League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Omnibus (Anglais) Relié – 22 novembre 2011
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As the twentieth century approaches, there is a need for a new kind of champion - adventurers not bound by the chaste order that characterizes the stagnant Victorian Era. The enigmatic Campion Bond of British Intelligence has begun a recruiting mission, collecting a menagerie of individuals who can be of value to his superiors due to...activities that have forced them beyond the pale.
But as Allan Quatermain, Mina Murray, Captain Nemo, Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man discover, British Intelligence has plans for them that go far beyond mere spying. And if they survive their first test against the devil doctor of Limehouse, they'll have to battle an even stranger menace from the stars!
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My review is going to be specifically about the Omnibus edition: this is an oversized hardcover with glue binding and heavyweight paper stock. The glue binding is definitely a turn off, but at least it is a very solid binding. And a real possitive feature is the paper stock, wich is heavyweight indeed (unlike most DC Omnibuses wich usually display shamelessly lightweight paper).
This edition includes the complementary prose pieces "Allan and The Sundered Veil" (wich was featured in Vol. 1) and "The New Traveller's Almanac" (from Vol. 2), both written by Moore with illustrations by O'Neil. Unfortunatelly, some of the illustrations from Allan and The Sundered Veil are MISSING. I checked this with the original comic-books and this is a real shame. (However, illustrations from The New Traveller's Almanac are all featured). Also missing are the XIX Century press advertisements featured in the comic-books. It would have been nice if at least a sample of them was included. Finally, the 12 original covers are all included.
There are some illustration extras at the begining and end of each volume and a 2 page-fold "Game Of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen". However, I want to note that I don't own the previous Absolutes, hardcovers or TPBs editions to check if there is missing material from them. I can only compare this Omnibus with the original comic-book editions.
In conclusion I'm very pleased with the presentation, even though the mentioned issues. I was really afraid DC would have make a mess of this Omnibus, but fortunately that was not the case. If you don't own any of the previous editions, this Omnibus is a great way to go: this are excellent stories with excellent art that any serious comic-book enthusiast should read and have.
As for story, volumes 1 and 2 of LoEG are really the only two volumes worth owning. Black Dossier was frankly an embarrassment and an exceedingly weak piece of work compared to the stories contained in the previous volumes. When I initially read the mini-series as they were released, my impression was that volume 2 was an enjoyable tale in its own right which nonetheless paled in comparison to the tight scripting of the first volume. On re-reading I have confirmed that impression. LoEG volume 1 is one of Moore's best action adventure works. It is a tightly plotted, incredibly well scripted adventure/mystery with highly entertaining characters in a thoroughly engaging plot. Volume 2 certainly builds on volume 1 but misses the awe and mystery that was so well captured in the previous, not to mention failing to recreate the incredible atmosphere of late 19th century London evoked by the talented pencils of Moore's accomplice here, Mr. Kevin O'Neil. In volume 1 in particular, O'Neil's pencils evoke a 19th Century London that is decadent and dense, dangerous and teeming with life and with interesting and intriguing characters. His work on both volumes is a major element of Moore's success with this series.
LoEG represents some of the most unabashedly entertaining works of a writer who's powers are certainly waning of late. Very unfortunately, they also represent the best that LoEG is likely to get. Although producing new stories every other year or so, these tales pale in comparison to the craft, excitement, intrigue and fun of the stories contained in this omnibus. If you don't already own any issues, I highly recommend this. For those who only own the tpb collections, I would also recommend it.
This excellent hardcover presents the first two stories in the saga of the League. With all the accompanying text, and alternate covers.
It's great fun to choose a page at random and try to figure out all the references. Who is that other human on Mars, and who is Dr. Moreau talking about when he speaks about his nephew? Why does one of Nemo's crew members have a black arrow on his back? I could go on and on.
Trouble is, and this not a fault of the book, none of the above questions are answered anywhere in these pages. You gotta do the research.
Also, I have talked to people who saw the movie, and even some who liked it. The story here bears little resemblance to the film. Personally, I see that as a good thing.