Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Black Dossier

by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

For the third installment of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, they just skipped the comic book series and went straight to the graphic novel. This tale takes place in 1958 and the "League"--only two people this time around--isn't operating under the auspices of Her Majesty's government. Quite the opposite, really. Allan and Mina are on the run from British agents, the former having nicked "the Black Dossier", a history of their famed league. As the chase ensues, our intrepid couple get a chance here and there to peek into the dossier, which appear as text pages for the reader. Like the previous LoEG tales, this story's chock full of literary references. (I have to confess that I didn't know half of them, but they definitely came across as in-jokes that somebody should get.) Unlike the previous efforts, however, The Black Dossier isn't as enjoyable. I suspect that it's due to Mr. Moore trying to pack centuries of history into one volume, rather than just telling a single, rollicking adventure tale. Or maybe it's just that I'm getting too old to appreciate all the sex and nudity that's much more prevalent in this one. I don't know. But, given that I've been rereading bits and pieces as I attempt to write this review, I suppose I have to confess that it's not too bad. So, if you've enjoyed the previous accounts of the League, I'd say that you should check this one out. If you haven't, then you'd want to go check out the original and leave this one for another time.

LibraryThing link


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