Artifact Title : The League was officially disbanded between the events of Century: and The Black Dossier , whittling the cast of characters down to a Trio of Extraordinary Gentlemen by the final act. Not to mention that the book's original Victorian setting, which the title is meant to evoke, has been out the window since The Black Dossier which took place in the s , with the last two volumes taking place in the s and the s, respectively.
In conventional terms of a group, probably, but Moore has always insisted that the League was more of a metaphorical crossover than a literal superhero story. So the Artifact Title here is a Justified Trope.
Asshole Victim : The second volume has Griffin beaten and raped to death by Hyde. Given that Griffin was a sadistic and sociopathic rapist and had beaten up Mina before Hyde subjected him to this ghastly fate, he really deserved it. Tom Swyfte in the Nemo trilogy ends up irrecoverably driven to madness after encountering an Eldritch Abomination.
He is established as being self-centered, misogynist, and racist, so it's really hard to feel sorry for him. Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence : Christian disappears into the Blazing World at the end of his affiliation with Prospero's Men, and from there, presumably finds a way to return to his own shining country, as he is never seen again. Alan Moore's fondness for old-time forms of pornography also tends to come through, to the point where later volumes can focus just as much, if not more at times, on the sexual exploits of the characters as much as their adventures.
In particular, the first volume features characters and settings from Victorian pornographic journal The Pearl , and Black Dossier gives us, among others, a Jane -style Tijuana Bible from the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four and the various exploits in more than one way of the eighteenth-century League courtesy of Fanny Hill.
Between Mina and Quatermain in the main books and Jenny Nemo and Broad-Arrow Jack in "Heart of Ice", younger women have a tendency to end up with much older men in this series. On a less sexual note, his deep love of Victoriana is prominent throughout the first two volumes, and his enjoyment of punk and the hippie movements of the s in the third. Of course, this comes with a certain ugly dark side, see Nostalgia Filter.
Really, whether a historical or mythological figure lives up to their hype, was more of a dynamo than advertised, or was secretly a useless degenerate is all up to Moore's discretion. Author Avatar : Quatermain in the first two volumes and Vol 3. Part 3 , The Duke Of Milan in the third. Author Tract : Despite Moore's really impressive reading acumen on witness in this series even he is not immune to having his combined world here clearly show off some of his own beliefs. Allan Quatermain makes one think that Moore views Britain much as Garth Ennis does America; a skilled, principled Gentleman Adventurer who keeps degenerating into a babbling drug addict when he lacks a clear enemy to fight, only to drag himself to his feet and fight once more whenever his country needs him.
Though he claims to be unwilling to fight the Antichrist, he shows up anyway , dies heroically , and dies in Mina Harker's arms while she calls him her hero.
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Every woman who has loved him over his long life then bear him back to Africa, where he is honorably buried. The final panel of Volume 3 is a respectful shot of his grave as the sun sets. Moore hates spy characters. His depiction of James Bond at least, the literary version isn't exactly flattering either, although it is more faithful to Fleming's original depiction in comparison to his film counterpart.
Book Bond originally displayed quite a bit of misogyny but did soften as the series went on, but here Moore took it Up to Eleven and kept it there. President Palmer casts all blame for millennial economic and environmental crises on the " Bartlet administration ", claiming its Counter Terrorism Unit will end the recession in just 24 hours. Perhaps in that vein, the one spy he gives a pat is a "disillusioned CIA operative" named Westen , who reveals that the modern League's problems with the British government were caused by American double agents - one of which killed the modern M's father and witch-hunted Murray.
In Century: , his portrayal of Harry Potter is generally quite mean-spirited and satirical, making fun of its World Building and cast of characters with the single exception of Severus Snape , who gets a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner , and whose in-universe dismissal of Harry as the Antichrist ; an Entitled Bastard celebrity coasting off better wizards is Moore's own view of the character and its series and influence, an opinion made particularly transparent when he has God appear and destroy him - in the form of Mary Poppins, self-proclaimed guardian of the world's children and their imaginations.
Moore elaborated that even with this he doesn't think ALL of modern literature is as bleak but it is also clear this is an attitude he shares on other modern works that contributed to how he wrote the League world in In regards to the Nemo Trilogy, attention has been called to an old essay Moore wrote about the contrasting viewpoints of science from the Victorian-age onward.
It is not surprising elements of this have influenced the world building of the League. Here the works of Jules Verne or H. Wells are held up to a higher standard and played straight for being mostly For Science! By contrast the science of the Edisonaide kids like Tom Swift are mocked for focusing on their desires being far less noble.
Some may have serious problems accepting Moore's idea the Nautilus is the noble science and the taser is the evil science, but while the Nautilus inspired Jacques Cousteau to become an oceanographer specifically because he wanted to be Captain Nemo, the sole builder of tasers is Axon ; a Predatory Business that goes to extreme extents to protect its monopoly on weapons cops use to torture suspects.
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Several points all can collide in Moore's general belief that New Media Are Evil or at least that a good chunk of modern fiction isn't challenging the audience enough. In some of the ways above you can see how he works in his critiques but at the same time leaves us asking What Happened to the Mouse?
Mary Poppins : I have a great many responsibilities.
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Foremost among these, however, is my concern for the children. I am concerned regarding their wellbeing, and the healthy development of their imaginations. I am concerned regarding their behavior And I'm afraid, young man, that I don't care for you at all. The Antichrist: I'm well famous, actually. I'm in a book of the Bible! Mary Poppins : Tsk. Just one book? I'm on every page. Who did you think you were talking to?
I rocked the fretful baby gods to sleep before time started The quarters of the world bound unto my compass. I have taken tea with earthquakes. I know what the bee knows Peg : Wij hebben ons vrijwillig aangeboden. Zijn geslacht is kolossaal.
His sex is colossal. Mina : She, um, she says they volunteered because of his personality. Allan Quatermain: "I could have just been a traveller. You could have taught music. But no. Tropes N to Z. Nailed to the Wagon : Allan was locked in his cabin to purge the opium from his system, though his addiction would last another issue. Cruelly, his cabin was aboard the Nautilus , so only half of what he saw were hallucinations. New Media Are Evil : This trope has had a profound impact on the world building of the series.
It is easily notable how in later volumes there is a less focus on the modern literary output and lines of dialog come off that works like Harry Potter are poorly defined and stealing from older, better literature.
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Alan Moore in interviews has maintained he sees a cultural decline in certain examples but also has stated he doesn't find all modern works as examples. Exactly which characters from the s and beyond he would not assign this trope to is a very good question. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! Carnacki's visions of a war in Europe leads to the League fighting their French counterparts in Paris, not realizing that BOTH sides are being played, and that the fight ensures that the German Twilight Heroes are free to plot the war with no one the wiser.
Likewise the third volume explores the many versions of Aleister Crowley : Oliver Haddo, Macato, Karswell, Cosmo Gallion, many of them being occultists interested in sex and drugs as a means to access the higher mysteries. No Name Given : Nemo is Latin for "no one", his true name is never revealed. In Verne's The Mysterious Island, his name was given as Dakkar Anglicized version of Thakkoor , which was used as a title by some rulers of princely states.
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It could be a last name, a first name, or just a title. No Ontological Inertia : Griffin's blood becomes visible on Hyde after he dies. Nostalgia Filter : The third volume drips with the sentiment that things in general and fiction in particular were better back in Ye Goode Olde Days even when they weren't so great, and consistently depicts the modern world as a grey and gloomy hell of delusion and misery.
Mina Harker : "People were desperately poor in , but at least they felt things had a purpose. Sexist gags. Homophobic jibes. Yet the dark comic genius of The League of Gentleman did not rest on vaudeville roots. A polite way of being xenophobic? Our comic sensibility is such that they are our kin.
Is this a line directed to the post-colonial melancholia of the Brexit vote, or the nostalgia of the sitcom, or our being complicit in both through past enjoyment?
The investments we make in culture at an early age, when repeated in adulthood, become the site of an uncanny experience. It is worth thinking about why these reactions surface. Prior to the rise of digital media, people would return privately to past pleasures via their VHS machines.
They could be secret. Now we return to them publicly and share our experience via social media. It is important to notice who voices their outrage at homophobic, sexist and racist traces in sitcoms that were once so innocently enjoyed. But we need to move beyond this cartoon of millennials. Postmodern culture is a reboot culture: what is new is a recycling of previous stories, characters and universes.
A shared cultural repertoire is one way of doing this. An alternative understanding would be to think about what forces are at work that provoke such reactions, namely the fact that we live in a world which values digging up our pasts and uses nostalgia as a selling point. The value placed upon nostalgia sits uneasily with an equally important value found among young people: the dream of a better future, often understood as one radically different to the past.
But you can visit — there is no shame in that.