Graphic Novel Review: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009

by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill (Illustrator)
Publisher: Knockabout Comics
Format: Paperback
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Alternate History
Release Date: July 10th, 2012
Goodreads

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 2 / Century 1910 / Century 1969

Review

This was closer to a 4 star, then I hit the story at the end. I’ll start with the story, because it’s really the worst thing about this instalment of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Throughout, I’ve struggled with these ‘bonus’ stories, filling in gaps not covered by the main comic plotlines. They’re, honestly, overwritten, overburdened, and convoluted. It leans more towards Sci-Fi in this one, and half the time it’s painful trying to work out what’s going on. Yet a lot of it comes into play in the main story, too, so it’s hard to skip it out completely.

That aside, I think the key storyline here is the most interesting one in the whole ‘Century’ story. The League is no more, yet the magical child has come of age and only Orlando is left to do something about it. Unless they can find the others…

Honestly, this was a ‘last chance’ go at League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for me. I’ve been increasingly unimpressed with this series; the first volume I really liked, but it felt downhill after that point. Things actually pick back up here, and it at least stands out among the three volumes that make up Century.

London, 2008. The world feels like it’s on edge, and pop culture is everywhere. These pages are full of various cultural highlights from those far away days (though this was released in 2012, just four short years after). There are references to James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who and more. There’s a pretty fair takedown of a particular book series, and that was probably a highlight for me – honestly, Moore manages to pinpoint certain aspects of the books that, in hindsight, are very weird and don’t really make much sense. It’s clever, and I’m glad I didn’t actually read this until recently – reading it at any point prior to 2020 I might have had a different view, but here I just enjoyed the ride.

There were parts of this that had me chuckling, and moments that left me horrified. It feels very aware of what it’s doing and the franchises it’s pointing at, and I’m sure there are many moments that totally went over my head, but for the most part it either feels like good fun or justified criticism.

Overall it’s entertaining enough for me to at least check out The Black Dossier and Volume 4, but I won’t be too sad when I come to the end of this series.

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