Alan Moore has been the subject of controversy in recent months due to many of his comments on Frank Miller’s politics, and more recently his rather extreme reaction to the release of Before Watchmen, a series of prequels to his seminal work Watchmen with Dave Gibbons. So now the mighty mountain man has shuddered, shuffled out of his log cabin in the woods and with artist Kevin O’Neill produced some new pages (via Bleeding Cool) from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009.
One of his most literary and intertextual of works, adapted into a rather ordinary film back in 2003, is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was perhaps Moore’s last great work. Merging several literary works into the narrative, the “Justice League of Victorian England” is now in its third volume, with the first two chapters of the 216 page work – set in 1910 and 1969 respectively – already released. The final chapter brings the narrative all the way to the end of the world in 2009.
The O’Neill artwork is filled with the kinds of literary and pop-cultural references the books are known for. The picture above, for example, has the Martian ship from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume II, and a reference to the green-skinned humanoids from Venus featured in Frank Hampson’s serialised Dan Dare stories from the 1950s. You’ll also notice in all of these pictures a double Xx that serves as motif, from the dirt in the first picture, the Masonic-style symbol in the second, the graffiti in the fourth and so on.
“Queequeg” is a more obvious literary reference to Moby Dick, with the figure being the cannibalistic harpooner that Ismael first encounters aboard the Pequod. The final image is a mish-mash of references to popular culture to Driveshaft (the fictional band from Lost), NWH (“Niggaz With Hats”) from the parody film Fear of a Black Hat, the fictional rapper Fur-Q from Chris Morris’ The Day Today and Massive Genius, the rapper played by Bokeem Woodine in The Sopranos.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009 does not currently have a release date. We’ll be sure to discuss it on our comic book podcast, Behind the Panels.