Alan Moore – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The league of extraordinary gentlemen is a league of its own. So much so that I’ve begun to think of it as professional cross over fan fiction. Fan fiction to a mass produced well made level, and certainly not what you see online websites or in fanzines. If you don’t know The league of extraordinary gentlemen is a series of comics about some of the Victorian periods greatest characters Captain Nemo, Whilhemina Murray, Doctor Jekyl, Mister hyde and more. All of them together in a comic like ‘League’ undertaking various enemies and dangers which come from other stories of the time, like the martian invasion from war of the worlds.
The amount of un-explored “great” potential is evident in the stories, and thankfully the Artists also have a philosophy of being faithful to the original works themselves. Of course there is a difficulty I have with something that is certainly a very Victorian British story both in style, theme and plot. My problem isn’t that; i like that it is a Victorian period story. What i want to know is “how is the series going to be when its removed from it’s setting down the track”. In the black dossier we see a peak into the rest of the League world. The story it self is a spy/science fiction story which is very much set in the fifties or late forties. Inside the black dossier is revealed a lineage of history and similar stories of a very different nature to the Victorian stories.
Places and people which are probably the subject of future stories in future issues. It Makes me wonder how the title “the league of extraordinary gentlemen” could stretch to fit these extremely diverse stories. Because the idea for this series is embedded in several famous characters of Victorian literature grouped together in the same world in an adventurous story. The rest no matter how grand seems to be like background.
And then there’s Wilhemina Murray the main or at least central character of the stories. With her story completed in the black dossier ( or maybe not ) how is the series going to work if these other tidbits of stories become future issues down the track. To my mind any other future stories would be a different comic. It is however curious to think what this co-pollinating of parallel story telling does to the characters and worlds themselves. Each of these characters were never meant to exist in the same world or have anything to do with each other. Most of them probably were never supposed to have been built to perpetuate story beyond the books they lived in ( most of them dying in the original works )
Because with everything added together stories like the black dossier has Dracula’s Wilhelmina Murray in the forties in an alternate England which is head first into the space race. Also alongside a James bond who lived in a different world as well, And to cap it all of the story is set during the novel big brother. The forcing together of all these stories rewrites the actual stories themselves changing many things. It’s kind of like when comic book people force characters like batman, superman and wonder woman into the same world in later stories. Its a bazaar narrative project so the results are thankfully… cool.