The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Volume II Comic – January 1, 2003
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The biggest problem in the volume is that the members of the league spend about 3/4 of their 'on screen' time doing virtually nothing. The characters (aside from Hyde) act out of character with treachery from one, a sudden bizarre romance that really doesn't fit from 2 others, and a Nemo that inexplicably goes from one extreme to the other at times. Also you'd think a Mars invasion would provide quite a bit of excitement, but instead of the LXG heroically battling the enemy, the vast bulk of their time is spent seeing them walk around in forests and fields or just standing around arguing with each other. The only real action after the prologue is in the final chapter and even then the LXG has very little impact on the final battle against the martians.
With a weak plot that is largely ripped from War of the Worlds, minimal impact from the main characters, and out of place character actions (as well as the ponderous, dull prose Almanac at the volumes end), I cannot recommend this volume to anyone except those who are hardcore steampunk, Victorian, Allan Moore, or LXG fans that just have to see all that is LXG. The reason that I consider this about a 2-2.5 instead of 1 is that the artwork is top-notch. I loved the look of the first volume and you will see the same essential style here. The panels look great, but the story and dialogue that fill them are rather lackluster.
That's a pretty certain sign
That wedding bells are breakin' up
That old gang of mine
Sammy Fain with lyrics by Irving Kahal and Willie Raskin. Published in 1929,
It was my mistake to read the LOEG core trilogy out of order. Even knowing what is next, this book feels like the Moore team losing steam. I have enormous respect for Moore, but not based on League Vol 2.
It opens with a prologue that may have been intended to herald a spin off book but here it is pointless. The book ends with about 40 pages of triple column text, something of a travel guide to the magic realms just out of sight, but again of no real point to the story. It does have more of the wonderful illustrations by Kevin O’Neil but not one map. A travel guide without maps…
Given that Moore redefined what a Graphic novel could be with his Watchman book, this is barely a case of several comic books tied together. No one should be judged solely against their out-of-the-park best of class achievements. LOEG Vol 2 is not up to the standard of Vol 1.
Moore’s take on H. G. Wells’, War of the Worlds is as clever as any homage by Moore. O’ Neils art work is everywhere wonderful. His Mr. Green character, an only almost there tribute to another great English Children’s story is almost worth the entire book.
Mean time there is almost nothing for the League to do. The pressure of this nothing will more than test the membership. This time it looks like a job for someone else. Someone not worthy of a comic book series. Sample mission briefing: The world is under attack, go wonder in the woods until you find…well you will know it when you see it.
Super heroes as messenger boys is not a new plot, but when they sent James Bond out to play fetch the code machine in From Russia with Love, (Moore loathes 007 BTW) he has a sexy manly adventure. Moore is not one to pass on some female nudity and displays of affection but a female lead with grandpa issues is not as sexy as you might think.
Top reviews from other countries
Usually when you come across a double spread, you can just turn your iPad sideways, pinch to zoom in and see ot in all its glory. But uniquely with Vol.2, it’s been formatted with upper and lower black bars which stop you from zooming in, it just can’t be done. Trying to read by tapping panel-by-panel doesn’t work either. The individual panels are cropped down and only half of them pop up. Which makes half the comic unreadable unless you take a screenshot of the page, then go into your photos app and then zoom in to read a very blurry version.
I’ve never come across this problem before. i’m using an iPad pro 12.9” running ios 12.1.1
Please sort this out. Vol.1 was fine, by the way.
At the end Moore splits the group up as if wishing to put an end to the series. I think he made the right choice. You're better off re-reading volume one instead.
While the plot of Volume I is very original, featuring a gang war between Professor Moriarty and Fu Manchu in the climax, this volume uses the plot of a well known science fiction classic as the backdrop - H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. While the first few chapters simply repeat what we've read in The War of the Worlds, the story does eventually get going with its own unique plot. There's the romance of Mina and Allan and Mr. Hyde's morally-ambiguous sub-plot amidst Wells' classic invasion-horror, so the plot eventually relies on the characters heavily, so we're not too distracted with the alien invasion. In fact, I'm glad that the Martians themselves have a small physical role in the comic, because this is a superhero comic and we already saw plenty of the Wellsian terror in the Dreamworks film adaptation.
The solution to dealing with a certain traitor in the story is very unsettling. Without giving anything away, a certain other character commits a really repulsive physical "assault" on him, and it made me very uncomfortable. The bawdy scenes of Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain also go a little over the top in certain scenes, though it's obvious that this is Alan Moore's way of letting us know that the horrible "League" film adaptation starring Sean Connery will in no way anchor his work, and he's distancing himself from anyone simple enough to enjoy that abomination.
It's definitely a great read and is unlike any other comic book based on classic literature. If you love Victorian fiction and enjoy the thought of the characters mingling with each other, this is a comic for you.
This 6-part story is based on HG Wells' "War of the Worlds". The martians land on Earth, and the League (Mina Harker, Alan Quartermain, Mr Hyde, Harley Griffin and Captain Nemo) are tasked with investigating and stopping them. As I am a massive fan of Jeff Wayne's musical adaptation of this story, I had it playing in the background as I read it - amazing!
The plot is great, and like the first story, is filled with literature references, some obvious, some more secretive (spot Bleak House, Rupert the Bear and Mr. Toad in this one!).
However, the sex scenes seemed a little unnecessary perhaps, and the plot was a bit more simplistic in some places.
Having said this, Hyde's character is greatly developed in this one (and brutally so, poor Harley!). But the Invisible Man makes a stupid decision which doesn't really get explained methinks. I know he's scheming and greedy but really...?
The book is also filled with random fun miscellanea which is fun to read through, such as a pull-out boardgame.
However, the "New Traveller's Almanac" was a chore, and I only read the first chapter of it in the end (the British Isles). Now I treat Mr. Moore as something of a genius, but for one to understand this section, it seems one needs to have read, I don't know, every great work of literature written in England and America from Shakespeare onwards? I understand what he was doing (telling the history of the League and its world), but the content is so self-indulgent that unless you have read all these books, you'll get lost in the intelligent nonsense...
The artwork was also enjoyably complex, and gave some realy nice interpretation to some classic literary themes.
Not high art, nor high literature, but an enjoyable way to spend a wet afternoon.