The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 is the second book in Alan Moore’s epic three-part trilogy, which will make the third volume of the complete LXG series. What’s left of the League has now broken away from MI5 and working as free agents, but immortality can’t be enjoyed for long (oh yeah, both Mina and Allen are now both immortal, kind of important) since they must thwart the previously thought dead Oliver Haddo’s plans to bring about the moonchild and an early apocalypse.
To say Kevin O’Neill’s artwork contains a fair amount of sexual imagery would be an understatement; hardly a frame goes by without a quick nipple slip or worse. This is then equally reflected in Moore’s writing; who else would have made the 3 principle members of the League a love triangle? Both of the creators also take full advantage of the late 1960’s setting; the book is vibrant and full of colour, the detail in the panels is exceptional and sometimes it feels as if O’Neill’s landscapes stretch off into infinity. In the books out of body conclusion, I almost had to check that nothing had slipped into my own drink, O’Neill warps and distorts the usually geometric panels and basically displays an out of body experience as one long acid trip, it’s nuts!
Moore nicely sets up a number of different narrative strands which slowly come together as the plot progresses. I particularly liked Carter from Get Carter tracking down the satanic sect at the same time as the League, played completely for laughs with a hammy Michael Caine-esque cockney accent. The characters have moved on and developed in the 59 years since we last met them, Mina is now very different from the Victorian prude of the first two volumes, her hair has been cut short and the skirt she wears really leaves nothing to the imagination.
In the book’s final few pages, a particular character (I’m not giving anything away here!) walks through a wall next to platform ten in London’s King’s Cross Station, could this possibly mean there will be a bespectacled new member in the League’s next incarnation? Although as ace as this does sound, I can only imagine how JK Rowling would feel about it… and what Alan Moore would do with Harry’s magic wand!
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 is released on 28/07/2011