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Moore, Alan:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was the first publication of America’s Best Comics, an inprint of WildStorm set up in 1999 to handle a series of books by writer Alan Moore. The six-issue mini-series, illustrated by Kevin O’Neill, united various Victorian pulp characters in a slightly steampunk England, which had been modified by these characters’ presence and technology. In addition to 24-page comics stories, each issue also featured a four-page chapter of illustrated prose, plus ads remixing real Victorian ads.

One such ad caused issue #5 to be pulped and reprinted. The ad in question was reportedly an actual Victorian ad for a douche, said be be made by Marvel Co. in New York. The ad repeatedly called the product a “marvel.” After the issue was printed with the ad, DC Comics decided the ad was inappropriate because it mocked rival Marvel Comics (located in New York). To be sure, American comics readers would have made this connection, but it would have been unlikely to cause a major scandal, buried among the issue’s many Victorian and Victorian-esque ads. Nonetheless, DC ordered the issue pulped and reprinted.

It was one of a handful of incidents (including the later censorship of a Cobweb story in Tomorrow Stories) that led to tension between Moore and DC. In the 1980s, Moore had sworn never to work for DC Comics again. While artists were already working on Moore’s titles for WildStorm, DC purchased that company. Moore was promised that WildStorm would act as a firewall, so that Moore wouldn’t have to deal with DC, which wouldn’t influence his books.

The six-issue mini-series became a critical darling, and a second six-issue mini-series was launched in 2002. By the time it was completed, in late 2003, a movie had been released, loosely adapting the League concept and starring Sean Connery. The film took liberties with the story and was not well-received.

This movie actually became another source of contention between Moore and the corporations to which his work was tied. Writers Larry Cohen and Martin Poll filed a lawsuit against 20th Century-Fox, makers of the film, alleging that the movie had plagiarized their screenplay called Cast of Characters, which they had pitched to Fox in the 1990s. The lawsuit alleged that Fox had generated the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic as a smokescreen, in order to claim the movie was based on something other than the Cast of Characters screenplay. This resulted in Alan Moore being deposed and grilled, as if he wasn’t a successful comics writer, about whether he had gotten the idea for the series from Fox executives, whom he didn’t know. In fact, the movie adaptation had used characters (such as Tom Sawyer) who were part of Cast of Characters but not Moore’s League, and it’s possible that someone at Fox, remembering Cast of Characters, let some of its ideas seep into the League adaptation (perhaps accounting for some of the liberties the film took with the story). Fox settled the lawsuit, which Moore said felt like an admission of guilt and prevented Moore, who had been accused of things as part of the suit, from exonerating himself. This incident was key in Moore further distancing himself from Hollywood adaptations of his work.

In another incident, a press conference for the adaptation of Moore’s V for Vendetta, published by DC Comics, stated that Moore had liked the movie’s screenplay. Moore, who had distanced himself from film adaptations of his work, demanded this statement be retracted in a venue of equal status. Unsatisfied with a quiet online retraction, Moore sought to disentangle himself from DC Comics.

The next League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic to be published was the 2007 original graphic novel, subtitled The Black Dossier. It covered a great swath of history, brilliantly imitating different past creators’ styles, although it was less of a satisfying single narrative. The graphic novel was intended as an interlude, between the second League book and the third.

It would be the last new League work to be published by America’s Best Comics, for which Moore had otherwise already concluded his work. Most of that work was owned by WildStorm, which in turn was owned by DC. But while DC retained certain rights to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, including the print rights to the first two mini-series and The Black Dossier, as well as certain licensing rights (as evidenced by the League movie), Moore and O’Neill retained the rights to produce more material, and they chose to do so at Top Shelf Productions in the U.S. and Knockabout Comics in the U.K.

The third League book, subtitled Century, was published in as three 80-page graphic novellas in 2009, 2011, and 2012, respectively. Each graphic novella was primarily set in a different era, spanning most of the 20th century. For the second and third volumes, set in 1969 and 2009, Moore created analogs of characters who were not yet in the public domain.

Two interludes followed. The first, titled Nemo: Heart of Ice and published in 2013, followed Nemo’s daughter and was set in 1925. The second, titled Nemo: The Roses of Berlin, will be set in 1941 and is meant to be published in 2014. Moore has said that a fourth League book will follow.

Book One

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1

“1: Empire Dreams” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“Allan and the Sundered Veil, Chapter 1: The Dead Man” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

first issue; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $2.95; cover-dated Mar 1999

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #2

“2: Ghosts & Miracles” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“Allan and the Sundered Veil, Chapter 2: In the Ruins of Time” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $2.95; cover-dated Apr 1999
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Bumper Compendium Edition #1

first issue; collects the main stories from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1-2; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $5.95; cover-dated Aug 1999

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #3

“3: Mysteries of the East” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“Allan and the Sundered Veil, Chapter 3: In the Shadow of the Sphinx” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $2.95; cover-dated May 1999
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #4

“4: Gods of Annihilation” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“Allan and the Sundered Veil, Chapter 4: The Abyss of the Lights” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $2.95; cover-dated Nov 1999
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Bumper Compendium Edition #2

final issue; collects the main stories from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #3-4; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $5.95; cover-dated Jan 2000

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5

“5: Some Deep, Organizing Power…” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“Allan and the Sundered Veil, Chapter 5: The Glint in Fortune’s Eye” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $2.95; cover-dated June 200

Additional Images:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #6

“6: The Day of Be-With-Us” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“Allan and the Sundered Veil, Chapter 6: The Awakening” -- 4 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

final issue; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $2.95; cover-dated Sept 2000; published 26 July 2000

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book One hardcover

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1-6; cover taken from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book One (softcover); published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; hardcover; $24.95; published 2001

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book One softcover

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1-6; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; softcover; $14.95; published 2002

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Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume One

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1-6, plus Moore’s scripts for all six issues, accompanied by spot illustrations by O’Neill, in a second volume; written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; slipcased hardcover; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; 416 pages; $75.00; published July 2003

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Heroes and Monsters: The Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

written by Jess Nevins; exhaustive annotations to the first series, plus articles by Nevins on the series and its themes; includes an interview with Alan Moore, conducted by Jess Nevins; introduction by Alan Moore; cover by Dan Brereton; published by Monkeybrain; 240 pages; softcover; published June 2003

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Book Two

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1

“1: Phases of Deimos” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

“The New Traveller’s Almanac” -- 8 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • illustrated text story

first issue; wraparound cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $3.50; cover-dated Sept 2002

Additional Images:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #2

“2: People of Other Lands” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

untitled -- 8 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • continues “The New Traveller’s Almanac”
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $3.50; cover-dated Oct 2002
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 Bumper Compendium #1

first issue; collects the main stories from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1-2; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $5.95; cover-dated Dec 2002

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #3

“3: And the Dawn Comes up like Thunder” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

untitled -- 8 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • continues “The New Traveller’s Almanac”
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $3.50; cover-dated Nov 2002

Additional Images:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #4

“4: All Creatures Great and Small” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

untitled -- 8 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • continues “The New Traveller’s Almanac”
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $3.50; cover-dated Feb 2003

Additional Images:

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 Bumper Compendium #2

final issue; collects the main stories from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #3-4; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $5.95; cover-dated Apr 2003

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #5

“5: Red in Tooth and Claw” -- 24 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • Mr. Hyde rapes and kills the Invisible Man

untitled -- 8 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • continues “The New Traveller’s Almanac”
  • illustrated text story

cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $3.50; cover-dated July 2003; published 7 May 2003
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #6

“6: You Should See me Dance the Polka…” -- 26 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill

untitled -- 6 pages

  • written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill
  • concludes “The New Traveller’s Almanac”
  • illustrated text story

final issue; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; $3.50; cover-dated Nov 2003; published 10 Sept 2003

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book Two hardcover

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1-6 and the two-page game from America’s Best Comics Special; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; hardcover; $24.95; published Dec 2003

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book Two softcover

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1-6 and the two-page game from America’s Best Comics Special; cover taken from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book Two (hardcover); published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; softcover; $14.95; published Sept 2004

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Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1-6, plus Moore’s scripts for all six issues, accompanied by spot illustrations by O’Neill, in a second volume; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by DC Comics / WildStorm / America’s Best Comics; 448 pages; hardcover; $75.00; published Aug 2005

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A Blazing World: The Unofficial Companion to the Second League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

written by Jess Nevins; introduction by Alan Moore; published by Monkeybrain; 240 pages; softcover; published June 2004

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Omnibus hardcover

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1-6 and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1-6; cover taken from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book One (softcover); published by DC Comics / Vertigo; 416 pages; hardcover; $49.99; published Nov 2011

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Omnibus softcover

collects League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #1-6 and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 2 #1-6; cover taken from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Book One (softcover); 416 pages; softcover; $29.99; published by DC Comics / Vertigo

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The Black Dossier

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier

written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; a.k.a. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier (hardcover); cover by Kevin O’Neill; 212 pages; hardcover; $29.99; cover-dated Jan 2008; published Nov 2007

Additional Images:

buy from Amazon

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier softcover
reprints League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier; cover taken from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier; 200 pages; softcover; $19.99; cover-dated Dec 2008; published Oct 2008

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Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
reprints League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier; cover by Kevin O’Neill; 200 pages; hardcover; $99.00; cover-dated Oct 2008; published Aug 2008

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Impossible Territories: An Unofficial Companion to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier

written by Jess Nevins; introduction by Alan Moore; published by Monkeybrain; 304 pages; softcover; published Aug 2008

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Book Three: Century

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #1

first issue; written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; a.k.a. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1910; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by Top Shelf Productions; 80 pages; softcover; $7.95; cover-dated Apr 2009

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #2

written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; a.k.a. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by Top Shelf Productions; 80 pages; softcover; $9.95; cover-dated July 2011

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #3

final issue; written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; a.k.a. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 2009; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by Top Shelf Productions; 80 pages; softcover; $9.95; cover-dated June 2012

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Nemo Interludes

Nemo: Heart of Ice

written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; Janni Dakkar goes to Antarctica in 1925; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by Top Shelf Productions; 56 pages; hardcover; $14.95; published Mar 2013

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Nemo: The Roses of Berlin

written by Alan Moore; art by Kevin O’Neill; set in 1941; forthcoming; cover by Kevin O’Neill; published by Top Shelf Productions

Movie Continuity

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie

directed by Stephen Norrington; written by James Dale Robinson; stars Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain; released 11 July 2003


Tagged , Captain Nemo, Jess Nevins, , League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.