Acclaimed comics author Moore (Watchmen) has combined his love of 19th-century adventure literature with an imaginative mastery of its 20th-century corollary, the superhero comic book. This delightful work features a grand collection of signature 19th-century fictional adventurers, covertly brought together to defend the empire. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comprises such characters as Minna Murray (formerly Harker), from Bram Stoker's Dracula; Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll (and his monstrous alter ego, Mr. Hyde); and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo, restored to the dark, grim-visaged Sikh Verne originally intended. There's also Hawley Griffin, the imperceptible hero of H.G. Well's The Invisible Man, and Allan Quatermain, the daring adventurer of King Solomon's Mines and other classic yarns by H. Rider Haggard. It's 1898, and these troubled adventurers are spread around the globe, in the midst of one pickle or another. Quatermain is found near death, delirious in a Cairo opium den; the perverse Griffin is captured terrorizing an all-girls school (leaving behind a series of mysterious pregnancies); and the gruesome Mr. Hyde is rescued from the mob set to kill him at the end of Stevenson's classic novel. This collection of flawed and gloomy heroes is recruited to fight a criminal mastermind (a notorious 19th-century literary villain) intent on firebombing the East End of London. The book also includes "Allan and the Sundered Veil," a rip-snorting, prose time-travel story starring Quatermain and written in the manner of the 19th-century "penny dreadful." Moore and O'Neill have created a Victorian era Fantastic Four, a beautifully illustrated reprise of 19th-century literary derring-do packed with period detail, great humor and rousing adventure.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.