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In Chapter Three, the narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2008. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary o In Chapter Three, the narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2008. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, that now stands in his way. The bitter, intractable war of attrition in Q'umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away in Kashmir a Sikh terrorist with a now-nuclear-armed submarine wages a holy war against Islam that might push the whole world into atomic holocaust, and in a London mental institution there's a patient who insists that she has all the answers.


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In Chapter Three, the narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2008. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary o In Chapter Three, the narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2008. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, that now stands in his way. The bitter, intractable war of attrition in Q'umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away in Kashmir a Sikh terrorist with a now-nuclear-armed submarine wages a holy war against Islam that might push the whole world into atomic holocaust, and in a London mental institution there's a patient who insists that she has all the answers.

30 review for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan Trudeau

    While I've enjoyed the post-Black Dossier LoEG work more than others I speak to, I still find myself disappointed by its conclusion. I respect Moore and O'Neil's changing of the tone from adventure to meditation on fiction and have been happy to flow with the change as it happened. I've always enjoyed walking through the world, fictional and real, from Moore's perspective. This latest book, however, reveals his Achilles heel: satirizing modern culture despite his shallow experience in it. I under While I've enjoyed the post-Black Dossier LoEG work more than others I speak to, I still find myself disappointed by its conclusion. I respect Moore and O'Neil's changing of the tone from adventure to meditation on fiction and have been happy to flow with the change as it happened. I've always enjoyed walking through the world, fictional and real, from Moore's perspective. This latest book, however, reveals his Achilles heel: satirizing modern culture despite his shallow experience in it. I understand his points about franchises and corporate entities spoiling imagination but I don't know if current popular fiction is really worse than the era his main characters come from. This is especially true of the Harry Potter series, which he puts in the cross hairs in 2009. His criticisms of the boy wizard and his world ring hollow. It makes me wonder if he knows anything about the series beyond the first two books, as the themes and characterizations Rowling presented are far richer than he acknowledges. It's likely he hasn't dug deep into Harry Potter or much else and that becomes a problem when you're looking to skewer it all. That said, the book is still full of surprises along with some great character bits. I personally love the James Bond concepts he throws around. Also, I can forgive a deus ex machina when the person delivering it is that unexpected. As always, O'Neil's artwork is great and I'll have fun poking through the details over the next couple of days. Alan Moore and Frank Miller were the great comic creators of my youth. While they're both no longer creating their best work, I'll take Moore in a reduced form any day over Miller's descent into (unintentional) self-parody.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    Well, I liked it very much - and I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect, given the super-downer ending of the previous issue and the "League reduced to one" expectations of this - I was worried it would be grim and spare and not very "adventurely", if you get my drift. But I liked it very much. I generally avoid commenting on others' "critical" complaints (in quotes because - just because you're on the web, or even being paid, doesn't make you a critic, just critical) - but I will say that th Well, I liked it very much - and I have to say I wasn't sure what to expect, given the super-downer ending of the previous issue and the "League reduced to one" expectations of this - I was worried it would be grim and spare and not very "adventurely", if you get my drift. But I liked it very much. I generally avoid commenting on others' "critical" complaints (in quotes because - just because you're on the web, or even being paid, doesn't make you a critic, just critical) - but I will say that the two major ones I've read about this issue seem a bit self-serving or deliberately reactionary (this is excluding those who are *still* still complaining about it not being a fanboy Wold-Newton mash-up adventure where Sailor Steve Costigan gets to punch a young Sumuru in the face while Captain Easy and Wash Tubbs look on - figure it out guys, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier spelled it out quite a long time ago that the series had turned a corner, the 20th century was far different than the 19th, and the overall concerns have shifted from a literary mash-up adventure story to an examination of the collective literary subconscious and the idea of adventure stories!). Complaint #1 - that the series doesn't treat the Harry Potter character, or series, or creator, fairly - well, it's a parody. You want this cultural Behemoth out there in the world, then you're going to have to expect some feedback and comments you don't like, feedback that does not have to "engage the changes in the character" or "the true heart of the character" or some such nonsense, and that use an overly exposed, overly successful media-managed pop-culture giant as a stand-in for the general creative lassitude of the pop-culture world, with no *specific* critique or blame, I feel, aimed at his creator. I thought it was jolly fun and since I'm absolutely neutral on HP and the HP phenomena (nice little shout out to one of the many earlier HP analogs - and my particular childhood "young wizard comes of age" read - in that "Will Stanton" file at Hogwarts), it didn't bother me one jot, nor did it make me hate the character (because I know he's a symbol, NOT the character). Complaint #2 - that the book's attitude about modern times/pop culture is too harshly critical - again, this seems highly defensive to me, the internet generations reading more into the text than is actually there. These are Victorian-era (and Heroic Legend-era) characters commenting on modern times with attitude composed by an aged pop-culture veteran. The fact that (even with immortality) "they don't get 'now'" is PART OF THE POINT. No, Moore's not going to be completely appreciative of the massive welter of current pop-cult figures, or even use them (and how could he? Want to figure out a way to reference THE MATRIX or should we just give it a pass?), and I wasn't expecting that anyway, quite frankly. You can call it cranky (or, the long winded version - "not an even-handed critique" - I'm sure the AV Club will back you up on that, if they have any reviewers left) but I'd call it honest and true to the writer and would have felt the opposite (and seemingly desired) outcome — in which our heroic trio happily stare off into a pixelated/Interwebs/HD/Blue-ray sunset suffused with thousands of crappy "Urban Fantasy monster hunters" and "Erotic Vampire/Vampire Slayer/Sexy Werewolf/Werewolf Slayer/Alienated Zombie/Zombie Killer" characters, and those two dewey-eyed young men from SUPERNATURAL, Buffy and her crew, and hundreds of unimpressive mumblecore movie characters while the latest post-post-digi-glam-mashup theme of the second plays in the background (while Spongebob Squarepants fists that kid from ADVENTURE TIME - for teh "there's porn for that" meme and nostalgia) — well, I would have found that (or it's less sarcastic cousin) a lie coming from Moore. He's an old guy - you don't have to agree with what he says, but expecting him to buy into the whole "the internet has freed creativity" BS is, well, naive. Go write your own version 10 years from now and have the teenagers and twenty year olds complain about your lack of current, up to date meme references and pop culture fly by nights. Good luck with that, internet genius... Now, with my crankiness about the crankiness out of the way - well, I'm not going to do a full write up - who needs that anyway? I will mention a few things I really liked. The MI5/James Bond scenes that parody the problems inherent with franchising a character across generations (that line by Emma Peel/M - "It's the least I could do" re: James Bond-1 is pretty damn great, but more on that in a second) are very nice (and I like that J3, Roger Moore, still seems a very cheery chap in his old age). I liked the call-outs to the previous series (so the return to the S&M therapy place from the first series, the Martian walker park from the second, and, most impressively, the fact that this issue of CENTURY also succeeds in tying up thematic and plot loose ends from THE BLACK DOSSIER). This makes sense, as one of the underlying ideas in DOSSIER was that the 20th Century begins the replacement of The Hero figure in popular culture with The Spy figure, and how problematic that is for our culture in general, so it only makes sense that some kind of closure would come on that as well (more on that in a second). I like the final fate of Quatermain - that immortality isn't forever and immortality as a junkie would be Hell and, it seemed to me, the book makes a very moving argument for the importance of childhood heroes ("You can't die" says Mina "you were my hero!") but also for how certain character types just have no use after a certain time and so Allan Quatermain, Great White Hunter and Adventurer, really serves no purpose in the 21st Century (he does get to, one last time, do what he basically has done throughout the book - show up and shoot something with an enormous gun - but this time it has absolutely no effect *except to buy time at the cost of his life* - and I note *that* for the asinine commentators who feel that Moore's heroes are ineffectual in his climaxes - everyone save Mina is pretty damn heroic in this climax, as they forestall events until the inevitable smack-down comes). And, having been done in by the 21st Century, he gets buried in the cemetery of Jungle Heroes in Africa - as it should be (and, unlike others, I didn't feel that final image was either a reference to the LOEG movie or THE LION KING, but perhaps just a tip to the inherent "Britishness" of Quatermain's character - an English Lion now in repose). Little bits I loved - Mina tries to engage Allan in song/lyric but it doesn't work (the world and situation is too grim for that now), Orlando at hir most likeable and emotional and heroic ("I told you all this was Excalibur and you never believed me!") (although, contra Moore, I don't think we really did get the "explanation as to what Orlando is" that he touted for this - not that I needed an explanation - but I don't feel anything was specifically cleared on that front), Prospero existing as a 3-D character in a 2-D world (love that panel where Caliban is looking over his shoulder and out of the panel at you, the reader), the final final final fate of Haddo, the rotted British Dreamtime sequence (the Hogwarts bits - comparing those scenes to events like the Columbine school massacre - "they have massacres in schools now?" - was a nice thematic resonance between our world and our literary subconscious - and, mentioning that, I would also contend with critics that the question of which influences which is never decidedly answered and, I think, heavily implied that it's a two-way street) and, finally, as others have pointed out, a subtle commentary on the best thing that may have come out of the 20th Century, which is the regaining of power by women in our culture (Lando changes, Mina beats back madness, Emma regains her soul and, well, God is a woman... and a proper British woman at that!). I do think that the appearance of later-Nemo was a bit of a non-starter although it just occurs to me that, much like Quatermain, there may have been an underlying point to that regarding his character type - a character conceived out of violent militarism will become swamped/entrapped in that aspect during the 20th Century - Nemo is now much less a "hero" and much more the "super science terrorist" as the shifting morality of the 20th Century has its effects on all characters. So, finally, two things. I do think 2009 has something specific to say about Heroes and Spies in the 20th Century (it has less to say about God and Antichrists, but that's old-school legendary stuff, there as the backbone threat) and that all revolves around those earlier scenes in MI5 and those last scenes with Emma and her rescue crew. And yes, I'm old enough (and pop-culture savvy enough) to be able to do the emotional (not just logical or pop reference) math and figure it out. And to me, it goes something like this - there is a dichotomy set up in the MI5 scenes between Emma Peel (appearing as Judy Dench - sure, she looks nothing like Diana Rigg, but still..) as "M" and her running the J program of endless James Bonds. During the Antichrist battle, we see aged Ian Fleming books James Bond, J1, alone save for a sexy nurse (most probably put there as a cruel tease), suffering in his decrepitude for one panel. And when Emma's Crew shows up for the rescue, we not only get a nice little moment for those who remember THE AVENGERS/NEW AVENGERS fondly (nice AB FAB conflation there as well, with Purdey), we get a most important line of dialogue - that Emma knows she can trust these people implicitly "because we all loved the same man" (you can see his picture on his desk in earlier scenes)... ...and so, decades after the fact, the suave, gentlemanly strength and nobility of John Steed finally trumps the flashy, surface, violence and misogyny of James Bond! Spies can still be heroes worthy of the name, they just had to be good guys with a bit of style and panache and trustworthy to a fault, not philandering assholes or government supported thugs who use women and then throw them away (this all on a symbolic level, of course). And so James Bond suffers in lonely agony with no one, and Steed's influence still extends across the years (I presume he's dead), creating a network of love and trust and heroism (which Emma can inherently sense in Mina's loss of Quatermain). Nice. "We're needed" indeed... And final of the final - so The Antichrist (Mr. Potter) gets his ass handed to him by God (Ms. Poppins) - whose job it is to oversee the development of imagination and creativity in young children everywhere, and Ms. Poppins is not very impressed with young Mr. Potter so far... Double nice. And very, very British, which was also nicely thematic. So, there it is. Quite frankly, I don't really feel I'd want to read anything further set in modern times (even if it answers Haddo's final threat). I know there's been discussion about another flashback story involving a trip to Antarctica - which would be neat and, I guess, would probably explore the "evil" analog to The Blazing World located there. I'd buy that. So thank you very much, Mr. Moore, for your wonderful series and please ignore the ignorami - they're easily confused and distracted (it's all those video games and flashing screens) and hate being reminded that the world existed before them (*unless they can plunder it for steampunk references*), Reminded that they will also get older, and REMINDED that they're highly over-thought concepts of criticism and quality may change with that aging. You did a good job and I was touched.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    I'm still trying to process this concluding episode of Century, as it's perhaps to most overt in terms of the things Alan Moore's on about in terms of modern pop culture and storytelling, yet at times there's also a feeling of it including a sledgehammered level of meta to get the point across, particularly with the unnerving idea that Prospero is now just Alan Moore in 3D glasses. Too, the expected references and easter eggs are more overt, clumsier, as though the more modern items aren't reall I'm still trying to process this concluding episode of Century, as it's perhaps to most overt in terms of the things Alan Moore's on about in terms of modern pop culture and storytelling, yet at times there's also a feeling of it including a sledgehammered level of meta to get the point across, particularly with the unnerving idea that Prospero is now just Alan Moore in 3D glasses. Too, the expected references and easter eggs are more overt, clumsier, as though the more modern items aren't really relevant to Moore's interests -- but he has to include them anyway. I'm giving this four stars because of some of the payoffs to things set up in both The Black Dossier and the two earlier volumes of Century, and for the way Moore reorients everything to be about the women, with the relationship between Orlando and Mina being quite the high point. I expect there'll be a fourth LOEG volume to come, as Moore has certainly scattered enough story points throughout this issue to propel at least one more story. Anyway, I may have to reread the whole thing and decide then if I want to rerate Century.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charles Hatfield

    More smart but acrid anti-pop from Moore and O'Neill, carrying on the mood of gloom and alienation evident in the previous two LOEG: Century volumes. In this one, the youthful Antichrist, implicitly Harry Potter, goes mano a mano with God, implicitly Mary Poppins, while the surviving agents of the League, Mina, Allan, and Orlando, look on, dazed and confused. The reigning mood is despairing; the lunges toward satirizing J.K. Rowling's Potter feel like just that; and the plot crumbles into deus e More smart but acrid anti-pop from Moore and O'Neill, carrying on the mood of gloom and alienation evident in the previous two LOEG: Century volumes. In this one, the youthful Antichrist, implicitly Harry Potter, goes mano a mano with God, implicitly Mary Poppins, while the surviving agents of the League, Mina, Allan, and Orlando, look on, dazed and confused. The reigning mood is despairing; the lunges toward satirizing J.K. Rowling's Potter feel like just that; and the plot crumbles into deus ex machina as quite a few Moore stories have: an implicit takedown of the idea that his heroes should act, you know, heroically, saving the day and all that. They don't. Or maybe they do. I'm a little hard-pressed to tell. Much has already been said about this book, though it's only been with us for a few weeks. I particularly like the conversation at The Mindless Ones blog. I myself reviewed the previous volume unfavorably, and I guess I could say similar things here. Adding to the disappointment is the fact that, as so many have pointed out, Moore is not so up on contemporary pop culture as to be able to pull off a coup comparable to the earlier LOEG volumes. The building blocks of the League are always other stories, and Moore is not so fond of the present-day stories he is riffing on here. But the general gloom is redeemed somewhat, or rather made compelling, by the tenderness that Moore and O'Neill show their leads, by the fumbling human ordinariness of these seeming immortals, and by the way they register loss and disappointment. I did feel something for them. Moore and O'Neill, I think, have been trying to earn that human response almost from the very first, and I believe they have succeeded. Too bad the plot mechanics and the big (anti)climax are so worn.

  5. 4 out of 5

    William

    Alan Moore has proven that he's just plain more talented and creative than thousands of artists. And 2009 isn't terrible, but it's self-indulgent and will likely appeal only to his die-hard fans, the curious, the compulsive reference-spotters... Basically, I bought it because I love the universe and I think Moore is brilliant, but I will never recommend it because I can't guarantee any type of emotional resonance. I flip through the first two volumes of LoEG and I feel so much. Loathing, admirati Alan Moore has proven that he's just plain more talented and creative than thousands of artists. And 2009 isn't terrible, but it's self-indulgent and will likely appeal only to his die-hard fans, the curious, the compulsive reference-spotters... Basically, I bought it because I love the universe and I think Moore is brilliant, but I will never recommend it because I can't guarantee any type of emotional resonance. I flip through the first two volumes of LoEG and I feel so much. Loathing, admiration, fear, hope, grim amusement. The characters are rich. I care. It's sad that I see Murray, Quatermain, and Orlando and I care because of what took place in other books--not because of what happens in this one. And it's not a particularly effecting finale, to be honest, at least not to me. Maybe some would say it's Moore's reflection of the modern world--just as he has idiot critics he will have knee-jerk devotees--but I don't see it. When his characters bemoan aging into an unfriendly world, we don't get to linger on this long enough to feel much. The plot moves on, and I'm not sure if I should be taking more time with the foreground art or the words or the background or the references... Didn't these comics used to hang together? So read it if you're curious, I suppose. There's a good bit of cleverness here, hints at what could have been. But the Moore who gave us Nemo's indignation and Dr. Manhattan's Martian soliloquy is only infrequently present. The book is aloof and happy for us to be unable to follow. Unlike previous works, however, there isn't much waiting for those who do make the trek.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Kirk

    I think that Alan Moore has done some great work in the past, but I have to accept that I'm not the target audience for LoEG. These books seem to be increasingly the literary equivalent of films like "Date Movie" and "Epic Movie", i.e. they rely on the reader/viewer saying "Hey, I recognise that reference and therefore I like it!" I want more than that, e.g. a proper story. Looking back at this book after I read it, and asking myself "What actually happened?", there's only about 2 sentences wort I think that Alan Moore has done some great work in the past, but I have to accept that I'm not the target audience for LoEG. These books seem to be increasingly the literary equivalent of films like "Date Movie" and "Epic Movie", i.e. they rely on the reader/viewer saying "Hey, I recognise that reference and therefore I like it!" I want more than that, e.g. a proper story. Looking back at this book after I read it, and asking myself "What actually happened?", there's only about 2 sentences worth of plot in there. I think I picked up more references in this installment than in previous volumes, e.g. I recognised the James Bond actors without needing to refer to a list of annotations. (view spoiler)[In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969, there was a reference to Voldemort; I think I recognised him at the time, although I didn't quite understand the significance until I went online. This book is far more blatant about using Harry Potter characters/settings. I liked the Harry Potter books, but I've also enjoyed reading some parodies (e.g. Torg Potter over at Sluggy Freelance). The difference is that those parodies actually had a point to make, and they showed some affection for the source material. This just seems mean spirited. In The Unwritten, Vol. 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, there's a brief scene involving "Tommy Taylor" fanfic, where Tommy goes beserk and kills his friends painfully. Quoting one of the characters (a horror writer) who read that story: "Some pervert dropped this in. It's -- well, it's Tommy Taylor torture porn." Reading LoEG Century: 2009, it's remarkable how similar the scenes are, and that really doesn't reflect well on Moore as a writer. He can do better than this, and I hope that he will again. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Higgs

    With the LoEG, the sum is greater than the parts. The cumulative effect of Moore and O'Neill's borderline insane attempt to merge the entire history of fiction into one narrative becomes increasingly mindboggling with each release. Taken on their own, however, each individual part can seem less impressive, with many of the character details, subplots or background images seemingly needing further explanation. What's interesting about Century, however, is its theme that our imagination has become With the LoEG, the sum is greater than the parts. The cumulative effect of Moore and O'Neill's borderline insane attempt to merge the entire history of fiction into one narrative becomes increasingly mindboggling with each release. Taken on their own, however, each individual part can seem less impressive, with many of the character details, subplots or background images seemingly needing further explanation. What's interesting about Century, however, is its theme that our imagination has become poorer over the past 100 years, and there is something about the spoof Kickstarter page at the start that makes this point very well. I do wonder though if Moore's luddite tendencies and Grumpy Old Man reputation are apparent here. The exponential increase in culture and creativity in general since the gatekeepers were bypassed and digital tools reached the masses doesn't really figure into his thinking, so his targets become the big, mainstream successes which, almost by definition, tend towards the safe and populist. Because there is phenomenal ambitious and original culture being made, and LoEG is one example of that. Which sort of denies its own thesis... oh. But in brief: wonderful, if not a good place to start.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    Alan Moore's fantastic and ingenious intercontinuity crossover moves on to the present day. While still carried by the usual great writing as well as superb artwork, the story is now marred by a few severe and largely incurable issues. I'll discuss precisely these things in my review: if you don't think they would bother you, that they would have nothing to do with the story as a whole, feel free to add a star or two to my evaluation - but to say they did not bother me would be rather dishonest. Alan Moore's fantastic and ingenious intercontinuity crossover moves on to the present day. While still carried by the usual great writing as well as superb artwork, the story is now marred by a few severe and largely incurable issues. I'll discuss precisely these things in my review: if you don't think they would bother you, that they would have nothing to do with the story as a whole, feel free to add a star or two to my evaluation - but to say they did not bother me would be rather dishonest. In the early days of the League, Alan Moore could operate almost entirely under public domain and was as such given largely free hands - but this doesn't fly in the modern day, where copyrights have evolved into a tangled, throttling vine that no longer allows such creative freedom, no longer lets him to mess with characters and worlds created by someone else. You can say a lot of things for copyrights as well as against them, but it's easy to see the negative impact they've had in this story, forcing Moore to write around them - alter them, mutate them, never name them like they were some unknowable eldritch deity - up until the point where they bear little resemblance to their original works, rendering the entire crossover premise largely moot. The main characters, Allan Quartermain and Mina Murray, are similarly altered purely by the virtue of their advanced ages: all the qualities carried by them in their original stories are gone by now, leaving nothing but Moore's own machinations. But all the copyright issues and long-term character development are but smidgeons of dust in the junkyard that is Alan Moore's own personal views: put it plainly, he thinks modern storytelling sucks. He's made this position clear elsewhere, and sad to say it seeps into Century and largely ruins it, like paint stripper on what could otherwise be a perfectly fine portrait. Most characters taken from such works are nearly always portrayed in a... unflattering way, to say the least, either largely useless or downright villainous. The heroic characters, and those who ultimately solve the conflict, are either from Moore's youth or earlier, or stem entirely from his imagination. The comic is almost turned into a headpiece for the writer's own views and feelings of nostalgia: regardless of whether I personally agree or not, such allegories and tracts are nearly always to the detriment of a story, and Century is no exception. Maybe I'm a little biased: as a modern-day writer myself, could I ever agree with Moore on this without denouncing my own very being? Could I ever admit to myself that he is right, and cease my fruitless attempts for higher storytelling and lasting legacy? Or maybe I could sidestep the whole dilemma by saying that it's been a while since this story was written - about a decade at the time of this review - and that things have gotten better since then? That I am not one of those hack writers Moore himself was talking about? I don't know if I have an answer to any of that, one way or the other. But I do think that if you're an author yourself, or envision of being one, you should give it some thought. Think about what Moore is thinking - what he was trying to say with this story, and what he's made clear many times elsewhere. If you don't agree with him, why? If you DO agree with him, what're you going to do about it? Or maybe you're just looking for a good comic and don't care about any of this. Like I said, if none of these things particularly enter your mind, if you're just here for the still pretty good storytelling and plot and art, you'll like it fine. It's still a perfectly passable finale to a great comic book series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dickon Edwards

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Here, Moore & O'Neill manage to not just have their cake and eat it, but throw a colourful cake-eating and cake-having party for everyone. By this opening of this latest chapter, set once again in a patchwork world made up of other people's published fictions (including TV characters), the now-immortal Mina Murray (from 'Dracula') and Alan Quartermain (from 'King Solomon's Mines') have gone AWOL. It is left to Orlando (from Virginia Woolf's novel) to try to reassemble the team in time to prevent Here, Moore & O'Neill manage to not just have their cake and eat it, but throw a colourful cake-eating and cake-having party for everyone. By this opening of this latest chapter, set once again in a patchwork world made up of other people's published fictions (including TV characters), the now-immortal Mina Murray (from 'Dracula') and Alan Quartermain (from 'King Solomon's Mines') have gone AWOL. It is left to Orlando (from Virginia Woolf's novel) to try to reassemble the team in time to prevent an Antichrist from bringing on Armageddon - or at least, one form of Armageddon... One of the pleasures of the LOEG books is spotting the various characters and references, most of which have to be alluded to namelessly, to avoid breaching copyright law. Hence the cheeky fun of making the Antichrist into what is clearly a highly traumatised Harry Potter, and God into Mary Poppins, and have them face each other off. On top of that, there's plenty of faces tucked away in the panels, which readers can argue about: O'Neill's likenesses aren't exactly photographic. I highly recommend leafing through Jess Nevins's annotations at http://jessnevins.com/annotations/200..., which include theories and conflicting arguments from other readers. But on top of his love of cramming in references and roasting sacred cows, Moore is ultimately a great storyteller who knows how to grip the reader, excite them, move them, provoke them, and indeed appall them - he still knows how to pull off a Gone Too Far moment, even after decades of comic writing. Real life events are now breaking into the fiction, according to one character, and to prove it there's a Kings Cross station sequence which features Matt Smith's Doctor Who and John Barrowman's Captain Jack at one point, then the casualties of the 7/7/2005 terrorist attack at another. I was particularly impressed by the use of topical talking points, eg high school massacres blamed on Point Of View shoot-em-up computer games. Moore transposes this issue on top of his Harry Potter Goes Evil story, and somehow it all comes together perfectly. Finally, away from all the cheekiness and mayhem, Moore is making a serious point about the state of popular fiction in the early 21st century; that ideas are getting worn out and imagination is becoming eclipsed by nostalgia. He seems to be making digs at JK Rowling recycling a 1940s-style cosiness in her Harry Potter books, while elsewhere a homeless Martin Clunes (!) is seen wearing a filthy 'Sunshine Desserts' t-shirt, being a reference to his role in a recent, utterly pointless TV remake of 'Reginald Perrin'. Is culture being remade to death? Is innovation dead? Are there no new ideas? Will we see a world where the most popular novels are, say, Twilight fan fiction rewritten as kinky S&M sex fantasies? Yes, obviously. But at least this LOEG story is trying to comment on culture, both celebrating and criticising, while having one hell of a ball in the process. AND you get kinky sex scenes here too, so everyone's happy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Neven

    I don't think Alan Moore is trying to say anything with this series anymore. It's just a dumping grounds for various literary references. I don't think Alan Moore is trying to say anything with this series anymore. It's just a dumping grounds for various literary references.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alabaster

    Moore's interesting take on Harry Potter and even Mary Poppins's cameo didn't make reading this any less sufferable. Moore's interesting take on Harry Potter and even Mary Poppins's cameo didn't make reading this any less sufferable.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    This is getting 3 stars rather than 2 for old times sake more than anything. I generally preferred this to the second part, maintaining a clearer structure and more simple story but it ultimately felt a let down. Spoilers ahoy. The League has changed so much from the first two volumes that I really loved. Alan is barely in it, Mina is absent for the first half and we are left with Orlando, mostly in the female form (which I prefer). The current ancestor of Nemo is occasionally mentioned and brief This is getting 3 stars rather than 2 for old times sake more than anything. I generally preferred this to the second part, maintaining a clearer structure and more simple story but it ultimately felt a let down. Spoilers ahoy. The League has changed so much from the first two volumes that I really loved. Alan is barely in it, Mina is absent for the first half and we are left with Orlando, mostly in the female form (which I prefer). The current ancestor of Nemo is occasionally mentioned and briefly is seen in an otherwise unconnected and insignificant side plot. I enjoyed the scenes with Andrew Norton as always. Whereas I felt a little lost with the 60s references in Century 1969, I felt Alan came across more lost here. The James Bond/MI5 references were smart but some of the 'up to date' fictional cameos where at times, stretching it. A couple of old Doctors sure, but characters from the Fast Show which (aside from the special) ended in 1997? The inclusion of Harry Potter should have been inevitable after the veiled hints throughout but I still wasn't quite expecting the lengths they went to. The flashbacks to a destroyed Hogwarts were effective and haunting (also giving us a skeletonised Thomas the Tank Engine, much to my amusement) and the final confrontations with a vengeful Mary Poppins was bizarre and beautifully drawn (there is some great work here by Kevin O'Neill). I think Alan holding Rowling/Potter for everything wrong in current society a little harsh and as for corrupting the minds of all the children? Hmmm. It all inevitably felt very anticlimactic and in no way a complete story (as the 3 part arc was sold to us). Clearly there are more than enough loose ends (putting it mildly) to continue. It's generally been fun and I'd still recommend the original 2 League stories for fans of Victorian Boys-Own literature but I think I'm going to call it a day on the current League.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I read this through very quickly the first time as I had spent the past year quite worried about what had happened to Mina. I loved that Harry Potter was the anti-christ. I can't believe that I didn't see that coming. Given the literary basis for this series it really was so obvious I feel almost ashamed for not figuring that out! Orlando was a much better character in this. She kinda had to pull everyone together and was much less frivilous. Mina did seem quite broken which was such a shame aft I read this through very quickly the first time as I had spent the past year quite worried about what had happened to Mina. I loved that Harry Potter was the anti-christ. I can't believe that I didn't see that coming. Given the literary basis for this series it really was so obvious I feel almost ashamed for not figuring that out! Orlando was a much better character in this. She kinda had to pull everyone together and was much less frivilous. Mina did seem quite broken which was such a shame after the way she was in 69. After having read it I decided to go back and read all three together. I definitely recommend reading them more than once and reading them all together. There were even more hints about Mr. Potter that I missed the first time and going back and reading things again I found I picked up on many more of the little details in the art work. Which I have to say was particularly amazing in 2009. Having read the whole series again I think 1969 is definitely my favourite. Though this one is a close second. The first time I went to Kings Cross after reading this I found myself shuddering. The only thing I found disappointing in this was that I spend so much less time involved in popular culture than I do in Victorian literature I felt like I missed out on most of the references! Though I did love that there were a few Doctor Who ones! (and can't believe I missed the dalek the first time I read 1969). The text at the end also makes a nice story when all three parts are read together. The knowledge of the patient and her circumstances make it all make much more sense and flow together really well. Definitely one of Alan's best series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    James

    I'm not going to lie; the simple narrative structure and relative deficit in meaningful character development makes this my least favorite of the "Century" trilogy. Important threads from the earlier volumes are wrapped up in a manner that seems more de rigueur than passionate. Important characters receive short shrift. The rhythm lacks the sort of intense, psychedelic montage that made Century 1969 so satisfying. It's still a spellbinding book, full of subtle humor and allusions that would make I'm not going to lie; the simple narrative structure and relative deficit in meaningful character development makes this my least favorite of the "Century" trilogy. Important threads from the earlier volumes are wrapped up in a manner that seems more de rigueur than passionate. Important characters receive short shrift. The rhythm lacks the sort of intense, psychedelic montage that made Century 1969 so satisfying. It's still a spellbinding book, full of subtle humor and allusions that would make the work an enjoyable parody on its own (in this volume, in particular, the parodies of the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises are excellent), with a meaningful and worthwhile narrative at its core. And, ultimately, it's an excellent conclusion to the Century narrative. I would have had no objections had it been packaged in a single graphic novel alongside volumes 1 and 2. But as a standalone work, and as a standalone work I'd had some time to spending in waiting for, it was a minor let-down. You will notice I have not withheld a 5-star rating. No criticism I could possibly make of any entry in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen could detract from the basic, objective truth that it was amazing. Alan Moore, thank you for the League. It was amazing.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    Alan Moore wraps up a story that spans a Century and redeems himself for the stumbles in the 1969 volume. Mostly by having only two references to rape and letting the good guys win. It's 2009, Orlando is back in London, after discovering that war isn't always a fun adventure when she/ he gets a message that the League has screwed up and the Anti-christ is in London. What to do when Orlando is not very good at having a plan, Mina is in an asylum, the government thinks they are all crazy and/or trai Alan Moore wraps up a story that spans a Century and redeems himself for the stumbles in the 1969 volume. Mostly by having only two references to rape and letting the good guys win. It's 2009, Orlando is back in London, after discovering that war isn't always a fun adventure when she/ he gets a message that the League has screwed up and the Anti-christ is in London. What to do when Orlando is not very good at having a plan, Mina is in an asylum, the government thinks they are all crazy and/or traitors and Allan Quartermain is back on drugs? Well, the allies that come to their rescue are brilliant choices that allowed me to forgive Moore for the feeble gimmick of who the anti-Christ turns out to be and how weakly the character is written. The world is saved, but at a cost and there are hints that there may still be a place in this darker world for the League after all. There's been no hints of furure volumes, which would be sad, but if this is the end, I least think Moore did it on a strong note. The text back up story with Mina dealing with a war on the moon was a lot of fun.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Rush

    Better than the second part, though it would be near-impossible not to have been. At this point no one including the authors have any genuine interest in the story, so its mostly humorous resolution is both a bit funny and a bit "oh, why not, who cares?" The resolution of the mysterious ending of part 2 is wholly disappointing, and the resolution of the forced "revived heroism" character blip is likewise disappointing, but it's in total keeping with Mr. Moore's treatment of male characters in hi Better than the second part, though it would be near-impossible not to have been. At this point no one including the authors have any genuine interest in the story, so its mostly humorous resolution is both a bit funny and a bit "oh, why not, who cares?" The resolution of the mysterious ending of part 2 is wholly disappointing, and the resolution of the forced "revived heroism" character blip is likewise disappointing, but it's in total keeping with Mr. Moore's treatment of male characters in his many series. It does have some funny moments, finally, for the first time since maybe even volume 1, and there's not quite as much extraneous lascivious stuff as 1969 (though it does have its share), but it's too little too late. The more you think about it, this whole problem, according to Mr. Moore, is the League's fault. They are culpable for the villain achieving what he achieved, and they play no meaningful role in resolving the problem. And, no, I don't believe all those ladies loved John Steed. It's not that great of a work, really.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    While this was not as bad as the previous volume, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969, it was a long way off from Alan Moore's best work. Worse yet, for a man that is constantly lauded for his originality, this book is incredibly derivative of the Harry Potter series -- I could be kind and say it was inspired, I suppose, but it felt derivative. Anyway, after a few dozen pages of meandering pretext, the remaining league faces down the anti-christ, the aforementioned Harry Potter c While this was not as bad as the previous volume, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969, it was a long way off from Alan Moore's best work. Worse yet, for a man that is constantly lauded for his originality, this book is incredibly derivative of the Harry Potter series -- I could be kind and say it was inspired, I suppose, but it felt derivative. Anyway, after a few dozen pages of meandering pretext, the remaining league faces down the anti-christ, the aforementioned Harry Potter character, at which point Allan Quatermain is killed by his lightning bolt urine. Different book, different penis monster. This may signal a parting of the ways between Alan Moore and myself.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alex Andrasik

    (Reviewing all three volumes in the Century series) The saga came to an overall satisfying conclusion, though as Moore moved through the decades, the literary and cultural references were increasingly lost on me. And the references are, of course, the best part of this series and the biggest reason for reading it, as the actual plots and character development are always rather thin. (I will track down a key to all the references I missed, don't worry. I know you were worried.) I do like some of th (Reviewing all three volumes in the Century series) The saga came to an overall satisfying conclusion, though as Moore moved through the decades, the literary and cultural references were increasingly lost on me. And the references are, of course, the best part of this series and the biggest reason for reading it, as the actual plots and character development are always rather thin. (I will track down a key to all the references I missed, don't worry. I know you were worried.) I do like some of the character development here, don't get me wrong. Mina's attempts to keep up with the times are heartbreaking and only natural. Allan's struggle with addiction is equally understandable, if sketchily conveyed. And Orlando's breezy manner of dealing with their immortality and uncontrollable gender-shifting appears increasingly frayed, to great effect.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    I don't know what the hell is happening in anything Alan Moore is doing these days. It's interesting engaging, but it's so far out from my realm of comprehension. Also, after a three-book build, I thought the ending (which includes the Anti-Christ) would be earth-shattering nuts. It wasn't. The martian invasion from the second volume was harsher. This was over in a heartbeat. Also, how it happened, I still don't get. I didn't understand the second or third chapters of Century. But it was so fasc I don't know what the hell is happening in anything Alan Moore is doing these days. It's interesting engaging, but it's so far out from my realm of comprehension. Also, after a three-book build, I thought the ending (which includes the Anti-Christ) would be earth-shattering nuts. It wasn't. The martian invasion from the second volume was harsher. This was over in a heartbeat. Also, how it happened, I still don't get. I didn't understand the second or third chapters of Century. But it was so fascinating and weird with pop culture growing over it like vines. I wanted to know. I wanted to get all the references. But everything happened too fast and by too many coincidences. It was a freak show, this one. I just wish somebody explained the freaks.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A nice conclusion to the Century trilogy, but still not as great as the original league books. Orlando continues to be a favourite character of mine, though Mina's recovery from madness requires a rather large suspension of disbelief, and Alan's death doesn't leave much of an emotional impact. Moore always provides a good read, and this is no exception. A nice conclusion to the Century trilogy, but still not as great as the original league books. Orlando continues to be a favourite character of mine, though Mina's recovery from madness requires a rather large suspension of disbelief, and Alan's death doesn't leave much of an emotional impact. Moore always provides a good read, and this is no exception.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dion Lay

    Love this series, but a real anti-climax to this story. The cameos are brilliant, loads of my favourite characters, but they're taking over from the actual story now. Artwork is still wonderful though. Love this series, but a real anti-climax to this story. The cameos are brilliant, loads of my favourite characters, but they're taking over from the actual story now. Artwork is still wonderful though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    cd

    "if our magical landscapes, our art and fairytales and fictions...if that goes bad, maybe the material world follows suit..." "if our magical landscapes, our art and fairytales and fictions...if that goes bad, maybe the material world follows suit..."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kamal

    Not Alan Moore's best work. Only mildly interesting. Not Alan Moore's best work. Only mildly interesting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    It's clumsy, but I like it. Again, though, mostly it just makes me appreciate Unwritten even more than I already did, if that's possible. It's clumsy, but I like it. Again, though, mostly it just makes me appreciate Unwritten even more than I already did, if that's possible.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Yahaira

    Not quite a solid 4, but it was closest to making me feel like the first two original volumes did, so I'll round it off :D Not quite a solid 4, but it was closest to making me feel like the first two original volumes did, so I'll round it off :D

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ademption

    The caustic references to Harry Potter were the best part of the Centuries volume.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael J.

    Hurrah! This has an actual ending, a resolution to the threat of the Antichrist (although not without a hint towards more). This chapter was more engaging and satisfying to me, perhaps because I’m now used to the storytelling style Moore utilized in this trilogy. The main action revolves around Mina and a female Orlando. Allan is till a homeless drug addict and doesn’t want to be a hero anymore. He doesn’t participate in the hunt for the Antichrist, but does help play a role in the conclusion. T Hurrah! This has an actual ending, a resolution to the threat of the Antichrist (although not without a hint towards more). This chapter was more engaging and satisfying to me, perhaps because I’m now used to the storytelling style Moore utilized in this trilogy. The main action revolves around Mina and a female Orlando. Allan is till a homeless drug addict and doesn’t want to be a hero anymore. He doesn’t participate in the hunt for the Antichrist, but does help play a role in the conclusion. The League failed to prevent the birth of the Antichrist, and sorcerer Prospero now wants them to prevent Armageddon. Orlando rescues Mina from the mental hospital where’s she been secluded since 1969. In their quest, they find the hidden train Platform 9 3/4 and ride the now-decaying train to a devastated former school for wizards. (Yes, the implications here are that the Antichrist is not Voldemort, but Harry Potter —although never referred to by name). MI5 gets involved, headed by Emma Night (reference to Emma Peel from 1960’s The Avengers British tv show). Before this chapter ends, a celestial being resembling Mary Poppins plays a major role. The back of each book of Century featured an episodic text story, “The Minions Of The Moon” that jumps around in time, and is written by Moore as John Thomas, a tribute to science-fiction writer John Thomas Sladek. I didn’t bother to read these, too confusing even though they supposedly drop in some background details left out of the main story. For me, the trilogy is best summed up by Mina, who when asked what’s it like to be an immortal replies: “Well, for Orlando, it’s thousands of years of sex and slaughter. For me . . . I don’t know. The first seventy years were wonderful.” Next question was “and then?” Mina says:, “Well, you know what they say, life’s a bitch . . and then you don’t die.”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leila Anani

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A slight improvement on 1969 - this final volume in the Century trilogy concludes the Haddo antichrist story following our three protagonists (Mina, Quartermain and Orlando) in 2009 where Norton had told them they would meet again. The references are slightly less cryptic in this one - If you're a geek you'll totally love the Dr. Who, Torchwood and Harry Potter nods. There's something deeply satisfying about having Harry Potter as the antichrist. However with that level of satire, this should be A slight improvement on 1969 - this final volume in the Century trilogy concludes the Haddo antichrist story following our three protagonists (Mina, Quartermain and Orlando) in 2009 where Norton had told them they would meet again. The references are slightly less cryptic in this one - If you're a geek you'll totally love the Dr. Who, Torchwood and Harry Potter nods. There's something deeply satisfying about having Harry Potter as the antichrist. However with that level of satire, this should be so much better than it is - largely I think it's due to the characters - Quartermain's back on drugs and has very little to do until the end. Mina's been in a mental asylum for 40 years and has to be rescued by Orlando - she's the least interesting we've seen her thus far. Always hated gender swapping Orlando and having her carry the story here really didn't work for me. The prose story at the end is again complete gibberish and added nothing other than giving me a headache. Overall I don't think the League should have left the steampunk Victorian era - the line up was strong and the referencing was really clever - Century has it's moments but the plot was rather dull, the characters awful and the references often too obscure for their own good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    Much like Grant Morrison’s Invisibles, these books are drowning in obscure literary references that come at the expense of good story. Moore’s storytelling is more straightforward than Morrison’s, but I still don’t care about these characters or their adventures. The first two League volumes and Black Dossier contained fascinating world-building and compelling character dynamics; while pretentious, they were at least fun to read. With Century, Moore goes off the deep end to deliver a dull apocal Much like Grant Morrison’s Invisibles, these books are drowning in obscure literary references that come at the expense of good story. Moore’s storytelling is more straightforward than Morrison’s, but I still don’t care about these characters or their adventures. The first two League volumes and Black Dossier contained fascinating world-building and compelling character dynamics; while pretentious, they were at least fun to read. With Century, Moore goes off the deep end to deliver a dull apocalyptic saga with throwaway commentary on past eras and the modern world. His criticism comes off as sad to me. Maybe Century will delight others, but it barely got my brain going and my pulse never once quickened. Hopefully Moore redeems himself with the Nemo books. Somehow, though, I doubt it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    The last installment is definitely the strongest of this “trilogy.” It’s really three chapters of one story, and I think publishing them so far apart and presenting them as stand-alone books was/is a disservice. Perhaps reading it as a collected graphic novel would have worked better, but I expect that the first 2/3 would still have been too long. The big advantage of part 3 is that *something* happens, a low bar set by part 1. In fact, lots of things happen! And the characters make choices that The last installment is definitely the strongest of this “trilogy.” It’s really three chapters of one story, and I think publishing them so far apart and presenting them as stand-alone books was/is a disservice. Perhaps reading it as a collected graphic novel would have worked better, but I expect that the first 2/3 would still have been too long. The big advantage of part 3 is that *something* happens, a low bar set by part 1. In fact, lots of things happen! And the characters make choices that advance the plot instead of just bearing witness to things! And the clever allusions and adventure story that made LOEG famous are brought into the 21st century pretty well! I wish the whole story was paced like this one, but at least I’m glad I finished it.

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