“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v. 2″ by Alan Moore

I’m rereading the graphic novel collections of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, and just finished the very enjoyable Volume 2. I read it when it came out serially in comic book form, and remember enjoying it less. There were long waits between issues, and they were quite heavy with backmatter that I didn’t enjoy. In the graphic novel collection, I am able to read the entire comic story at once, and the backmatter is collected in the back. That’s where it should stay, IMO. Forty-six pages of single spaced text as Alan Moore does a mock travelogue of every fictional or mythical locale IN THE WORLD. I knew the references to some. I might have enjoyed it more had I known more of them, but I doubt it. Instead, my friend Blogenheimer suggested I visit Jess Nevins’ site, where he breaks down all the references.

Back to the Volume 2 story, though. The team of irregulars–Mina Murray, the Invisible Man, Edward Hyde, Captain Nemo and Allan Quatermain–are under new leadership, after the events in volume 1 and are dispatched to the site of what appears to be a meteor crater. The monsters from Mars soon reveal themselves, and begin traipsing about in distinctive-looking vehicles. It’s up to the team of misfits to save the day, and they’re aided by a reclusive and mysterious doctor.

In addition to the Sherlock Holmes and Quatermain stories, Dracula, The Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, volume 2 references other Victorian literature, including Gulliver’s Travels, Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars, War of the Worlds, and The Island of Dr. Moreau.

This is an adventure–sometimes tragic, sometime comic, but always engaging. I found it great fun, once I stopped reading the backmatter.

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