If you saw the movie and liked it, or if you didn’t see the movie, or if you saw the movie and didn’t like it, you should read this graphic novel. This is a story about superheroes before superheroes wore tights and capes. It’s superheroes in corsets and frock coats who sit down to tea in the afternoon on Captain Nemo’s fantastical submarine the Nautilus. Alan Moore draws from a wealth of 19th century literary sources to create the ultimate crossover story. At the direction of the mysterious M., Mina Murray née Harker (last seen in Bram Stoker’s Dracula) assembles and leads a group of social misfits with from the nervous Mr. Jekyll (and his more aggressive alter ego Mr. Hyde) to the ultimate adventurer Allan Quartermain. In this volume the cast is assembled, and are immediately embroiled in a nefarious plot to destroy London’s East End. It is a race against time, and their competing personalities to solve the mystery and save London. As always, Alan Moore delivers a story which is intelligent and well written. The plot recalls the style of the 19th century mystery novel but with a modern flourish. Kevin O’Neill’s artwork is perfect for this story. The panels are filled with detail, and are as complicated and labyrinthine as Alan Moore’s text.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
By Alan Moore
Art by Kevin O’Neill, Ben Dimagmaliw and Bill Oakley
DC Comics/America’s Best Comics 2002