The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Read the two volumes of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (or LXG, as the movie likes to put it) and they are fine entertainment, but I have a few comments:

1) Moore's a talky fellow (is that long, long appendix at the end of volume 2 required reading?!)

2) He's fond of a certain sexual act that, well, let's say it's off-putting, the way he flings it about in his stories (Miracleman, League vol. 2), when he wants to be rilly, rilly shocking. It's second-rate perversion, is what it is, and it gets tired.

3) I can see where the movie version is a condensation (and, to put it bluntly, an act of same-as-above) of the two volumes.

4) his Rasputin-like publicity photo is like a hilariously naive notion of what a deep and mysterious artist should look like. If he really wanted to creep me out, he should make himself up to look like, I don't know, Tony Blair.

5) Rereading LXG vol. 1, and the near-rape of Mina Murray, it occured to me--what the hell was she thinking of, going into an opium den unaccompanied like that?

6) The art in vol. 2 seems better than in vol. 1.

7) Of the different writers whose characters appear in LXG--Stoker's, Stevenson's, Haggard's, Poe's, Doyle's, Verne's--Moore's favorite, or the ones he seems to make the most use of, are H.G. Wells'.

Think about it: Wells' devices play a crucial role in both adventures--Cavorite in vol. 1, the Martians in vol. 2 (and it takes yet another character from yet another Wells novel to ultimately defeat the Martians). As if, well, all the other writers are good for filling up the foreground and margins, but to threaten to end the world (or save it), you need something on the scale of Wells.

That said, if Moore really wanted to use some mind-bending, world-ending or altering concepts, he should have used Olaf Stapledon.

8) Despite the reservations and after all is said and done, it's smart and witty fun.

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