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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,…

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 3 Part 2: Century: 1969 (2011)

by Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neill (Illustrator)

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I did wonder how Century would play for Moore since the characters he references would still be protected under copyright. Of course, after the magnificent way he handled Black Dossier, often using Kevin O'Neill's art to say volumes as to who the characters are, never mentioning them by full name (or changing the spelling of the name such as Terner), I shouldn't have worried. I loved the parallel story involving Jack Carter, one of my favorite Caine characters, especially since this tale takes place just before the events in Get Carter.

One thing about Moore's work with all the League stories is how much he completely delves into the world he builds around the characters. There are so many references it's enough to drive anyone mad hunting them all down. I wonder if Nevins is tired yet. We have three immortals, one over 3000 while the other two approach their first century, and Mina is completely tired of it. She's been trying to adjust as the times change around her, trying to stay as young as she appears, and it's obviously wearing on her. Having to track down Haddo during all this insanity doesn't help.

Immersed in the drug-fused free love of the late sixties, we get little references to Rosemary's Baby (tied to Haddo, along with a reference to either the Omen or Good Omens, either of which is great), Doctor Who (Mina sees a Dalek amongst multiple other things during a drug trip), even Harry Potter (that one nearly sent me out of my chair, especially what becomes of Mina's new friend Tom, who's middle name is a MARVEL and who's last name is a CONUNDRUM).

This, for me, was a step up from 1910. Can't wait to see how things are resolved in 2009 (even though a friend has already told me a little about it). ( )
  regularguy5mb | Jun 19, 2013 |
Mina gets trendy as Orlando and Alan do not - and they look into the planned ritual of a black magic cult that is using a famous band as a focus.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2011/11/the-league-of-extraordinary-gen... ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Nov 28, 2011 |
Mina gets trendy as Orlando and Alan do not - and they look into the planned ritual of a black magic cult that is using a famous band as a focus.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2011/11/the-league-of-extraordinary-gen... ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Nov 28, 2011 |
at first it looks all shiny surface, like the era it celebrates and takes apart - but this is Alan Moore on top of his game, so of course it's not. and that too is just like the era. like every book in this series, it's dense with story, but that story is partly told as a succession of little bits of popular culture, told out of context through eyecandy that bites and pops with literary and popcult trivia thrown together and shaken in every frame: a language of asides leading to Recognitions, all in the interest of Larger Purpose, filling out the literary altworld Moore and O'Neill have been constructing & deconstructing in the margins of this series. this time it's 1969. they arrive in London on the Nautilus. the League is down to Mina Harker and Quartermain and Orlando at the moment. Brian Jones is getting done (in both senses) in his pool, the Stones are painting it Black, Aleister Crowley's got some mad scheme going (yes, technically he's dead), aliens may or may not have landed. and just as the dust threatens to settle there's Callan on the street collecting intel from Lonely (ah bliss), while the apparition that is fellow-(time)traveller Jerry Cornelius hails Mina to talk about the days of yore when she was lodging with his mom. by the time the Stones hit the stage in Hyde Park to sing Alan's version of Mephistopheles' memoirs, and Mina ingests some psychedelics in a long sequence devolving into a seriously bad trip that's nailed perfectly in the comics medium for maybe the first time since Alan's Swamp Thing offered Abby his yams about thirty years back, it's time to surrender to the flow. then in the denouement, 8 years later Orlando's got a punk band performing in Club Debasement while Lando and Q keep looking for Mina, because they can't get back to the Blazing World without her. is this one a little slighter than usual? it's hard to be sure, but it's gonna be fun to read it all over again to check every time someone says so, and they will. but nah, they're just getting ever more concise, using that literary shorthand, and maybe having more fun with it all, so go team. somewhere i read that Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill plan to keep on doing this one forever, just because they want to, and that sounds good to me, ( )
  macha | Sep 9, 2011 |
The good:

Visually, Century: 1969 may be the most striking entry in the series. O’Neill is as spot-on as ever, proving his talent and versatility with scenes varying from eye-popping Technicolor psychedelic freakouts to sepia-toned, subdued flashbacks. His talent especially shines with the book’s many meticulously executed crowd scenes in which each and every face is drawn in singular detail. The book features a great blend of pop-art sensibilities with the artist’s signature frenetic line work and slightly sinister undertones. O’Neill simultaneously makes the art of each volume true to its era while maintaining a consistent look throughout the entire series, which is no mean accomplishment.

Century: 1969 takes place in an era that has been analyzed, copied, and parodied to the point of overkill, but all of the elements of this work – dialogue, storyline, even the characters’ clothing – feel genuinely late 60s. Many modern works that take place in this period seem to turn into a pastiche of embarrassing slang and ridiculous outfits, but this feels authentically hip. This series also features positive, well-rounded queer and gender-bending main characters, which is refreshing in an increasingly conservative landscape in which gay people exist as one-dimensional stereotypes, if at all.

The bad:

No one that has read previous books in this series will be surprised to hear that this work is extremely sexually explicit. The previous carnal adventures of the characters felt cheerful, relevant to the larger plot, and generally woman-positive. However, in terms of its erotic content, the overall ambiance of this volume is very different. Aside from Mina, the overwhelming majority of the characters in this book are male, except for a handful of women that give expository information about the male characters and/or have sex in the background while the male characters talk. If second-wave feminism happened in the League’s universe, it certainly wasn’t happening in 1969. In addition all of the (presumably) voluntary penetration, there is also sexual assault. In a scene in which Mina confronts Haddo on the astral plane, her unconscious body is violated by a male acquaintance. When Haddo and Mina are struggling for supremacy of Mina’s inert form, he also threatens her with the multitude of bizarre and demeaning sexual acts that he will force Mina’s body to submit to when he gets control over it. Now, it’s patently obvious that Haddo and the acquaintance are Bad Guys, and their eagerness to coerce Mina serves as shorthand to inform the reader of their Badness. But why can’t they be baby-stompers, or puppy-crushers, or salad bar sneezers, or any of a million figures that aren’t lazy, trite, hackneyed stereotypes of Badness? We’re all familiar with the moustache-twiddling villain leering suggestively while tying the beleaguered heroine to the train tracks, and this tired trope doesn’t offend my feminist sensibilities so much as it disappoints me as a reader.

The book ends with a flash-forward to 1977, which features a female-fronted punk band. The band’s song, which closes the book, is about the various degrading acts that the ex-prostitute frontwoman was submitted to when plying her trade at the behest of an abusive pimp. One might think that this would be a downbeat way to end the comic, but no! It turns out that she loved every minute, and has great affection for the man that beat the ever-loving snot out of her. Throughout all of the various dubious aspects of this book, this may be the worst. A female character besides Mina finally gets a voice, and all she can reveal is how much she loves to be degraded?

The verdict:

Most fans of the series will like this book. Despite its multitudinous flaws, it’s worth a read. Caveat emptor, though, if you’re triggered by violence against women and/or general chauvinist stupidity, you may want to go back to your dog-eared Promethea trade paperbacks (and I wouldn’t blame you).
  Cokskar | Aug 30, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Mooreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Neill, KevinIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Chapter two takes place in the psychedelic daze of swinging London during 1969, a place where Tadukic Acid Diethylamide 26 is the drug of choice, and where different underworlds are starting to overlap dangerously. The vicious gangster bosses of London's East End find themselves brought into contact with a counter-culture underground of mystical and medicated flower-children, or amoral pop-stars on the edge of psychological disintegration and developing a taste for Satanism. Alerted to a threat concerning the same magic order that she and her colleagues were investigating during 1910, a thoroughly modern Mina Murray and her dwindling league of comrades attempt to navigate the perilous rapids of London's hippy and criminal subculture. Starting to buckle from the pressures of the twentieth century and the weight of their own endless lives, Mina and her companions must nevertheless prevent the making of a Moonchild that might well turn out to be the Antichrist. -- From amazon.com.… (more)

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Knockabout Comics

An edition of this book was published by Knockabout Comics.

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