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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier

(The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #2.5)

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  5,990 ratings  ·  430 reviews

England in the mid 1950s is not the same as it was. The powers that be have instituted...some changes. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have been disbanded and disavowed, and the country is under the control of an iron-fisted regime. Now, after many years, the still youthful Mina Murray and a rejuvenated Allan Quatermain return and are in search of some answers.

Hardcover, 1st edition The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, 208 pages
Published November 13th 2007 by America's Best Comics (first published 2007)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  5,990 ratings  ·  430 reviews

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Aug 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
From glancing over the other reviews for this book, I'm sure that someone is going to say that I am dense and dull for not enjoying it. That's okay, I suspect that it's true.

I adored the first two volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. They were my first introduction to Alan Moore during the very early days of my comic fandom, and I was delighted with how they were darkly funny and smart and full of literary references.

The Black Dossier, however, tries too hard too be all of those
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
There's two major strikes against The Black Dossier, and neither of them has anything to do with the contents of the book. The first, of course, is that we've been waiting years for this - five years, for many, just to see any new LoEG work; two years since the Dossier itself was announced. Expectations therefore peaked at a high, and that never bodes well for something as unusual and experimental as this.

The second is that this really should have been the final volume of LoEG. But more on that
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"The Black Dossier" is not nearly as fun as the earlier editions of "The League." As it begins to dawn on you that a considerable stretch of the book is dominated by text-only pages, you may begin to worry that Moore has become yet another Dave Sim - who, as the years passed on his 6000 page "Cerebus" saga, began to sprinkle in ever-more turgid parodies of great authors, longwinded self-serving rants against feminism and Marxism, and over a hundred pages of theory on the Torah, written in small ...more
Well. Alan Moore's a very clever fellow, you certainly can't deny that. Not that this book will let you. Virtually every page can be pored over for references to some literary or pseudo-literary or pulp work: newspaper headlines, street names, background details, nameless characters--they all (presumably, since I can't figure out all of them) reference or come from somewhere. It is of course a massive and complex task to weave every fiction and fictional world you can think of into a single ...more
What the hell did I just read?
Nov 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: hardcore fans of Alan Moore or classic literature
I have never been made to feel stupid by a book, except maybe a few math textbooks, but this book came very, very close. I got the very real impression that I should read it again in a few years when I've accrued more knowledge and experience, and maybe even read more books. It's still a spectacular book, but it can get a little self-indulgent at times (you can tell Moore wasn't writing this for anyone but himself) but it almost always errs on the side of entertainment. From a "lost" Shakespeare ...more
This is not a review. I cannot review this thing anymore than i could review the Sun, which is what this is to me. The object around which my entire literary life has revolved for many years. This is the reason i've read over 400 novels.

It is not a comic or a novel, it is an annual, a scrapbook, an appendix, a sourcebook, a Bible. The other League comics are mere stories. This is the world those stories exist in.
Prolix and profound, vulgar and erudite, filthy and funny, pretentious and dazzling,
Dec 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Way too dense for a "fun" read but still great. And the 3-D pages are really well done. Go through those again and close one eye and then the other -- there are hidden images you can only see with one eye open. Best use of 3-D comics EVER.
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
See Brooke's review, which pretty much says what I have to say about this book.

I thought that integrating all these disparate threads of English fiction was a good - if overly ambitious - idea, but leave it to Alan Moore to attempt just that. Some of it works. The prose sections were tedious and self-indulgent, and they totally killed any momentum the book was trying to build up to that point. I eventually skipped those; I feared that I wouldn't be able to finish the book otherwise! The last 17
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
I loved the first two volumes of League, but this is pretty crappy. I have a theory that Moore wrote this just to mess with overeager fanboys who insist on pretending they love everything he does; it honestly feels like he's putting a lot of effort into making it totally unreadable. In which case, consider it a smashing success.
David Schaafsma
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'd read this before, and now have read it again, and liked it better. Someone said the League series is like a superheroes tale for English majors ( or fantastical tale or comics/myth Super Group yarn), and that seems right, it's all inter-textual and in order to fully appreciate it, you have to have read quite a bit, of both comics and thrillers and mysteries and Shakespeare and this is especially true for The Black Dossier, which brings Mina and Alan Quartermain up to the eighties and ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I really wanted to like this book. After reading Vols. 1 and 2, I was eager to pick this up. However, I was dismayed after reading it. There's a few good parts - I especially liked the narrative of Orlando and his long life, but so much of this book was useless and oversexed. There has always been a bit of sex in LXG, but this book was just over the top, and actually made me less interested. Most of the things in here are just told, and some of the events don't really make sense, especially ...more
Ανδρέας Μιχαηλίδης
There is quite a bit to write of here, so bear with me. First and foremost, let me tell you that the... assembled documents (so to speak) of the Black Dossier hold very little interest for anyone not exposed to at least the first two installments of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, also known as the Murray Group, after Mina Murray.

What Alan Moore has done here, is use a number of different printed visual mediums, to outline the history of secretive extraordinary groups in Britain (and
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Well I have finished it although I think now I need a lie down.

Seriously though along with the trade mark thinly veiled references to British pop culture, literary figures and historical events, with a slight twist (to avoid international copyright or the fact that it makes you stop and think when you half recognise something), the book is a mind twisting series of stories within stories, from those dealing with current events to those that make up the legendary history of he league.

The book is
Brenda Clough
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is not the place to begin on LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Decidedly unsuitable for younger readers! It is a spendy hardback volume, and fans of James Bond will be ticked off. And you had better have good vision, plenty of patience, and the flexibility to hop between the various comic and text formats, all the while hanging on to what is happening to the plot and characters.
Having said all that, if you are an LOEG fan this is essential. Moore really lets it all go, the adventuring
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
If you skipped or skimmed the appendices of the first two League volumes, you can probably skim or skip this volume. If, however, you enjoyed all the world-building, prose pastiche and obscure jokes and references in those appendices, this volume will be right up your alley. There's a thin framing story in which Mina Murray and Quartermain escape from "Jimmy" Bond (Moore's unbridled contempt for the character of Bond and everything he represents is maybe the best thing about this volume) and ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Every time I pick up one of Moore's League books, I'm blown away. He somehow manages to make me simultaneously feel smart for all of the references I catch and stupid for all the ones I know I've missed. This mad notion of knitting together all of the fabled literary worlds and characters into one (mostly) coherent history shouldn't work, but it does.

This newest bit of League history has a whisper-thin plot, but that's really just an excuse to further flesh out this amazing world and to have
Nov 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of 19th-century fantasy/sci-fi/adventures books... and walking reference libraries
By now, I've come to realize I'll never be able to read as much as Alan Moore has read in his life... though I dare to say that he is a massive inspiration to anyone who loves the worlds of imagination that literature has created throughout the ages. This thirds installment in the world of the League (which the dreadful movie got all wrong and didn't get any close to matching) is both a summary of the heroes' past adventures, and a very well researched and thoughtful "what if all those ...more
Nov 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
When the release of this book was delayed, I got a little nervous. Alan Moore has done some amazing things, but he seems to be rather easily waylaid by his own obsessions. As good as the first two volumes of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were, I could easily imagine him losing his way when it came time to write this book, especially considering its ambitious scope.

I'm more than pleased with the outcome, however. Admittedly, the frame story involving Mina and Allan recovering the Dossier and
Nov 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, alan-moore
okay, I'm only about 20 pages in, but just flipping through this thing, drooling over the beautiful art, seeing that Alan Moore is aping the styles of Kerouac and Shakespeare, I already want to give it five stars! Jeez, 3-D glasses and a Tijuana Bible! I have the same feeling right now as I did when I bought KISS ALIVE II as a kid and found the temporary tattoos inside.

Later---> Yep, another five stars for Alan Moore. I must admit, I missed even more of the references then I usually do in a
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Morgan by: Samuel
I thought this was stronger then the other ones personally. Loved the Tempest and Virginia Woolf reference. Orlando is one of my favorite character and glad to see him/her in the League books. Having the name Vita as a woman was just perfect. I thought this one was the strongest because Moore reference books you would have read in English classes both in high school (such as 1984 and the Great Gatsby) and one you would read in college such as (Gulliver's Travels and the Tempest). I would say ...more
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Ambitious, beautifully produced and thoughtfully written and assembled. But as with a lot of Moore's recent books, it seems to require buying in wholesale to his vision of the medium. Not a terrible thing in itself, but I liked watching Moore stretch the boundaries of the larger mainstream world of comic books. Now, without a lot to limit him, and without the decades of other writers and artists before him that he's able to build on/explode the characters he tackles, it all seems too insular, ...more
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
“Not thou alone, but all humanity doth in its progress fable emulate. Whence came thy rocket-ships and submarine if not from Nautilus, from Cavorite? Your trustiest companions since the cave, we apparitions guided mankind's tread, our planet, unseen counterpart to thine, as permanent, as ven'rable, as true. On dream's foundation matter's mudyards rest. Two sketching hands, each one the other draws: the fantasies thou've fashioned fashion thee.”
May 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who have read the previous League volumes
Shelves: comics
Moore and O'Neil astound with The Black Dossier, an incredibly ambitious mix of comics and prose unlike anything I've ever seen before. The duo manages to present a multi-millennia history of the League while remaining coherent and entertaining. This is not an easy work to get through, and not a good place to start if you haven’t read volumes 1 and 2. But, it’s an example of the kind of genius Moore has built his reputation on, and more than worth the effort of reading.
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
The art is as wonderful as ever, and the whole kaboodle an eclectic mix of comic strip, plain text and other add-ins is the thinnest story to add to an incredible series.

It feels, as it is presented, like a collection of scraps, background mullings and left-overs without any real arc to follow or develop.

Nice to look at but lacks the 'wow' of, certainly, volume 2
Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Hard to follow if you haven't grounded yourself in the first two volumes, but rewarding for the spot on stylistic impersonations from Shakespeare to Wodehouse and several others in between. Most impressive was the 'beat' style which so so realistic I skipped it entirely after two sentences, just like real beat writing.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, comic-books
Brilliant and exhausting. A thin plot is saved by the ga-zillion appearances and sheer amazement that Moore is able to tie together the entire history of literature into one world. Too many neat bits to list and some great characters.
Only gripe was I was pretty well fed up with the constant sex references by page ten.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea how to review this book. I enjoyed it and I didn't have the problems that many reviewers had with it. I like the League moving into the modern era, and I like finding out about the interim Leagues. What does it all mean, in the end? I can't say. Maybe once I have the time to analyze the story I'll have a better notion.
Mark Ashmore
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A darker edition to the league, this beautifully packaged hardback has a chapter printed in 3D and is so good its actually banned in this country. Either that or there are some copyright issues stopping it from being printed in the UK, brill though.
Dave Morris
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
The apotheosis of British cult icons like Bob Cherry, Emma Peel and Fireball XL5. It's a cool and scary place inside the mind of Alan Moore.
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Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer,

Other books in the series

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (7 books)
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 4: The Tempest
  • Nemo: Heart of Ice
  • Nemo: The Roses of Berlin
  • Nemo: River of Ghosts
“Not thou alone, but all humanity doth in its progress fable emulate. Whence came thy rocket-ships and submarine if not from Nautilus, from Cavorite? Your trustiest companions since the cave, we apparitions guided mankind's tread, our planet, unseen counterpart to thine, as permanent, as ven'rable, as true. On dream's foundation matter's mudyards rest. Two sketching hands, each one the other draws: the fantasies thou've fashioned fashion thee.” 7 likes
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