Monday, November 23, 2009
Book Recommendation: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century 1910
Before you confuse this series with the 2003 movie of the same name STOP RIGHT THERE!! This is another unfortunate case where a less than spectacular movie adaptation completely ruins a really smashing comic book series.
And it's been well documented that Alan Moore will not have his name put on the credits of any movie adaptations of his work because of the treatments his books like From Hell, V For Vendetta and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have received. In the case of From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen the adaptations have been so far removed from the original graphic novel that the only thing they have in common is the name and a few of the characters. Johnny Depp's Detective Abberline was not a psychic or clairvoyant or whatever. The psychic in the original case was Robert Lees but the film producers saw it fit to consolidate them into one character.
However, the movie had good bits in it with Johnny Depp, the late Sir Ian Richardson (another favorite Sherlock Holmes actor of mine) and Ian Holm.
But enough about that.
If you have not had a chance to read the original LOEG series, you're missing out. I think it's probably one of the most clever and original series to come out in a while. I really can't say much more about Alan Moore's writing that hasn't already been said numerous times. But I don't know how much has been mentioned about Kevin O'Neill's artwork. I really like it because it reminds me a lot of Keith Giffen's artwork for some of the Lobo mini-series's. But probably a bit technically better than Giffen's art.
So, expunge the 2003 movie from your mind as you're reading the series. You'll find that very easy once you get several pages into the books.
And this brings me to the newest chapter of Moore/O'Neill series Century 1910. I've gotten through the first chapter in this new series What Keeps Mankind Alive and it is great!! Mina Murray has returned with an entirely new League which consists of Allan Quatermain's son, Orlando, A. J. Raffles and Thomas Carnacki.
I was quite pleased to see the inclusion of Raffles in the league. For those unfamiliar with the Raffles series, it was actually created by E. W. Hornung, a brother-in-law to Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Raffles was supposed to be the anti-Holmes. Holmes is a consulting detective who is absolutely brilliant at fighting crime. Raffles is a gentleman thief who is absolutely brilliant in crime.
I had thought about doing an adaptation of Raffles at some point. Then again, I had thought about doing an adaptation of several things I may or may not ever get around to doing. Typical ;-)
What really grabs me about this entire series is how Alan Moore has brought these fictional heroes from both classic literature as well as pulp magazines together in a very fun Justice League/Avengers sort of way while still remaining true to the personalities created for the original characters by their respective authors.
The first book is only $7.50 in graphic novel format. And even if you have not read the entire League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series, you can still jump in here and enjoy this story on it's own.