Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Absolute Edition

51pvtpx6t5l-_sx343_bo1204203200_I don’t own many of the Absolute Editions because a) they cost a lot, and b) there’s very few other graphic novels I believe warrant this approach such as the Absolute Edition of the Planetary series that was written by Warren Ellis. I did read the entire run of Absolute Sandmans but really didn’t see that I’d be reading them over and over again as I do with this and the Planetary series.

And that statement only applies to the first of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series as I consider the following arcs to be mediocre at best and, to use a French word, merde at their very worst.

To quote our reviewer who said ‘Moore and O’Neill’s premise is simple but elegant: bring together a motley crew of Victorian literary characters and drop them into a delightfully pulpy penny-dreadful. And so we have H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain, Bram Stoker’s Mina Murray (Harker), Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jules Vernes’s Captain Nemo, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Professor Moriarity, H. G. Wells’ Invisible Man, Edgar Alan Poe’s August Dupin and Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu all rubbing shoulders in a Victorian England (and briefly Egypt and Paris) of Moore’s own devising.’

In this superb set of two oversized volumes, we get the six-issues of the series and Alan Moore’s scripts. The scripts are definitely worth reading as they show a side of Alan Moore often oust in the final product which is that is, when he wants to be, one of the best living writers, period. That Moore’s scripts are included is a treasure indeed, but also included in the set is an introduction by Kevin O’Neill and some preliminary sketches he did for this first.

But it is the sheer magnificent scale of the art that will really be why you purchase this edition of this work. Yes, it’s that good. The one illustration that always make me  stare at it for minutes is a two page spread of the Nautilus, his submarine, surfacing in the Thames. Damn that’s an amazing piece of art.

This edition is long out of print, so you’ll need to purchase it online and it’ll cost you dearly. That really makes a must buy only for Alan Moore completists.

(Americas Best Comics, 2003)

Cat Eldridge

I'm the publisher of Green Man Review. I do the Birthdays and Media Anniversary write-ups for Mike Glyer’s, the foremost SFF fandom site.

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