“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (Vol. 1 and 2) by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill is a comic book series that brings together a diverse cast of characters from classic literature and pop culture to form a team of Victorian-era adventurers. I had high expectations from this comic since I absolutely love V for Vendetta and The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, but this was very disappointing for me.
The first volume of the series introduces us to the League, which is made up of iconic characters such as Allan Quatermain, Mina Harker, Captain Nemo, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man. Together, they are tasked with stopping a group of villains who are threatening to destroy London. The second volume takes the League on a globe-trotting adventure, as they face off against a powerful villain who is using ancient technology to conquer the world.
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is full of action, intrigue, and a deep love of storytelling that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. However, the problematic aspects of the series left me massively underwhelmed.
One of the most notable issues with the series is its treatment of female characters, such as Mina Harker, who are often depicted as sexual objects and are subjected to sexist stereotypes. Additionally, the series includes TOO MANY scenes of sexual violence and rape that are very gratuitous and unnecessary.
Another issue with the series is its portrayal of non-White cultures. The character of Captain Nemo, for example, is depicted as a stereotypical “mystic” figure from the East. Also, the background characters such as the Arabs and the Asians were depicted as stupid and violent, these depictions draw heavily on cultural stereotypes and exoticism.
Finally, the series as a whole has way too much vulgarity and violence (sexual violence in particular) and it feels so overdone and unnecessary that it absolutely affected the overall story for me.