Hermetic Library Fellow T Polyphilus reviews The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 [Amazon, Amazon (Collected), Local Library] by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, &al.
The bad and the good of the latest regarding Mina Harker and her peculiar company:
Moore’s alternate history in this book is not compelling (“hippy fascism” in the US?)–I thought that Warren Ellis’ Planetary did a far better job of this sort of thing. Unsurprisingly, as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has progressed through the 20th century, it has come more and more to seem like an inferior version of Planetary, which started out doing for the 20th century what The League originally did for the 19th.
Moorcock “crossover” homages? They’re not exciting to me the way they would have been when I was a teenager. Modeling the villain on Aleister Crowley — as was set up in 1910? Meh. Professed Magus Moore either proves that he has no idea what a moonchild is (and has never bothered to read Crowley’s novel of that name), or he’s gratuitously throwing dust in the eyes of the profane.
There were lots of fun little in-jokes; the incorporation of Rosemary’s Baby into the plotline was a nice touch. I couldn’t help feeling that I was missing dozens of cameos in O’Neill’s crowded panels.
The art in the psychedelic sequences is great! I also thought that Moore’s rewrite of “Sympathy for the Devil” was just splendid.