October 16, 2007
The Entertainment Weekly Website includes a four-page preview of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier ($29.99), which Wildstorm will release on November 14th, and which promises to be one of the best-selling graphic novels of the fourth quarter (if not the entire year).
EW's Jeff Jensen puts the new graphic novel in the proper perspective with his first sentence: "Long before it became known for being a terrifically crappy movie starring Sean Connery, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a terrifically acclaimed comic book franchise created by one of the medium's most revered scribes: Alan Moore, the British writer behind Watchmen and V for Vendetta."
Jensen lays out the basic conceit of the LOEG series ("the entire genre of Victorian fantasy fiction treated as if it were a cohesive world akin to the Marvel superhero universe"), summarizes the plotlines of the first two books in the series, and then provides some insights into the somewhat obscure literary references (for Americans) included in the full color four-page Black Dossier excerpt ("the Greyfriars School is a nod to a series of popular mid-century stories about a British schoolboy named Billy Bunter"), though he doesn't mention the more obvious allusion to Richard Hannay and The 39 Steps (John Buchan's novel that was made into a hugely popular Hitchcock film in 1935).
All quibbles aside, Jensen provides an excellent introduction to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novels, which should interest additional readers in what is already one of the most popular graphic novel series in the marketplace today.