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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 4: The Tempest

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Welcome to the story to end all stories. Two decades of literary League lunacy have all been building to this, the most ambitious meta-comic imaginable. After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture - the biggest cross-continuity 'universe' that is conceivable - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gent Welcome to the story to end all stories. Two decades of literary League lunacy have all been building to this, the most ambitious meta-comic imaginable. After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture - the biggest cross-continuity 'universe' that is conceivable - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series' spectacular fourth and final volume, The Tempest. Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world's most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first place; and to analyse, critically and entertainingly, the reasons for their departure. Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha's lost African city of Kor and the domed citadel of 'We' on the devastated Earth of the year 2,996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe from Lincoln Island to modern America to the Blazing World; from the Jacobean antiquity of Prospero's Men to the superhero-inundated pastures of the present to the unimaginable reaches of a shimmering science-fiction future. With a cast-list that includes many of the most iconic figures from literature and pop culture, and a tempo that conveys the terrible momentum of inevitable events, this is literally and literarily the story to end all stories. Originally published as a six-issue run of unfashionable, outmoded and flimsy children's comics that would make you appear emotionally backward if you read them on the bus, this climactic magnum opus also reprints classic English super-team publication The Seven Stars from the murky black-and-white reaches of 1964. A magnificent celebration of everything comics were, are and could be, any appreciator or student of the medium would be unwise to miss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: THE TEMPEST. Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout (UK).


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Welcome to the story to end all stories. Two decades of literary League lunacy have all been building to this, the most ambitious meta-comic imaginable. After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture - the biggest cross-continuity 'universe' that is conceivable - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gent Welcome to the story to end all stories. Two decades of literary League lunacy have all been building to this, the most ambitious meta-comic imaginable. After an epic twenty-year journey through the entirety of human culture - the biggest cross-continuity 'universe' that is conceivable - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill conclude both their legendary League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and their equally legendary comic-book careers with the series' spectacular fourth and final volume, The Tempest. Tying up the slenderest of plot threads and allusions from the three preceding volumes, The Black Dossier, and the Nemo trilogy into a dazzling and ingenious bow, the world's most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team use their most stylistically adventurous outing yet to display the glories of the medium they are leaving; to demonstrate the excitement that attracted them to the field in the first place; and to analyse, critically and entertainingly, the reasons for their departure. Opening simultaneously in the panic-stricken headquarters of British Military Intelligence, the fabled Ayesha's lost African city of Kor and the domed citadel of 'We' on the devastated Earth of the year 2,996, the dense and yet furiously-paced narrative hurtles like an express locomotive across the fictional globe from Lincoln Island to modern America to the Blazing World; from the Jacobean antiquity of Prospero's Men to the superhero-inundated pastures of the present to the unimaginable reaches of a shimmering science-fiction future. With a cast-list that includes many of the most iconic figures from literature and pop culture, and a tempo that conveys the terrible momentum of inevitable events, this is literally and literarily the story to end all stories. Originally published as a six-issue run of unfashionable, outmoded and flimsy children's comics that would make you appear emotionally backward if you read them on the bus, this climactic magnum opus also reprints classic English super-team publication The Seven Stars from the murky black-and-white reaches of 1964. A magnificent celebration of everything comics were, are and could be, any appreciator or student of the medium would be unwise to miss The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume IV: THE TEMPEST. Co-Published by Top Shelf Productions (US) and Knockabout (UK).

30 review for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 4: The Tempest

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    "This is the course of fable's river end To flood with jewels the delta of its end"--The Tempest I'll just write down a few things here but I can't really do justice to what all this volume intends to be. I'm jealous of WReade who says he has collected all of the separate pieces of this extravaganza to be able to reread it as it came out, serially, in pieces and fragments. The League began in 1999 and is comprised of four omnibus volumes, a study of history and storytelling over the space of more "This is the course of fable's river end To flood with jewels the delta of its end"--The Tempest I'll just write down a few things here but I can't really do justice to what all this volume intends to be. I'm jealous of WReade who says he has collected all of the separate pieces of this extravaganza to be able to reread it as it came out, serially, in pieces and fragments. The League began in 1999 and is comprised of four omnibus volumes, a study of history and storytelling over the space of more than a century. Audacious, I know, something only a guy like Alan Moore might attempt (and attempt and achieve again and again in works like Watchmen and so many works). This fourth volume, which was released in six parts beginning in late 2018, is a large collection of the end of a series that took twenty years to complete by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. The series began as a tribute to nineteenth century novel heroes and heroines seen as a kind of echo of a DC/Marvel superhero "league," a shared storied universe. I am told this is supposed to be the Last Comic of both Moore (one of the greats of comics history, without question) and O'Neill, their swan son, going out together, so out of respect you pay attention. But this is less about nineteenth century literary gentlemen in this volume than the history of comics, with the central adventuring led by--not gentleman, but--three women. It includes tributes to lost and neglected comics artists and references to contemporary British and American politics. And uses Prospero and Shakespeare's The Tempest as a backdrop that invites time travel thirty centuries into the future. As with Watchmen it includes a story within a story. It includes 3-D glasses to watch the Blazing World. It includes James Bond and Galileo and Leonardo da Vinci and puns and what doesn't it include?! Busy, crazy, over-ambitious, pretty impressive. I might have to spend a few years to figure out what it is all about.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ray

    That was very much worth the wait. This hardcover collection of the final League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume is absolutely gorgeous. It even comes with 3D glasses! Alan Moore fans will love it, but this series is certainly not for the timid reader. Each LoEG gets more ambitious than the last, to the point of an insane amount of literary references. This one is a lot of fun if you're into that sort of thing. Mostly taking place in the modern 21st century, join Mina along with Orlando and Em That was very much worth the wait. This hardcover collection of the final League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume is absolutely gorgeous. It even comes with 3D glasses! Alan Moore fans will love it, but this series is certainly not for the timid reader. Each LoEG gets more ambitious than the last, to the point of an insane amount of literary references. This one is a lot of fun if you're into that sort of thing. Mostly taking place in the modern 21st century, join Mina along with Orlando and Emma Night versus Jimmy Bond. There are many superhero references throughout, with repetitive moral lesson theme by Moore of how the world has been worsened by this big new Hollywood genre. The plot is complicated, but also it's not about the plot. It's about looking up the references online which will take about twice as long as reading the main work (I recommend panelwiseblog.wordpress.com). While most is contemporary with film and TV subtle takes on copyrighted material, there's also the 1960s backstory of the 'Seven Stars' superhero team full of terrible public domain British heroes. The satire is quite biting. And somehow it all comes together as only the mind of Mr. Moore could pull off. Time travel, alien invasions, social criticism, as well as the literary nostalgia. Well, maybe anti-nostalgia is a better way to put it. The mocking of the pop culture is often hilarious. Kevin O'Neill's art is excellent as always, sometimes more rounded and cartoonier than his earlier more jagged work, but he consistently excels at illustrating the tone of any given scene no matter the era being depicted. The alternating styles are fascinating, as Al and Kev shift gears and continue the story as if suddenly there's completely different publishers from long-lost decades peppered in throughout. Unless you happen to be the world's greatest trivial genius, you'll learn a lot from reading The Tempest--so long as you do the work to look up who all those background characters are. And that's the thing about the League, it takes work. This isn't normal passive entertainment. This book is certainly not recommended for novices. Go back and read or even re-read the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the beginning. Even the Nemo books. Read a bunch of Alan Moore interviews too. It's the only way to prepare for the nonstop overwhelming barrage that is the conclusion to this ultimate meta-story, in which every work of fiction in humanity's canon all "counts." So Alan claims to have retired from comics and this may be his last one ever. Although he has said that before. I'm fine with this being the end. Not sure if my brain could handle any more...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Well I must admit I did not see this one coming (both physically and figuratively) - you see when I did get round to ordering this book - it seems to have gone through a number of revisions which meant that the shipping date was pushed back time and time again! However before that was the whole idea that the League would have a 4th instalment as I will amid that the end of the previous book (the creatively titled volume 3) pretty much concluded the whole saga- that and the adventures of Nemos chi Well I must admit I did not see this one coming (both physically and figuratively) - you see when I did get round to ordering this book - it seems to have gone through a number of revisions which meant that the shipping date was pushed back time and time again! However before that was the whole idea that the League would have a 4th instalment as I will amid that the end of the previous book (the creatively titled volume 3) pretty much concluded the whole saga- that and the adventures of Nemos children also pretty much closed that story line down too. However it appears that Alan Moore always had in mind that there would be a fourth and final putting - and I must admit I am not sure where they could take it after that. So without letting any spoilers drop we have a number of familiar faces join up once more - however this time you have a number of new heroes joining the roaster. I will admit that one of the things I found challenging was the constant shift of storyboard styles - you go from landscape to portrait and even explore a bit of bi-colour 3D - now this all makes sense in the story however the constant shifting does mean you have to adjust your reading accordingly. So what of the story - well anyone familiar with the now famous League of Extraordinary Gentlemen will be familiar with the artwork style (which is in itself very stylised) but also the constant invokes and references which I found but highly enjoyable and adding an extra level of fun to the story. After all not everyone will find them especially those not familiar with British pop culture - and I suspect I have many more to find too. So what do I think - was it necessary - not really - but am I glad I read it - most certainly. The question is what Mr Moores next project.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Moore and O'Neill say goodbye to the League and to their careers in comics with a series that is by turns playful, despairing, snide, defensive, and wistful. It's a little exhausting too, as Moore and O'Neill lard it with at least four different endings, prolix fake letters pages, and an extended tribute to/parody of forgotten Silver Age British comics that fills a continuity gap between "Black Dossier" and "Century:1969" that maybe six people other than Moore and O'Neill cared about filling. As Moore and O'Neill say goodbye to the League and to their careers in comics with a series that is by turns playful, despairing, snide, defensive, and wistful. It's a little exhausting too, as Moore and O'Neill lard it with at least four different endings, prolix fake letters pages, and an extended tribute to/parody of forgotten Silver Age British comics that fills a continuity gap between "Black Dossier" and "Century:1969" that maybe six people other than Moore and O'Neill cared about filling. As with "Century," a primary theme is Moore's own ambivalence. He loves comics but (rightly) loathes the comics industry. He loves stories of fantastical individuals, but (rightly) wonders if these stories are politically and personally unhealthy. In a telling autobiographical moment in the final issue, Jack Nemo tells Mina Murray that in times of trouble he's always sought the moral, intellectual, and literal high ground, but having found it he now finds himself lonely there. And because this is a LoEG book, this confession occurs inside a 2000 AD pastiche just as it transforms into a Fantastic Four Annual #3 pastiche, which ends in a very mean but very accurate joke about the recently-departed Stan Lee. There's a lot more I could say about this book. There's ideas that thrilled me, commentary that infuriated me, moments of sheer geeky fun, and panels that awed me. O'Neill in particular is doing career-best work, drawing in myriad different styles and balancing expressive cartooning with sci-fi spectacle. If you didn't pay close-enough attention to "Century" or "The Black Dossier" or if you skipped the "Nemo" trilogy, there's story elements that won't make much sense to you. But if you've stuck with Moore and O'Neill this far, "Tempest" makes for a fitting reward.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott D'Agostino

    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books have been some of my favorites. I've been there through the highs (Hyde fighting Martians) and lows (evil Harry Potter shooting lightning from his wiener). Alan Moore went out on a high note. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books have been some of my favorites. I've been there through the highs (Hyde fighting Martians) and lows (evil Harry Potter shooting lightning from his wiener). Alan Moore went out on a high note.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wreade1872

    So i read this in individual issues, which are sitting nicely in my custom made cerealbox slipcase. Which is frankly a bit of a relief as i put it together some time ago and wasn't sure they would all fit ;) . So that was an ending, i guess :P . The first vol of LoEG was a homage to classic literature in comicbook form. This last volume is a homage to classic comics in comicbook form. In fact while previous installments had extra prose pieces at the end of them this has an extra comic, at the end So i read this in individual issues, which are sitting nicely in my custom made cerealbox slipcase. Which is frankly a bit of a relief as i put it together some time ago and wasn't sure they would all fit ;) . So that was an ending, i guess :P . The first vol of LoEG was a homage to classic literature in comicbook form. This last volume is a homage to classic comics in comicbook form. In fact while previous installments had extra prose pieces at the end of them this has an extra comic, at the end of the main comic :) . This black and white tale, featuring the Seven Stars, adds a fair bit of humour to the volume. The plot such as it is, is made of three main elements, 50's spy fiction, golden-age comics and retelling things we already know, mostly from the blackdossier which Moore doesn't seem to think anyone read ;) . While the last issue isn't great, overall the volume is quite good and feels quite dense. Coming from someone who doesn't usually notice artwork much, this is an amazing achievement in that department. It changes art style almost every 2 pages and the fact most of it is by a single artist is quite stunning, also props to the letterer and colourist. #1 [3/5] #2 [3/5] #3 [4/5] #4 [5/5] #5 [4/5] #6 [3/5]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    "So, are we done with all this?" And so, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (and Alan Moore's comics career) comes to an end, both much different than when they first started. THE TEMPEST being a bit of an oddity, I'll have less to say about it than the preceding few volumes, but the usual warnings up front. Warning #1 - If you still haven't gotten the memo, the book hasn't been *just* about teaming up a random assortment of popular characters since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black "So, are we done with all this?" And so, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (and Alan Moore's comics career) comes to an end, both much different than when they first started. THE TEMPEST being a bit of an oddity, I'll have less to say about it than the preceding few volumes, but the usual warnings up front. Warning #1 - If you still haven't gotten the memo, the book hasn't been *just* about teaming up a random assortment of popular characters since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, so those looking to gripe about how Moore (obviously, not a "with it" younger dude but now just a "crusty old creep") doesn't have Yoshi, Solid Snake and Lara Croft teaming up to invade Castle Wolfenstein (or the casts of DRAGONBALL Z, FINAL FANTASY and RICK & MORTY lay waste to ...ahh, hell, I don't know...Fortnite?) well, the ship sailed while you were collecting power coins and Pokemon. Take it to Reddit or 4-Chan or whatever... (Adjunct to the above - and that also covers those of you still sore about Harry Potter. At this point, you still obviously don't get what the book is doing and how it operates - and seemingly never grew up with MAD MAGAZINE to teach you that popular culture is not sacrosanct and should ALL be up for satirical jabs - so please spare me). Warning #2 - while this continues the story forward (and ends it for that matter), the underpinning collective pop-cult examinations of the preceding two series (CENTURY's - The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 - "how Immortals handle the endless change, youth fascination, enforced insanity and pop-culture-replication-for-profit of the 20th Century" and NEMO's - Nemo: River of Ghosts - "how mortal human beings handle personal identity and freedom in a 20th Century dedicated to enslavement, mind control and, yes, endless replication of limited - if profitable - social models" - please see Goodreads reviews of those books for more extrapolation) are somewhat disengaged for THE TEMPEST. Oh sure, we get Mr. Bond and his J. Series as a reminder of just how malignant cut-throat capitalistic models of endlessly reproduced "heroes" can go awry, but the focus returns to our core group of characters, and how they discover they've been dupes and/or something of a stalking horse for a plot by the collective irrational unconscious. Oh, and the back-up sketches the life and death of the children's superhero in the 20th Century (with a decidedly British focus), in humorous terms. It all ends with a disaster in which superhero and science-fiction "fictions" are subsumed into a larger scale apocalypse of "the return of the repressed" and Earth (and our collective literary unconscious) gets what's coming to it. And during it all we get a lot of fun moments, inventive visuals, a wedding, and a bit of espionage revenge. I chuckled more than a few times. No doubt, those who still hold fast to the idea of the book as it started out probably hated it. Ah well, nothing to be done about that. So slap on your 3d specs and hold your breath for one last romp through the boisterous mental landscape of quite a lot of what we clever chimps have come up with to keep ourselves entertained between meals and sex. And allow the heroes their rest and respite. They earned it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Zachary King

    Nigh unreadable without the aid of Wikipedia. There is something unpleasant about using someone else’s characters to lament how much those characters have ruined modern fiction, as when Sherlock Holmes confides to Mina Murray that he feels he’s been bad for the world. Then Moore takes four pages right at the end to snipe at his own readers for expecting a “Bloomsbury Justice League.” He misses the point that those old volumes of LOEG were /enjoyable/. This one just feels like homework assigned b Nigh unreadable without the aid of Wikipedia. There is something unpleasant about using someone else’s characters to lament how much those characters have ruined modern fiction, as when Sherlock Holmes confides to Mina Murray that he feels he’s been bad for the world. Then Moore takes four pages right at the end to snipe at his own readers for expecting a “Bloomsbury Justice League.” He misses the point that those old volumes of LOEG were /enjoyable/. This one just feels like homework assigned by a teacher who resents the practice of pedagogy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fabio

    What started as a cool but very accessible idea of making 19C characters into a sort of super hero group has evolved into a deliciously overwhelming, all-comprehensive, intensely meta, inimitable exercise in folding the history of Fiction onto itself! I've said this many times before and every new bit he produces confirms me in the opinion that Alan Moore is the greatest mystic genius England has produced since William Blake and the smartest writer alive. What started as a cool but very accessible idea of making 19C characters into a sort of super hero group has evolved into a deliciously overwhelming, all-comprehensive, intensely meta, inimitable exercise in folding the history of Fiction onto itself! I've said this many times before and every new bit he produces confirms me in the opinion that Alan Moore is the greatest mystic genius England has produced since William Blake and the smartest writer alive.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Venus Maneater

    Oof wow okay. A great finale of a great series, but boy did I have trouble keeping up with the storyline.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I had a blast reading this gigantic mess. I loved the constantly shifting comic styles, the 3D glasses nonsense, the grumpy satirical letters pages that close each chapter, Moore's insistence on connecting to even the absolute tiniest details from each previous LXG installment. This thing is insane and dense and weird, and yet it still manages to tell a satisfying story and give the characters emotional final bows. After how mixed my feelings were about Century and the Nemo Trilogy, it was fanta I had a blast reading this gigantic mess. I loved the constantly shifting comic styles, the 3D glasses nonsense, the grumpy satirical letters pages that close each chapter, Moore's insistence on connecting to even the absolute tiniest details from each previous LXG installment. This thing is insane and dense and weird, and yet it still manages to tell a satisfying story and give the characters emotional final bows. After how mixed my feelings were about Century and the Nemo Trilogy, it was fantastic to see Moore and O'Neill really pour themselves into making this, their supposedly final comic of all time, an intricate and rewarding opus. I will say, you absolutely must be familiar with LXG to enjoy this. And not like, a little bit. You need to know this shit. Which is probably a major hurdle to enjoying it for most people. Luckily for me, I've been reading all of them, including all the prose sections and the entirety of The Black Dossier, and I do not regret it at all. While at times those bits could feel a little masturbatory and overwrought, now I see that Moore genuinely had a plan for everything, and it all gets paid off here. I found it truly astounding to watch it all play out, and kept thinking how fitting it was for Moore, a master of world-building and plotting, to go out with this kind of bang. The only thing that slightly annoyed me was Moore and O'Neill's opening sections of each issue, where they pay homage, somewhat furiously, to a real comics creator who died in obscurity. I love that they wanted to honor some of these lesser-known artists, but the tone of it feels kind of... off. Essentially, Moore is saying he and O'Neill are getting out of the comics business before it destroys them, because it's a cruel and heartless mistress that only wants to murder creators. I feel like this is... a little overblown. I mean, Moore is the most famous writer in comics still living, and one of the most famous of all time. He ain't exactly obscure, and while it's inarguable that he's been screwed over multiple times over the years, he's still very comfortable. It doesn't quite feel right to have the most famous author of comics saying "See? I'm just like all these forgotten dead people." But, all that aside, there's still a winking sense of humor about all of that that keeps it from feeling too dire. And the ending, in which Moore and O'Neill themselves play a part, is touching and funny and made me genuinely start to miss these two misanthropes. Well, I actually have no idea if O'Neill is a misanthrope, but he seems to let Moore refer to him as such, so I'll choose to believe it. Who knows what's next for Moore, but he's leaving behind a comics bibliography that's difficult to rival. I hope the old, bearded, grizzled grouch can find some solace in whatever it is he does next. He deserves a break.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    To me this was a good farewell to Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill in the comic book industry. I loved The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the beginning and this was basically a thank-you to the readers to stuck with all four volumes. Moore was a fantastic writer and O'Neill showed his range of style in art. It was cool to see the 3-D pages back along with a two pages photos with actors as Mina and Jack. Also, James Bonds last panels were perfection, he had it coming. To me this was a good farewell to Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill in the comic book industry. I loved The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from the beginning and this was basically a thank-you to the readers to stuck with all four volumes. Moore was a fantastic writer and O'Neill showed his range of style in art. It was cool to see the 3-D pages back along with a two pages photos with actors as Mina and Jack. Also, James Bonds last panels were perfection, he had it coming.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zack Clopton

    Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" rank among some of my favorite comic books. I even love the ridiculously dense "Black Dossier." While "Century" definitely proved somewhat disappointing, I felt the "Nemo" trilogy was a good swing back in quality. And now the "League," as well as Moore and O'Neil's entire career in comics, concludes with "The Tempest." It's a book I have a lot of mixed feelings about. Moore's complete disinterest, and outright hostility, towards mo Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neil's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" rank among some of my favorite comic books. I even love the ridiculously dense "Black Dossier." While "Century" definitely proved somewhat disappointing, I felt the "Nemo" trilogy was a good swing back in quality. And now the "League," as well as Moore and O'Neil's entire career in comics, concludes with "The Tempest." It's a book I have a lot of mixed feelings about. Moore's complete disinterest, and outright hostility, towards most modern pop culture was already starting to overtake the series in the last part of "Century." Here, those "old man yells at cloud" impulses drive the entire series. See, "The Tempest's" story functions largely as a metaphor for Moore's feelings towards the modern comic industry and the entire pop culture field in 2020. James Bond functions as our primary antagonist, a psychotically misgonistc and imperialistic example of cross-media franchises that refuse to die and consume other forms of media in their path. While visiting America, we see a retirement home for geriatic superheroes, who are kept alive by studios that still profit off their image and iconography. Most American superheroes are revealed to be hoaxes, perpetrated by the U.S. military-industralist complex. And then Moore ends the entire thing in an apocalpytic rain of fire, bringing the story to about as definitive an end as could be imagine. (And completely screwing over one of its minor supporting characters in the process, who was never depicted as this evil before.) Moreover (Mooreover?), this solar system-wide devatastaion is largely shown as a good thing, a necessary cleansing. The "League" have really come a long way from arguing for the imagination as an essential powerful force of the human spirit, as in "Black Dossier," to showing it as a negative state of planet-wide arrested development that needs to be done away wtih. Has the last decade really made you that bitter, Alan? Along the way, there are plenty of other jabs at how the comics industry, in particular, mistreats its talent. In another way, "The Tempest" is simply not as tonally consistent as the previous "League" stories. For whatever reason, each issue of volume 4 is patterned after another style of British comic book. So the format, tone, and visual design changes drastically between installments. Some of these digressions are actually quite fun. Such as Emma Peel's teenage adventures in a school for budding women spies, which has her and other future Avengers battling "From Russia with Love's" Rosa Klebb in a "1984"-era privat academy. Other times, this change is more distracting than entertaining though. One issue is patterned after English comedy books, so the plot is conveyed via cartoony stripes that could not be more tonally at-odds with what is actually happening. Or the issue patterened after classic horror comics, which is otherwise quite strong, has a quibbing horror host (naturally taking from a famous 1800s political cartoon) telling corny jokes over scenes of gory destruction. It's... Weird. And to an American reader, not as familiar with many of these tropes, rather baffling. Of course, Moore no longer really cares about leaving readers behind, as far as the references go. A huge chunk of "The Tempest's" story, including the entirity of the black-and-white back-up comics, largely revolve around extremely obscure British superheroes from the '40s and '50s. All of this stuff largely goes over my head and, if it wasn't for the annotations available on-line, I probably wouldn't have gottten much out of them at all. These sort of indulgent digressions - such as a lengthy biographical section on real-life painter/murderer Richard Dadd (which contributes absolutely nothing to the plot) or the sheer number of 3-D sequences - are what the "League" books' owe their reputation as completely inpenetratable nonsense to. Still, there are parts of this book that I really enjoyed a lot. As a longtime Bond fan, all the references to that series - and the not-inaccurate depiction of the original, literary Bond as a complete monster - appealed to me. Watching Mina, Orlando, Hugo Hercules, and a newly young-again Emma Peel all have adventures together certainly is lots of fun. Moore and O'Neal's puckish and sarcastic sense of humor rises throughout the book, especially in the increasingly absurd back-up feature. Once the shit hits the fan, we are greeted to some wonderful sequences, such as Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" being brought to life by a troop of famous cinematic man-beasts. And we finally get to see the League's fight with their evil French counterpart, Les Hommes Mystérieux, depicted on-panel, something the series has been hinting at and writing about for years. The joy of "League" has always lied in seeing the unexpected ways these various characters blend together. There is literally no other book in the world where you're going to see Woody Allen, David Bowie, Godzilla, Lara Croft, Sherlock Holmes, and the titular characters from Mad Magazine's "Spy Vs. Spy" pop up only a few pages apart. And, hey, the final farewell Moore and O'Neal give the readers is awfully sweet too. A part of me does wish Moore had just stuck wtih telling "League" stories in the Victorian era. As the series progressed closer to our own times, you could see Moore's lack of experience in modern pop culture infect the stories in increasingly cynical ways. For a book set in 2010, a lot of the plot and cast are drawn from the 1880s and 1960s. (So many Gerry Anderson references...) It's also a shame that one of the medium's brightest talents was so badly mistreated that he had to (somewhat literally) burn it all down at the very end. While destined to be among my least favorite "League" adventures, there's still no part of this series I haven't been able to get some joy out of.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Simon Chadwick

    The final volume in Alan Moore and Kev O’Neill’s outstanding tale has now been gathered for our reading pleasure, and what a feast for the ol’ eyeballs it is. I’m not quite sure what anyone outside of the UK will make of it, such is the British-centric nature of much of the content. In fact, the intended readership, or at least those able to get the most from it, would also need to be over a certain age too. Anyone who has followed Moore’s career will know the industry hasn’t treated him too kin The final volume in Alan Moore and Kev O’Neill’s outstanding tale has now been gathered for our reading pleasure, and what a feast for the ol’ eyeballs it is. I’m not quite sure what anyone outside of the UK will make of it, such is the British-centric nature of much of the content. In fact, the intended readership, or at least those able to get the most from it, would also need to be over a certain age too. Anyone who has followed Moore’s career will know the industry hasn’t treated him too kindly, and so in an effort to restore the balance each of the six chapters (previously appearing as six individual issues) highlights a British comics creator who was given an equally rum deal by publishers. It sounds like a morose and bitter line to take, but the very nature of the LoEG books, particularly the latter ones, is one of immense fondness for the medium. The publishers may well be painted as the baddies, but the creators and their creations are to be celebrated for the joy they have brought, their inventiveness, and the inspiration they fostered. Like previous LoEG books, this is a colossal blending of fiction, taking works of literature and bygone comics, with a little TV and movies sprinkled in to season the mix. The resulting scale is unlike anything you’ll have read before, dragging in characters, places and objects from across the fictional spectrum. Often the element Moore has plucked from history is so obscure they are long-forgotten by all but a handful of people. Take Zom of the Zodiac, a one-off appearance in a forgettable 1948 comic. His powers are absurd and yet Moore works him into the narrative brilliantly, to both underscore his point and to celebrate the medium. Throughout there is a distinct air of cynicism about the whole superhero shenanigans, and perhaps rightly so, but at the same time I couldn’t help but feel it was a celebration too. A celebration of the superhero comics Moore grew up on and encouraged him to create his own tales, that regardless of the eventual outcome remains a most special place in his childhood. This is born out across the chapters, with each issue/chapter styled after a particular comic-style of the past and, while fun is most certainly poked, the attention to detail betrays the fondness for which the medium is held. As for the plot, you’ll need to have read the previous books to follow it, such is the vastness of scale and characters referenced and revisited. But that would be worth your while. You will, undoubtedly, spend far too much time googling the names of characters and places, which often pushes you down Wikipedia rabbit holes, but that’s all part of the fun. Clearly this isn’t a book, or even a series, for everyone but, for those that will appreciate it, there is so much richness, nostalgia and detail embedded in every page that Moore and O’Neill deserve a standing ovation for a remarkable epic.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Todd Glaeser

    I feel as if you like The Black Dossier, you will like this. Bond is back, the mix of (British) comic styles. I will re-read this and will probably enjoy it more. That seems to be my pattern with most of Moore’s later works.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    And just like that League is fun again. This is a fantastic kaleidoscope of pop culture and comic book history. As overstuffed as the early League was an example of controlled storytelling. It is highly recommended that you read all the other League books and the Nemo trilogy or you have even less a chance of understanding this. A fitting, glorious, ecstatic goodbye from two masters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mikael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Tempest was an unexpectedly good episode. Off course it's not the volume one I truly loved, and it's not really better than volume two, I think, though it was quite some time since I read it. But it's most certainly on par with Black Dossier, possibly better than Century, and most certainly better than the Nemo spinoffs. But they're all linked together, and especially now with Tempest fitting all the bits and pieces together in this final volume. Or at least it's claimed to be the final volum The Tempest was an unexpectedly good episode. Off course it's not the volume one I truly loved, and it's not really better than volume two, I think, though it was quite some time since I read it. But it's most certainly on par with Black Dossier, possibly better than Century, and most certainly better than the Nemo spinoffs. But they're all linked together, and especially now with Tempest fitting all the bits and pieces together in this final volume. Or at least it's claimed to be the final volume, but I sort of think I've heard something along those lines previously, so who knows. Anyway, this volume was great. And it's massive. 256 densely packed pages of story and characters. In fact the only thing keeping me from giving it a fiver is the too excessive use of 3-D illustrations, I'm frankly getting quite tired of those after a while. Literally too. And I'd really like to see Jess Nevins doing companion books to this and the other missing ones. But this is a great book to end the story. If it is in fact the end.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Russell Grant

    (read the floppy version, can not comment on th And with this, the series and supposedly Moore's comic book career comes to an end. Like previous entries, this one is both exhilarating and confounding in equal measure. The plot is fittingly end times, but the real joy is the format. Each part (single issues if you read the 6 issue floppies) is a love letter to British comics through the eras. It's a lovely send off for both the series and careers, and it's bittersweet to know we may not have any (read the floppy version, can not comment on th And with this, the series and supposedly Moore's comic book career comes to an end. Like previous entries, this one is both exhilarating and confounding in equal measure. The plot is fittingly end times, but the real joy is the format. Each part (single issues if you read the 6 issue floppies) is a love letter to British comics through the eras. It's a lovely send off for both the series and careers, and it's bittersweet to know we may not have any future Moore projects to look forward to. Remember: Read Moore Comix!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chad Cunningham

    I read this as individual issues all at once, so I am reviewing it as a single story. I have dutifully read LoEG since the first issue came out many, many years ago. I say dutifully because sometimes it has been more duty than pleasure. Moore's ideas are sometimes very interesting to me and sometimes very boring to me. And the 20th Century stories were dark and depressing. The Tempest, however, does an excellent job of not only tying up the various dangling plot threads, it also provides a context I read this as individual issues all at once, so I am reviewing it as a single story. I have dutifully read LoEG since the first issue came out many, many years ago. I say dutifully because sometimes it has been more duty than pleasure. Moore's ideas are sometimes very interesting to me and sometimes very boring to me. And the 20th Century stories were dark and depressing. The Tempest, however, does an excellent job of not only tying up the various dangling plot threads, it also provides a context to the increasing darkness of the story and ends on a note that I found really quite positive and hopeful. At some point I am going to go back and read all of LoEG in one marathon session. Well, I say that, but who knows if I really will. But I have every intention of doing so.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    Alan Moore bids farewell to comics, again, but this time he definitely means it, honest. Like too much recent LoEG – most of it since the Black Dossier, really – it seems largely to be running on a grump that things ain't what they're used to be, complemented by an awareness that how things used to be wasn't that great either – as witness the murderous James Bonds, rapey colleagues of Troy Tempest, and a balding Jason King with PTSD, because those crazy spy-fi antics get to you in the end. Not t Alan Moore bids farewell to comics, again, but this time he definitely means it, honest. Like too much recent LoEG – most of it since the Black Dossier, really – it seems largely to be running on a grump that things ain't what they're used to be, complemented by an awareness that how things used to be wasn't that great either – as witness the murderous James Bonds, rapey colleagues of Troy Tempest, and a balding Jason King with PTSD, because those crazy spy-fi antics get to you in the end. Not that there aren't wonderful details along the way, whether it be O'Neill's ever more versatile art, James Bond humming his own theme tune as he plots, or the usual background collisions of elements nobody else would have thought to throw together, like Bulwer-Lytton's Vril-Ya invading Viz' Fulchester. And I do hope the collection includes the letters pages, because the conceit of a multi-layered pastiche getting out of hand was outright hilarious; for me, the detail which has always salvaged some of Moore's more outrageous statements is that if you hear them in his voice, you know he's fully aware how ridiculous he sounds, as witness the solicitation for this in which he and O'Neill describe themselves as "the world’s most accomplished and bad-tempered artist-writer team". And to be fair to them, this whole project was insanely ambitious – not least at its finale, where its meshing not just the characters from the whole history of British comics, but the page and art styles, so at least it remains formally interesting even when it unsurprisingly doesn't quite come off. The overarching story sees apocalypse brought down on the Blazing World (yes, it's in 3D again), Kor and the like - the eternal wiped away by modern greed, in much the same way Moore sees popular culture having been debased, yet still rebuilding itself, and then fighting back. But there's a problem with this notion of our imaginings, spurned, invading the real world. Yes, it's a perfect expression of much of Moore's thinking, but only if you set it in the real world, not one already made entirely of fictions. In the world of the League, aren't Spring-Heeled Jack, trolls* &c already just as real as the everyday citizens – themselves, whenever named or recognisable, figures borrowed from other fictions? And as if in reaction to this, the previous rule that everything here came from pre-existing fictions has broken down. There was a brief blip before, in Roses of Berlin, where Charlie Chaplin seemed to exist as himself* alongside Adenoid Hynkel, but now Richard Dadd and Dickens exist under their own names too. Which is not to say the Dadd section isn't wonderfully done, but surely these people must have had fictional analogues who could have been used, as happened with the likes of Elizabeth I and Aleister Crowley in earlier volumes? As is, it feels less like the League proper, and more like Moore and O'Neill's excavation of unhappy histories in Cinema Purgatorio, transferred from film to another art form. This might seem like nitpicking, not least because it is, but when something is set in place on certain rules, it seems a shame to abandon them in the final stretch. Meaning I often found myself enjoying the back-up story more, a superhero spoof in which the likes of the Wall's kid and Mr Muscle team up with various rubbish old British knock-off characters and also-rans. Less ambitious, certainly, and very much a mean-spirited kiss-off to the sort of Alan Moore fans who think Doomsday Clock or the Watchmen TV series are more appealing prospects than Jerusalem, but no less funny for that. Ultimately, the two converge, but in many ways the final issue is the weakest of all, with as much hurried destruction as any half-arsed superhero event. And its opening statement, about the destabilising effect on society of extraordinary individuals, is surely just as applicable to Moore and O'Neill themselves as any superhero, which one hopes and suspects they know. *It's not the subtlest gag ever, but I did enjoy that the line about trolls and apparitions capturing the seats of power was married to a panel with a suspiciously Putinesque monster. **Earlier, I'd had a twinge at certain classical figures cropping up under their own names in Orlando's backstory, but ultimately that seemed allowable on the grounds that nowadays Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, or Kenneth Williams', looms far larger to most people than history's.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard Barnes

    There are spoilers galore here – for Moore’s The Tempest and Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. It’s that kind of book. This, the LAST comic book from the unequalled talent of Alan Moore (and his brilliant co-conspirator, Kevin O’Neill) is about as mad a comic book as any the great man has produced. But it is one for the advanced Alan Moore reader. Don’t attempt this after just enjoying Watchmen. You’ll need all of the LXG books under your belt and I’d recommend having a go at V for Vendetta, and P There are spoilers galore here – for Moore’s The Tempest and Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. It’s that kind of book. This, the LAST comic book from the unequalled talent of Alan Moore (and his brilliant co-conspirator, Kevin O’Neill) is about as mad a comic book as any the great man has produced. But it is one for the advanced Alan Moore reader. Don’t attempt this after just enjoying Watchmen. You’ll need all of the LXG books under your belt and I’d recommend having a go at V for Vendetta, and Promethea too. Actually, read everything he’s done first. I suspect that a review for this a year from now, and after a couple more reads would be different beast. Such is the dense nature of Alan Moore’s work. And when I say dense, I don’t mean overloaded and turgid to get through, I mean simply packed to the gills with imagination and ideas. The books of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have depth in every single panel. It’s impossible to see it all in one reading. BUT, we’re not going to wait, let’s review it in the state of dazed wonderment that the book produces. As I said, the book is deranged. The LXG stories began as a clever take on Victorian pulp heroes (Moriarty, the Martians of War of the World), developed into a much richer mythology via the Black Dossier, went crazy with Century, added more depth with the Nemo trilogy and have finished with the full total head-f**k. On one level (and there are so many) this is Moore’s tribute to British comic books – the covers, in particular, pay homage to Classics, TV21, 2000AD, Misty, the Beano and so on. Inside, Moore and O’Neill flip styles depending on whose story they’re telling. For example, as their somewhat villainous take of James Bond takes centre stage, they use the black and white newspaper strip format; enter the Blazing World and put on your 3D glasses, the Seven Stars get a bit more cartoony. As for story, Lord knows what’s going on. I’d have to compare it to the last episode of Patrick McGoohan’s “The Prisoner”. McGoohan said that he had to go into hiding after the episode was broadcast because people were so furious about it. I don’t think Moore has to worry about that kind of reaction (if you’re upset by Moore upending your expectations, stop reading his work). Century finished with a bittersweet but satisfying, almost conventional ending (as conventional as the omnipotent Mary Poppins destroying the demonic Harry Potter can be), while the Tempest just goes off to unlimited realms of the imagination. Moore and O’Neill themselves turn up for the closing panels, making sure everything is just as batty as it can be. But is it any good? Hell yes. O’Neill is on a staggering high of form. Has any other comic book artist had to fill a book with such a kaleidoscope of styles and pull it off so utterly superbly? Moore’s writing soars to its strangely natural (or should that be unnatural) final state. This is no neat wrapping up of all that has come before. Moore has often taken us to Armageddon and then beyond (Swamp Thing, Watchmen, Promethea, LXG Century) and he does it all again here. But this time, the leap beyond never really finishes. This is the end of Moore’s comic book career, this is the end of the LXG, and yet, this book doesn’t end. The story was never really fiction, after all, Mina and Orlando and Bond are all “real” fictional characters ; Moore has always treated his fictions as reality and this real fictional world is overrun by fiction itself, before being overrun by the real authors in fictional form. Maybe that’s it; in completing a life of creating fictions, the author became a fiction himself. And as Dr Manhattan once said “nothing ever ends”. It’s a staggering finale to a staggering body of work. And I feel privileged to have been able to witness it’s unfolding. I will miss the comics of this unique and wonderful mind that has meant so much to me since I read Watchmen back in 1988. But go well, Mr Moore. May you and your snake-headed God, Glycon, continue to create whatever new imaginings come to you. It’s been a blast.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justin

    I don’t know who’s more grateful this is over, me or Moore. You can rest now, Alan.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ronny Kjelsberg

    The first LXG was an intriguing mix of modern super hero comix and Victorian literary references, made into a mix that was complex, yes, but no more so than being attempted made into a Hollywood blockbuster (not to successfully however). But from then the saga became, via a little back and forth, increasingly surreal. This final installment tops it. And the literary references increasingly numerous and obscure. I would guess few who did not more ore less live parallell lives with the creators wi The first LXG was an intriguing mix of modern super hero comix and Victorian literary references, made into a mix that was complex, yes, but no more so than being attempted made into a Hollywood blockbuster (not to successfully however). But from then the saga became, via a little back and forth, increasingly surreal. This final installment tops it. And the literary references increasingly numerous and obscure. I would guess few who did not more ore less live parallell lives with the creators will get them all. Is it nonetheless good? Yes. But it is a demanding read, and it would perhaps been better if I grew up in the UK in the 60's. The entire form of the volume is a parody of british comic book publications. And if you thought James Bond got a hitting in the previousvolume, you ain't seen nothing yet. And I guess this is the crux of the underlying message as well. It is Alan Moore after all. The powers that be get little love, and with good reason one could say. Apart from that, attempting to sum up the volume seems impossible. But great 3D-effects!

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Feetenby

    Ha! Well, look. I’m probably missing half the references at this point, but therein lies the joy. I like a comic that rewards diligent research. Two decades on from its inception The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen now feels complete. It’s a hell of an achievement.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sean Kottke

    This shouldn't work, but I'm convinced Alan Moore infuses his books with dark magic that keeps the loyal reader engaged without going under. The final chapter is told through a bricolage of comic styles, creating a museum of British comics history. There's a big twist in the middle that throws a wrench into much of the mythology built up since Black Dossier, and the climax is one big pun. An epilogue of Moore and O'Neill packing up their toys is clever fun. Like Prospero bidding his magic adieu This shouldn't work, but I'm convinced Alan Moore infuses his books with dark magic that keeps the loyal reader engaged without going under. The final chapter is told through a bricolage of comic styles, creating a museum of British comics history. There's a big twist in the middle that throws a wrench into much of the mythology built up since Black Dossier, and the climax is one big pun. An epilogue of Moore and O'Neill packing up their toys is clever fun. Like Prospero bidding his magic adieu at the end of Shakespeare's Tempest, Al & Kev playfully release the representatives of thousands of fictional worlds they've held captive for two decades.

  26. 5 out of 5

    François Vigneault

    I enjoyed myself. Satisfying and crowd-pleasing in a way that Century wasn't, this all-over-the-place tome manages the rather difficult trick of introducing tons of new story elements to the LOEG universe and wrapping things up in a fairly tidy manner. Absurd, virtuosic, and bombastic, "The Tempest" is also somehow rather touching in the end. Moore and O'Neill tie a nice big bow on this series, and, if rumors are to be believed, their respective careers in the funny books. Good job, and thanks f I enjoyed myself. Satisfying and crowd-pleasing in a way that Century wasn't, this all-over-the-place tome manages the rather difficult trick of introducing tons of new story elements to the LOEG universe and wrapping things up in a fairly tidy manner. Absurd, virtuosic, and bombastic, "The Tempest" is also somehow rather touching in the end. Moore and O'Neill tie a nice big bow on this series, and, if rumors are to be believed, their respective careers in the funny books. Good job, and thanks for all the fun times, gentlemen!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    After the underwhelming ‘Nemo’ trilogy, the series is back to its best, concluding both League’s multi-generational exploration of contemporary fiction and Moore and O’Neill’s comic book careers. Funny, inspired and biting, ‘Tempest’ conveys Moore’s feelings on how our fiction can effect reality and the over saturation of comic-book media through O’Neill’s typically vibrant and reference-laden illustration.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    I maybe would have given this 3 stars but the monumental effort and ambition in this is so clear that it felt wrong. For context, the first two League volumes are two of my all time favorite books I've ever read, especially volume 2. I did not love The Black Dossier, volume 3, or the Nemo books, as it felt they went a bit over my dumb head, though I did enjoy aspects of them. This one I had a similar reaction to, but a handful of haunting or touching moments that brought to mind volumes 1 and 2 I maybe would have given this 3 stars but the monumental effort and ambition in this is so clear that it felt wrong. For context, the first two League volumes are two of my all time favorite books I've ever read, especially volume 2. I did not love The Black Dossier, volume 3, or the Nemo books, as it felt they went a bit over my dumb head, though I did enjoy aspects of them. This one I had a similar reaction to, but a handful of haunting or touching moments that brought to mind volumes 1 and 2 really did affect me (Mina is consistently a great character.) Even though Moore sardonically addresses this directly in the book, I do feel that the unbelievable amount of references, I'd guess 80% of things I don't know, did feel like I was missing out or lost at times. There's a few parts where I wasn't sure if I was missing a crucial plot point due to not understanding a reference that had weaved itself into the story. But this is a very appropriate and climactic finale for League. It had a lot more goofy parody humor than usual, which at times was very amusing (a favorite: a Dr. Fate-esque mystical super hero who ends every sentence with "...of the Zodiac!" with increasingly comical results), but other times, like towards the end, I felt it was a bit too silly when I wanted more of a cathartic or intense or emotional kind of wrap-up, which Moore has expertly done in previous voumes. Maybe I need to loosen up! Well, on to Google all the annotations.

  29. 5 out of 5

    J K

    Extraordinary.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Allison

    That'll do pig. For now. That'll do pig. For now.

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