Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Booknote: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 2

Title: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, vol. 2
Authors: Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
Publication Information: La Jolla, CA: America's Best Comics, 2003
ISBN: 1-4012-0118-0
Genre: Graphic Novel
Subgenre: Fantasy/Adventure/Science Fiction

This is the second volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and like the first volume, it has that strong Victorian feel to it. I know; this sounds obvious, but I mean that they catch the essence of the Victorian era with great attention to detail not only in the art but in the text as well as in the authorial comments. I read the first volume, and I enjoyed it very much. I have no note for it because I read it before I started blogging. This was a good follow up, and very engaging as well once I got into it. This series is known for taking characters from classic fiction and bringing them to life. In this instance, the League faces an invasion from Mars (think War of the Worlds, the classic novel, not the recent movie), and they enlist the help of a special doctor who practices what we would call today genetic engineering. Readers who enjoy science fiction and adventure fiction will definitely enjoy this novel. The art is very good, and the quality has been preserved in the series. Like its predecessor, the novel includes some supplemental material, in this case an almanac. The almanac is a travel guide to the world compiled from various sources including the journals of Mina Murray. The pleasure in reading this, and the series, is that excellent Victorian tone and feel that the authors have put into the work. The writing captures the late 19th century. The only warning is that this volume does contain a couple of brief sex scenes, so readers who are sensitive to that may want to avoid this book. However, for fans of the series, fans of classic adventure literature, and graphic novel readers, this book is highly recommended.

As an additional note, some readers may be interested in seeking out works that feature the characters of the League as well as others in the novels. This means seeking out the works of Jules Verne for Captain Nemo, H. Rider Haggard for Allan Quartermain, and Robert Louis Stevenson for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for instance. For readers wanting to go a little further in their reading, seeking out these and other works is definitely worth it.


Rikhei said...

Have you ever heard of the idea of Steampunk? If one enjoys LXG, I'd venture to suggest that s/he'd also like other things that fall into the Steampunk subgenre.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Rikhei: Oh yes, I am fairly familiar with the steampunk genre. I went and looked over the Wikipedia link you provided, and it turns out I have read some of the authors and works they mention. I will admit, I have dabbled a bit with it in my attempts at fiction, but I am better at urban fantasy (nothing ready for the world yet). I think you are right, anyone who enjoys steampunk will likely enjoy LXG. Interesting the Wikipedia writer listed Gaiman's _1602_, which I also read, as an example. Interesting connection and a nice tale. Thanks for stopping by, and keep on blogging.