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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 Paperback – October 1, 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: America's Best Comics; 1st edition (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563898586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563898587
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I knew they would never be a sequel to Alan Moore's classic comic series "The Watchmen" (and I wish Frank Miller had let well enough alone with "The Dark Knight Returns"), but certainly "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is a kindred spirit in key regards. If the Watchmen were supposed to be superheroes that we recognized, even though we had never seen them before, then the League offers up recognizable fictional characters that we have never seen together before. Going back a century for inspiration, Moore creates a Pax Britannia circa 1898 where the "superheroes" are fictional characters who had been created by that particular point in time, to wit: Mina Murray (Harker) from Bram Stoker's "Dracula," Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea," Alan Quartermain from H. Rider Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines," and the titular characters of Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and H. G. Wells' "The Invisible Man." There is also reason to believe that "M," the shadowy figure who orders the League about, might in fact be Mycroft Holmes (and if you do not know what literary series he is from then just totally forget about enjoying this series).
If that, in and of itself, is not enough of a hook to get your interested in checking out this collection of the first comic book adventure of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen let me remind you that Alan Moore is doing the writing. The artwork by Kevin O'Neill is certainly evocative of the turn of the last century, or, more to the point, does not look like a contemporary superhero comic book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a 19th-century scholar, rather than a graphic novel fan, I was prepared to be picky about how TLOEG portrayed characters from "my" era. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise. This is clearly the work of someone who not only loves but understands 19th-century fiction, both its enduring appeal and its sometimes exasperating conventions.
The shining example of this series' achievement is the character of Mina Murray, the brilliant heroine of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Here she becomes even stronger and more assured, the clear-eyed, coolly efficient leader of this motley crew of "gentlemen." Yet, appropriately and hilariously, the men in the group (who tend to confound Victorian stereotype by being more emotional than Mina) respond to her assertive intelligence by labelling her a harpy, a shrew, a revoltingly "mannish" creature. As far as I'm concerned, Mina is the real hero--and what a hero! Finally, a woman in a graphic novel I can really admire and empathize with.
TLOEG offers many such delicious treats for fans of Victorian fiction or intelligent, witty adventure tales. Dig in and enjoy.
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Format: Hardcover
I said in my review of Top 10 volume 1 that that was Alan Moore's first super-hero team since WildCATS. I was forgetting this, the very wonderful League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
The idea is simple: during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, tales of heroic fiction were popular. In this series, characters from those tales are brought together for a shared adventure. In this volume, you can see Miss Mina Murray (from Bram Stoker's 'Dracula') leading a group consisting of Captain Nemo ("20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Mysterious Island", Jules Verne), Allan Quartermain ("King Solomon's Mines" and lots of others, H. Rider Haggard), Dr. Hawley Griffin ("The Invisible Man", H.G. Wells) and Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde ("The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Robert Louis Stevenson).
These characters are such classics that even the most casual of readers will have heard of some of them, and if you are interested in the fiction of that period, it may well be a wonderful treat. Asd well as these characters, the book is liberally peppered with characters from various Victorian sources, up to and including pornography! Mr. Moore has certainly researched this one closely before applying his wonderful imagination.
Having said that, the art by Kevin O'Neill is certainly not completely in character with the art illustrating stories of the period, but Mr. O'Neill has toned down the style he often uses to better suit the content.
But wait, there's more: the volume concludes with a text story of Allan Quartermain, which features him in conjunction with Randolph Carter, John Carter and the Time Traveller (created by H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G.
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Format: Paperback
Think the Avengers or the JLA of the late 19th century. Mother England needs protection, so MI5 enlists those with proven courage under fire. They are: Mina Murray(Harker) of "Dracula", Alan Quartermain (an Indiana Jones type character from pulp novels), the reluctant Captain Nemo from "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Jekyll and Hyde, and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man.
Of course, this isn't a typical adventure. It's a mystery, teeming with cameos and reference. When compared with writer Moore's other works, it is surprisingly humourous and lighter in subject matter. Moore does darken some of the charcters though, reminding us that Captain Nemo is an Indian prince embittered with England, Quartermain is an opium addict, and the Invisible Man ... well, just read it and see.
The art is, as always with Moore's works, reflective of the time period. The comic panels usually look like Victorian era etchings, which makes for a nice effect.
Overall, it is a great read, leaving you satisfied for having done so. More to the point, it will leave you desperately awaiting the live action movie this summer, starring Sean Connery as Allan, a role he was born to play.
Come on, it's Alan Moore. Just buy the sodding thing already.
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