Friday, April 6, 2012
The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Review
First off, let me say...the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? I loved it. Absolutely loved it. That was one of the main draws for me for taking part in the challenge of the same name. That and the desire to read some of the classic novels on the list of books that serve as back-stories for the graphic novel and the movie. Now, the graphic novel...I did not love. Perhaps it's that graphic novels really aren't my thing. But mostly, I think it's the incredibly violent, overly-sexualized drawings that turn me off. I may be from the prehistoric age when it comes to comic books (and, let's face it, that's what I think of when we talk graphic novels)--but I don't expect to see more-than-half-naked women (and a few men), with grossly over-sized bosoms heaving all over the place. And I'm not terribly keen on seeing bloody bits of human beings flying across the page. Seriously. Oh...and Mina Murray is drawn (when we're not emphasizing her feminine attributes) to look as if she's sucked on a pound of lemons AND has a poker shoved where the sun don't shine. That's marvelous as well. And, of course, there are the sexist and racist bits.
Once I turned on my visual filter and skimmed the pictures for the written word only, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. 1) and I got on a lot better. It's a pretty good story--and the plot-line is well-written. I like the action and twist and double-twist at the end. I liked that the graphic novel gives a bit more explanation of how the league came together. I just think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been a straight novel rather than a graphic novel.
The story itself is a bit different from the movie. The League is gathered together by a certain Campion Bond, who is in the employ of "Mr. M." "M" is supposedly the head of intelligence in Britain and he wants Bond to put together a group of agents who can help the Empire in a time of great need. A certain Asian "Doctor"--kingpin of crime in London's East End--has stolen cavorite, a substance which will enable flight and allow the Doctor to attack Britain from the air. Mina Murray works at Bond's behest to gather Allan Quartermaine, Captain Nemo, Hawley Griffin (The Invisible Man), and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde together to track down the Doctor and save the Empire. Little do they know what evil adventures await....and who they're really working for.
Two stars--all for story. There are other volumes in this graphic novel series. I can't say that I'll be seeking them out.