THE LEAGUE of Extraordinary GentlemEn: Volume II

Alan Moore, Author, Kevin O'Neill, Author, Kevin O'Neill, Illustrator . DC Comics/America's Best Comics $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4012-0117-3

Moore continues his trip through pulp genres with this second volume of The League . This collection includes plenty of faux-Victorian backup material, including the comic book series' original covers, and a lengthy prose short story by Moore. Although the film version was a bust, the source material remains an enjoyable, beautifully executed adventure series. Set in an alternate, technologically advanced 1898 London, the story finds legendary literary heroes Allan Quartermain, Captain Nemo, Hawley Griffin (the Invisible Man), Edward Hyde and Mina Murray fighting battles that the British Empire can't handle without them. Here, the eclectic team is defending Earth from a Martian invasion, partially set in motion by another pulp hero, Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars. Moore spares no opportunity to play up the team's origins. Edward Hyde, the monstrous side of Dr. Jekyll, is a nasty brute, while Nemo is an imperious egomaniac, and the once-dashing Allan Quartermain is in the twilight of his powers, yet manages to romance Mina Murray, of Dracula notoriety. Moore remains faithful to the stories' structures (e.g., the Martian invasion is a pulpy romp, complete with burning farm houses, silly-looking creatures and plenty of political intrigue). O'Neill, his artistic collaborator, continues his fine run on the series. His drawings are influenced by 19th-century woodcuts but remain loose and lively. His exquisite renderings of machines and urban landscape remain a reason to look at this series—rarely has an adventure comic been so much fun to observe. (Dec. 2003)

Reviewed on: 02/09/2004
Release date: 12/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-1-4012-0052-7
Paperback - 80 pages - 978-1-60309-007-0
Paperback - 80 pages - 978-1-60309-006-3
Paperback - 80 pages - 978-1-60309-000-1
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