THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, VOL 2, like its stellar predecessor, is a graphic novel and is most assuredly not a comic book intended for children. Rather it is solid proof that mainstream comic books can be combined with exciting, imaginative adventure and story-telling, illustrated with serious, skilled artwork that merits close examination in each and every panel aimed at serious adult readers with eclectic tastes in classic literature. THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, VOL 2 is at once a pastiche and a tribute to the skills of an extraordinary, lengthy and almost bewildering list of adventure, mystery and horror writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Moore's eclectic team of stalwart adventurers - Mina Harker of Bram Stoker's DRACULA fame; Edward Hyde, the brutal alter ego of Robert Louis Stevenson's gentler Dr Jekyll; H Merle Haggard's aging Allan Quartermain, the basis of modern Hollywood's INDIANA JONES; HG Wells' Hawley Griffin, better known as THE INVISIBLE MAN; and, finally, Captain Nemo, Jules Vernes' inscrutable captain of the fabulous Nautilus - defend the earth against an invasion from Mars.
Moore's borrowed cast of characters leaps off the page and into life under the skilled artistry of Kevin O'Neill. But alert readers will quickly discover that it doesn't end with this short list of main players and will delight in scavenging for even the most fleeting references to an almost endless list of literary luminaries - John Carter of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars series; his likely inspiration, Lieutenant Gullivar Jones; Alphonse Moreau; Rupert the Bear (honest!); Badger and Toad from THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS; Ishmael; Fu Manchu ... the list just goes on and on!
Be advised. Readers who consider themselves to be faint of heart should know that Kevin O'Neill has given himself full permission to display violence, fighting, bloodletting, death (and did I mention sex?) in the most graphic fashion. But this is far from a criticism, it is only a caution in the full understanding that some potential readers will simply not enjoy the degree to which O'Neill has visually let loose the free flow of blood, guts and unbridled sexuality. Thankfully, I am not on that list and can say that I enjoyed every single word and every single illustration immensely. I'm only sorry to realize that there are only two volumes left in the series which I will be purchasing just as soon as I finish this review.
hen I read THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN VOL 1, I was completely intranced and couldn't wait until the second volume came out so that I could find out what happened to the heroic group as they faced invaders from Mars. After finally getting my hands on a copy of the book and having a chance to read it, I was a bit disappointed. The second volume of the League finds the group facing an army of invaders from Mars. I thought that one of the more interesting parts of this particular volume is … more