s morality is no thing of wonder.

I like this, but I have the feeling I missed a whole lot. There are annotations on the interwebs (, which helped, but flipping back and forth between them and the text is tiring. Still, probably good for me.

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