Four Inches of Plot: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969 Review

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Alan Moore has lost it.  Yeah, I’m going there.  With publication of LXG 1969, I’ve accepted that the mind that created Watchmen, re-envisioned Swamp Thing, and invented The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, has finally jumped the shark.  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  More accurately, he roofied the shark, transported it to some sort of realm of the imagination, had sex with it in every possible configuration, some requiring non-Euclidian geometry, dropped it back off in the ocean, and then slapped it in the face.

Let’s start at the beginning.  League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1969 picks up some 59 years after the previous installment. Written by aforementioned Mr. Moore, and drawn by the talented Kevin O’Neill, it picks up with Miss Murray, Alan Quartermain, and Orlando in the swinging London of 1969. Here we learn of the ongoing plot to end the world via the moonchild and to (apparently) have lots and lots of sex.  Seriously.  However much sex you think constitutes “lots”?  It’s more than that.  Much more.  I’ve seen it before.  A beloved author realizes that he can just write whatever and people will publish it.  It happened with Heinlein and Number of the Beast.  It happened with Piers Anthony and…  well…  everything.  And it happened with Moore.  All I’m saying is, it would be nice if people could get out of bed long enough to advance the plot.  In the end we’re treated to a lot of psychedelic art and a lot of seriously tripped out visuals.  The art is a real testament to O’Neill’s ability to draw his way out of a hole.  But in the end, the story lives or dies based on the words written by Mr. Moore.  And not a hell of a lot happens.  Other than the sex.  Did I mention the sex?

I like Alan Moore’s writing.  Hell, if I were to list my top ten favorite graphic novels, I’d guess that he’d have written half of them.  And that’s what makes this so painful.  I want to like his current stuff.  I really do.  And I can’t.  Hey I’m a grown up – by which I mean that I’ll be charged as an adult in a court of law. I’ve seen actual non-digital boobies, some of which were shown to me by willing and non-financially compensated females.  And yet, when every other page contains boobies, I feel…  Meh.  Damn you Alan Moore!  You burned me out on boobies!

I recognize that this review may seem somewhat disjointed.  And that may be due to my disappointment.  Or due to my recent huffing of paint fumes.  The point remains, LXG seems determined to take a brilliant idea and dig the largest possible crater.  Using genitals. And that’s just sad.