My first introduction into the world of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (LxG) was the 2003 movie and each subsequent experience in the world of LxG has always been an upward trend. Having gone three volumes and a dossier later, the duo of Moore and O’Neill are performing their farewell tour to the comic book medium through the end of this series.
Let me put it simply: this is one of the grandest and slam dunk farewells to a medium. Moore has not only proven to be the grace of the comic book medium but now in many ways the soothsayer for the entire idea of art in our modern context.
From the cover alone of this issue, he structures the page as a callback to the newspaper comic strips. In many ways it’s also a return to form for Alan Moore, whose initial break into the comics medium was through writing for newspaper comic strips. Moreso, he gives some interesting meta-narrative contexts in this issue. With this issue dedicating a page to discuss creator Ken Reid, Moore consistently flagellates the industry. The issue is stacked because of it consistently playing with the colors and art styles whilst crossing into different genres. In every 2 pages, Moore switch-hits the narrative and constantly puts the story in flux.
One of the consistent themes for the plot is that it serves as Moore’s critique of our modern art. Inevitably this will rub people the wrong way, however, it isn’t without truth. One of my favorite aspects of reading LxG has been its assistance in recontextualizing the vastness of fiction throughout a beautifully imaged series. There is a great play of ideas along with this great intertextuality of literature and our modern cultures. The greatness of LxG is that it doesn’t stand on the laurels of other ideas but in the praise of human culture. LxG, despite it offering valid criticism of our modern culture, still celebrates and plays with our humanity.
It is easy to call Moore a cynic of modern art, especially with his critique of superhero films. But it’s not a desire for us to fail as people, but for us to be our own superheroes. The joy of Alan Moore, and of great art, is that it asks us as consumers to strive for elevation of our selves. LxG is the definitive reason why I can allow myself to be a better, more empathetic person. Moore was the first author in comics that asked me to look beyond my current imagination and to extrapolate that into the history of my cultural touchstones.