Page 45 Review by Stephen
First two collections in a single collection. Start your collection now!
A roguish tale of derring-do using a collage of characters and geographical fancies torn from the pages of Victorian fiction to form an uproarious satire on both the prose itself and the imperialist, patriarchal society that spawned it. The whole thing has its tongue so firmly planted in its metaphorical cheek that you can almost hear Uncle Alan chortling. Captain Nemo, Mina Murray, Alan Quartermain, Mr. Hyde, and Hawley Griffin (the Invisible Man) are thrust into a state of national emergency under the command of the mysterious 'M' whom the League presumes stands for Mycroft Holmes. It doesn't.
The backgrounds by O'Neill are as entertaining as the action itself, his composite colonies reflecting not only the overseas obsessions of both Victorian authors and readers, but also their relatively recent predilection for science fiction; whence the magnificent Albion Reach, flying airships and Nemo's Nautilus. His bawdy, Hogarthian street scenes embellish the main attraction, whilst his panoramas contrast urban squalor with industrial science fiction.
In the second book: Mars attacks! Hawley Griffin is nowhere to be seen! And Mr. Hyde knows why... Indeed the best realised character there is Mr. Hyde. He is the essence of animal distilled from Dr. Jekyll, and yet Moore imbues him with a certain sense of honour:
"Why are you 'ere, anyway? You don't strike me as the museum sort."
"Huhuh. You're wrong. Why, I'm obsessed with the past. I simply can't let things go. Do you know what I mean?"
Includes scenes of invisible sodomy and Rupert The Bear though thankfully not in the same panels.
Extras: "How To Make Nemo's Nautilus" using one sheet of paper and a quick lesson in origami (the sixth and final reconfiguration is hilarious in its leap); a Cautionary Tale; a colouring page, board game (Square 84: "Taduki Break. Miss a turn." Square 19: "McTeague the dentist seems distracted. Lose 1 turn and half your lower jaw."), a naughty interactive postcard, Basil Hallward's Painting-by-Numbers #1: Dorian Gray, and Allan Quartermain's impossible Hunt The Taduki maze.
Also available: LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY 1910, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY 1969, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: CENTURY 2009, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN: BLACK DOSSIER and NEMO: HEART OF ICE.