Proving that mainstream comics could be infused with past literary/cultural ideals and still be bestsellers, the America's Best Comics imprint took the dilapidated superhero genre and created three vastly entertaining hybrids with Tom Strong, Promethea and Top Ten. Now, a stunning coup de grace is delivered with this masterful pairing of Victorian adventure fiction's greatest characters and the old war-horse of the super-group. With the stunning The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
, it would be no exaggeration to say that Alan Moore has produced a near-perfect piece of adventure fiction that is clever, literate, rich with excitement and hard to put down.
It's 1898 and at the behest of M, the mysterious head of the secret Service, Campion Bond is dispatched to procure the services of Miss Mina Murray (nee Harker), adventurer Allan Quartermain, "Science-Pirate" Captain Nemo, Henry Jekyll (and his monstrous alter ego) and Hawley Griffin (a.k.a. the Invisible Man). Together, they must combat an insidious threat that will decide supremacy of the London skies, but their success may unleash a far greater threat. With no shortage of action, Moore and O' Neill sustain a high level of suspense, intrigue, mystery and terrific wit that all contribute to an indispensable read. O'Neill's art, so memorable in Marshal Law, produces a London filled with vivid, magnificent architecture and a malevolent atmosphere ripe with thrills and danger. An unmitigated triumph--pure and simple. --Danny Graydon
From Publishers Weekly
Acclaimed comics author Moore (Watchmen) has combined his love of 19th-century adventure literature with an imaginative mastery of its 20th-century corollary, the superhero comic book. This delightful work features a grand collection of signature 19th-century fictional adventurers, covertly brought together to defend the empire. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comprises such characters as Minna Murray (formerly Harker), from Bram Stoker's Dracula; Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll (and his monstrous alter ego, Mr. Hyde); and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo, restored to the dark, grim-visaged Sikh Verne originally intended. There's also Hawley Griffin, the imperceptible hero of H.G. Well's The Invisible Man, and Allan Quatermain, the daring adventurer of King Solomon's Mines and other classic yarns by H. Rider Haggard. It's 1898, and these troubled adventurers are spread around the globe, in the midst of one pickle or another. Quatermain is found near death, delirious in a Cairo opium den; the perverse Griffin is captured terrorizing an all-girls school (leaving behind a series of mysterious pregnancies); and the gruesome Mr. Hyde is rescued from the mob set to kill him at the end of Stevenson's classic novel. This collection of flawed and gloomy heroes is recruited to fight a criminal mastermind (a notorious 19th-century literary villain) intent on firebombing the East End of London. The book also includes "Allan and the Sundered Veil," a rip-snorting, prose time-travel story starring Quatermain and written in the manner of the 19th-century "penny dreadful." Moore and O'Neill have created a Victorian era Fantastic Four, a beautifully illustrated reprise of 19th-century literary derring-do packed with period detail, great humor and rousing adventure.
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