The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – Century: 2009 – review

By James Smart

Moore and O'Neill's outlandish series began in 1999 with the Nautilus surfacing off Cairo, and has spent the ensuing years weaving characters from literature and pop culture into a tapestry of intergalactic warfare, bookish in-jokes and grotesque violence. Now their steampunk epic reaches its conclusion in the internet age, with its heroes divided: Allan Quatermain is a homeless heroin addict, Mina Murray is locked in a correctional facility and Orlando has been driven to massacre innocents. But the apocalypse is coming and the league reforms to save the world from a boy-wizard antichrist. Moore isn't just concerned with physical enemies – this episode is also an elegy for "England's mythic dreamtime", which is battered, empty and propped up by nostalgia ("this whole environment seems artificial," says Murray, "as if it's been created out of reassuring imagery from the 1940s"). Century: 2009's neat references are splendid fun, and this is a clever, passionate – and pleasingly open-ended – finale to a fine series.


James Smart

The GuardianTramp

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