The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2

It’s been a while since I covered a good graphic novel here, so I figured I’d bring you some reading material with the weekend just on the horizon.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II by Alan Moore  is an excellent sequel to the first volume. Centered around the arrival of H.G. Well’s alien invaders from The War of the Worlds to Victorian London, it is up to the League to save the Empire from disaster.

As is to be expected in the League series, there is incredible attention to detail and the artwork is heavy with references to well known Victorian works. At the beginning of Part 6 “You Should See Me Dance the Polka,” there is a family of foxes gnawing on an unmistakable Peter Rabbit that literally made me laugh out loud. Indeed, the better well versed in Victorian prose and poetry, the more likely you are to enjoy The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

As with all of Alan Moore’s work (at least, everything that I have read so far), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume II is intended for a mature audience. This is not a comic book to hand to the miniatures and expect clean and wholesome fun. But for those who can handle a graphic novel that is at times, well, graphic… this is a marvelous read that will make you squee with delight as homage is paid to Victorian writers that may escape the notice of those less steeped in their influence.

Does anyone have any recommendations for Steampunk graphic novels? I recently picked up the new Sherlock Holmes publication by Leah Moore (Alan Moore’s daughter) and am intending to read and review it after I finish my present read, The Collector of Worlds. I won an gift card at a charity raffle to a local comics book store and would love to hear your recommendations if you have recently enjoyed a Steampunk title.

Steam Powered Reads: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

I recently finished re-reading one of my favorite Steampunk works, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan Moore. Most of you are probably familiar with the film by the same name that came out a few years ago which was entertaining but hardly true to the source material. The graphic novel is truly outstanding as a work of Steampunk fiction, and deserves a spot on the book shelves of every Steampunk.

Alan Moore has called the concept the, “Justice League of Victorian England.” In summary, Wilhelmina Murray and her team of literary greats are sent on a mission by a mysterious figure known only as “M” to thwart a crime lord in London’s East End who threatens the peace of London’s skies.

What excites me so much about this graphic novel is that its main characters are all from Victorian literature. There is an incredible amount of tribute paid to the classic Victorian works of fiction and their authors while at the same time succeeding in creating a story in which modern readers can become interested and involved.

A word of warning, though. This series is not for children. It also has many of the bigoted sentiments of the past about race and gender which modern Steampunks should be able to find and realize as inappropriate for today’s modern world. One of the nice things about Steampunk is that we can admire the Victorians for their belief in the limitless of human potential and invention without excluding anyone as the Victorians most certainly did.

You can buy this book at any book store that has a graphic novels section, or here, from Amazon: