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Literary characters - some obscure, some well known - abound in these graphic novels. The main players (Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, andThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 and 2

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AAA has nothing on these guys

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 and 2

Literary characters – some obscure, some well known – abound in these graphic novels. The main players (Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, and – to a much lesser extent – Mina Harker/Murray) are well established, and the gimmick of putting them together is the initial draw. It took me a little effort to get into the style of faux-1800s dialogue, especially in the narrative boxes, but I quite enjoyed the first volume’s story. It didn’t take itself too seriously, and yet there was a lot of mystery and discovery. Nothing ever really seems to be completely answered, but it gets close enough that you’re satisfied, and the opening for further mystery is part of it’s charm.

Volume two was much more straight-forward – not a lot in the way of mystery or intrigue. That would have gotten in the way, apparently, of the violence and the sex. And given that this story was, in many ways, centered on the simple, straight-forward, violent character of Hyde, I suppose that makes sense.

There was a lot of Hyde in this book. Hyde’s a bad dude. A bad, baaaad, dude. Don’t mess with Hyde. Seriously. Even if you’ve got a nasty heat ray. And hiding from Hyde’s not really an option either. Best to not get on his bad side. That’s pretty much the message I got from this book. Loud and clear.

Aside from the voyeurism of the book, though, I gotta say the story wasn’t as compelling as the first volume. Even some of the surprises at the end were not that impactful. I also think Mina, and to some extent Quartermain, were underused, despite having a large number of pages dedicated to them. Neither were really used for the talents that made them interesting as characters.

Did I mention Hyde’s a bad dude? I was forewarned that something was going to happen with him, and still had a “whoa” moment when I realized what was going on…

This one definitely ain’t for the kiddies.

[tags]jekyll and hyde, vampires, comics, literature[/tags]

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8 comments to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 and 2

  • Lee

    I thought the same thing as I read volume two – he is a bad bad bad man.

    I am still quite hopeful for the third instalment! But it’s been ages since I’ve actually read anything about it.

    Reply to this comment

  • They do leave a bit of a hole at the end for another volume, but it seemed to me that the story was sufficiently finished at the end of vol 2. If they could come up with a story at least as good as vol 1 I’d be happy to read it.

    Reply to this comment

  • Lee

    There’s stuff about volume three on wikipedia, it’s supposed to be to the best of my recollection a new bunch of characters either before these guys or after (I think there may have been a one shot or something planned as a prequel). How lazy am I not to go and look LOL.

    Reply to this comment

  • I just took a quick look. Seems like it will take place after Vol 2, and cover 100 years, ending in 2008. Three distinct, but linked stories will make up the volume. The only constant character seems to be Mina.

    Intriguing idea, but I think they ought to stop now at two.

    Reply to this comment

  • Lee

    I gotta say I feel that the first two volumes are iconic enough to stand alone in comic book history and easily rank in my top ten somewhere – I worry that continuing will dilute that quality – lets not talk about the film shall we?

    Reply to this comment

  • Yes, let’s not talk about that time I spent in a darkened room watching little bits of light displaying something less than interesting for what seemed like an eternity. And the money I spent to have that privilege.

    I agree about the dilution as well.

    Reply to this comment

  • Rob

    Definitely not for the kids. I found Moore reworking heroes of classic literature into darker, more sinister identities a little bit troubling, particularly Hyde, as you mention. In book #2 he goes just a little too dark for comfort.

    Robs latest blog post..December Sun #2 – Page 3A

    Reply to this comment

    Jeff says:

    Yeah, LXG definitely was on the outside edge of my comfort zone. Especially, as you said, book 2.

    Reply to this comment

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