cover image The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier

Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neill, . . DC/America's Best Comics, $29.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-0306-1

After several delays, the latest installment of Moore's pastiche of public domain literary figures is finally here and it's worth the wait. In 1958, two mysterious figures steal the Black Dossier, a compendium of information and articles relating to the league's most renowned incarnation, the group headed by the intrepid Mina Murray. The theft launches a tense chase as the thieves fight to stay one step ahead of thuggish government agents while reading the contents of the dossier, pieces that shed light on centuries-worth of secret and bizarre intrigues. Moore and O'Neill are in top form, crafting a virtually flawless fusion of prose and visuals that's an overwhelmingly dense and exhaustive nod to pre-existing works in media ranging from literature, legends, television and film, teasing the reader in the know with appearances by Orwellian totalitarianism, Lovecraftian abominations, Jeeves and Wooster, Bulldog Drummond, Ian Fleming's famed “double-o” operative, lusty Fanny Hill and a host of others, capped with a section requiring 3-D glasses (included). Too loaded with content to be fully absorbed in one reading, this is a challenging, adult volume that's a delight for fans of pop culture and lovers of heroic adventure. (Nov.)