The League: Murray Group and Associates (From Late 19th Century onwards)
"The British Empire has always encountered difficulties in distinguishing between its heroes and its monsters."
— Campion Bond
The protagonists of the first two volumes, and the most iconic League. The leaders of this league, Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain play an active role in shaping the League's activities of the 20th Century as well, working with associates like Orlando, Thomas Carnacki, A. J. Raffles, Andrew Norton, Janni Dakkar and Galley-Wag.
Dysfunction Junction: To the point of it being a Running Gag, but considering that all of them are characters from wildly different stories by authors in different styles, it would be hard to accept it if they weren't.
Faking the Dead: Everyone save Mina, since they're supposed to have died in their original stories. In universe, Mina and Allan are disturbed at the implication of a government agency so comfortable with this kind of subterfuge. This is taken to the levels of faking the death of Moriarty at the expense of Sherlock Holmes who survived by chance.
Precursor Heroes: When M in Vol. 1 compiles the League he states that it's been done before. The backstory expands on the adventures of the first League founded by England by Queen Gloriananote Queen Elizabeth from Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen and was led by Prospero, a second league in the 18th Century was led by Lemuel Gulliver. Keepsakes and paintings of their adventures is on display in their headquarters.
Psycho for Hire: The original league includes both heroes like Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain and characters who are villainous like Hawley Griffin, Edward Hyde(The "good" Dr. Jekyll is hired mostly for the uses of his Superpowered Alter Ego) and Jules Verne's Anti-HeroNoble Demon Captain Nemo would certainly be considered a terrorist today. Even the "good" guys like Allan Quatermain is a Mighty Whitey imperialist from the modern perspective.
Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Initially. Especially the Anti-English Nemo who serves alongside imperialist adventurer Allan Quatermain though he mellows out a bit. The team get on better with each other than they do with their handlers MI6.
"Thankfully, my former husband's feelings are no longer my concern."
The matriarch of the league, Mina is a mysterious woman with "a past" involving a certain foreigner. She's the recurring leader of the league on all three volumes and The Black Dossier.
Action Girl / Action Survivor: Judo Flips "Jimmy" when he tries to put the moves on her, and likewise Emma Peel. In general, as a leader she doesn't get involved with violence and killing as much but rather leads by temperament, intelligence and initiative, showing a gift at organization and management. However, given the right domain she gets to kick ass, especially in the Astral Plane when she and Oliver Haddo face off in 1969.
Ascended Fangirl: Of Allan. She's immediately disappointed but later recovers her crush when Allan gets his act together. They become lovers in Vol 2.
Cry for the Devil: She tends to feel this way for monsters like Edward Hyde. She also reveals that she felt this way for Dracula, that she did feel attracted to him and feels guilty for his death. The guilt is so bad that she hallucinates the Count in Bat form accusing her in 1969, nearly 80 years after the incident.
Empowered Badass Normal: After dipping in the pool of immortality in Kor, she and Allan Quatermain become functionally immortal.
Ice Queen : Towards Allan Quatermain and the rest of the League at first. Justified as from her view, she's a middle class divorced woman who is asked by the government to associate with criminals and deviants, including an unashamed sex offender like the Invisible Man.
Totally Radical: Allan and Orlando makes fun of her attempts to fit in the 60s. Although for her part, she was trying to fit in to her times after several decades of speaking in increasingly Antiquated Linguistics. In earlier times, a lot of contemporary figures she meets, including Sal Paradise from Jack Kerouac's On the Road note that there is something old fashioned about her.
Trauma Conga Line: She endures this a lot but she also survives and heals from it far better than the rest of the league.
Badass Decay:[invoked] He periodically undergoes this, being dependant on drugs and emotionally on Mina.
BFG: His elephant gun.
Deconstruction: Of The Hero character in modern fiction. His primary function in battle is to shoot down things with a gun which along with thinking with his feet is his main skill. This leads to problems because he needs a big adventure to be a hero and without one he's a drug addict who relies heavily on Mina.
Last of His Kind: His death at the end of Century 3. His passing marks the end of the heroic male character who represented real virtues, rather than the false ones of James Bond and Harry Potter, who have become the popular adventure heroes of modern times.
The Load: His drug addiction is a constant problem and he relapses badly after Century Vol 2 when Mina disappears after the Hyde Park concert.
Losing the Team Spirit: At the end of Century 2 and Century 3, he has given up the league becoming a horrible addict and even meeting Mina again doesn't convince him to come back. He does pull a Big Damn Heroes though but he dies.
Mighty Whitey: One of the archetypes for this kind of character though Moore noted that the original contained a lot of Unbuilt Trope which he brings back in this book.
Politically Incorrect Hero : Initially he is this. But he loses that during his collaboration with Captain Nemo, becoming less of a colonialist hero than before, even criticizing England's role in the Mahdi crisis.
Pretender Diss: He's on both ends of this. When facing Professor Moriarty at the end of Vol. 1, he informs Quatermain that Sherlock Holmes thought him "a weakling" and that he's a poor successor as England's most beloved public hero compared to him. In The Black Dossier though, Quatermain expresses the sentiment to James Bond regarding him as a poor successor of the "adventure hero".
Enemy Mine: A complex example. He was a revolutionary in the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and became a N.G.O. Superpower and Science Hero who terrorized English ships but he becomes part of the League created by the British Empire to combat even greater threats albeit with Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and barely repressed contempt.
Go Karting with Bowser: How he views his collaboration with the English. The feeling is mutual. Nemo however immediately walks away when he discovers that the English developed biological weapons with Dr. Moreau and used that to defeat the Martians.
Jumped at the Call: In Vol 1, he and Allan bond briefly and Nemo confesses that the real reason he joined the League was that he was searching for another adventure.
N.G.O. Superpower: His Lincoln Island commune of Pirates and Renegades combined with his modern submarine make him The Captain of his Private Army. He's an exiled Prince of Bundelkhand and after the Mutiny, he gives up all remaining ties to any nation or ideology though he reserves animosity towards the English because It's Personal.
Noble Bigot: VERY prejudiced against the English for the understandable reason that he was a former revolutionary during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. He also has biases against Muslims to a lesser extent. Though he flip flops, he admits to admiring English resolve in the face of Martian invasions and he did respect Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain greatly.
Noble Demon: A more accurate description of his character. He is not a conventionally good person by any definition but he has a strict code of honor that he does abide by and has many Pet the Dog moments along the way.
Politically Incorrect Hero: In addition to his aforementioned prejudice against Muslims, he also expresses very misogynistic views, putting him at odds with Mina at first. Although his views are not any worse than that of Victorian Englishmen who are also very condescending to Mina.
He changes at the very end, he nominates Janni as his successor despite having a Heir Club for Men attitude for most of his life, but for Janni its too late and he dies Reformed, but Rejected. But Janni does take his cause anyway.
Since his apparent death, Hyde has evolved from the pale, dwarfish figure described in the original novella, to a massive ape-like creature. Also, he no longer needs his potion to transform. Any stress will do. Basically The Incredible Hulk in Victorian times.
Berserk Button: He's not a fan of the whole "selling out your entire species to Alien Invaders" that Griffin try to pull in Volume II, but what really gets him is the way the latter treated Mina. And it's a pretty stupid idea to piss off the creature who's already a hulked out version of another guy.
The Big Guy: As Hyde. Though, this was not always the case.
Jekyll & Hyde: Obviously and a major deconstruction of the same. Notably where Hyde is initially The Brute and Jekyll is a nervous Adorkable doctor, as time goes on Hyde proves to be very intelligent and articulate in his own right, showing his strength and development.
Poke the Poodle: Jekyll's "crime" prior to Hyde's release, according to the later.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hyde gives an epic one to...Jekyll. Noting that the good doctor created him by his sexual repression and denial of his desires until he became such a milquetoast that he couldn't function without Hyde.
Shrinking Violet: Jekyll. It takes great efforts to get him sufficiently angry to release Hyde.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Volume II focuses on Hyde, while Jekyll only appears in the first few pages, though this is justified since his arc deconstructs the Jekyll-Hyde story by asserting that Hyde is not a separate person from Jekyll, but the very same man and that it is Jekyll who enables Hyde and not the other way around.
Source:Virginia Woolf's Orlando : A Biography but also Roland from the "Song of Roland" and other similar legends.
Orlando first appeared in The Black Dossier which had a lengthy biography of some of his exploits during his long life of 3000 years. Functionally immortal and capable of changing his sex from male and female, Orlando became part of The Trio that formed the 20th Century League in Vol 3: Century.
Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: He's prone to going off tangent on current situations by citing some famous event and personality he witnessed and met in person, which irks Mina and Allan to no end.
Baleful Polymorph: Spent some time as a Marmalade Cat, a reference to the Orlando and the Marmalade Cat children's books by Kathleen Jane.
Blood Knight: Orlando is very refined and culturally sophisticated but as is known throughout his life, he's very good at war and has fought in major conflicts from the Trojan War in The Iliad to the World Wars and the Iraq War in the 21st Century.
Cool Sword: THE Cool Sword, Excalibur, which he filched from King Arthur's corpse when he was killed by Mordred.
Deconstruction: Orlando is a deconstruction of the immortal The Gump fantasy archetype. Despite living long and seeing and doing much, he isn't necessarily over-advantaged over the likes of younger characters like Prospero or Mina Murray, and even gets a challenge from the likes of Oliver Haddo and the Moonchild. Being immortal has frozen him into the eternal 20s.
Gender Bender: Like his father Tiresias of Thebes, cursed by the Gods to change his sex for a brief period, Orlando can change his sex from male to female in different cycles, this includes organs. In 2009, he comes back from Iraq and finds herself changed when she undergoes her period.
I Have Many Names: His birth name was Bio and he later became Bion, then Vita, Vito and eventually Roland before swearing to remain "Orlando for all my days."
Shell-Shocked Veteran: Becomes this in Century:2009 after going crazy and blindly shooting in a patrol that killed several innocent civilians and fellow comrades. The army thinks it was an act of heroism and he gets a medal but Orlando is appalled at what happened, even more so it happened in the land of Arabian Nights, where Sindbad, his lover had once lived in the Middle Ages.
The exiled Duke of Milan was secretly employed by Queen Gloriana and tasked to found the first League. He eventually retires to The Blazing World and serves as an adviser to later iterations of the League.
The Ace: Orlando, usually full of himself and/or herself, considers Prospero the greatest magician he ever met.
All There in the Manual: He makes brief on-panel appearances in The Black Dossier and Vol 3. Century but he's a prominent presence in the expanded lore.
Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: What he eventually did, leaving the mortal plane for the Blazing World, an extra-dimensional world where all of fiction becomes ageless and immortal.
Antiquated Linguistics: Speaks in Shakespeare's iambic pentameter. Shakespeare is his biographer. No seriously. Amusingly, he continues to call Orlando his "squire" well into the 21st Century.
Berserk Button: He's usually calm but Orlando's laziness and general disinterest in century-long quests makes him point his raise his many-ringed index finger in outrage.
Big Good: Occupies this role for the league as a whole, well into the 21st Century.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: His Character Filibuster at the end of The Black Dossier essentially has him admit to knowing the true nature of the entire series and directly address the readers on the theme of the series, namely that fiction inspires reality as much as reality inspires fiction. This recaptures the spirit of his famous closing soliloquy at the end of The Tempest.
Expy: In Moore's vision, Prospero is one for the famous John Dee, Elizabethan Occultist.
Go Karting with Bowser: Is seen briefly communicating with Nyarlathothep in his Crawling Chaos incarnation on fairly even terms, which unnerves Mina.
I Have Many Names: While staying in England, Prospero takes the name of Johannes Subtil, the titular Alchemist from Ben Jonson's play. He marries another character Doll Common from the same play.
Our Founder /The Leader /The Mentor: He's the founder and leader of the original league and served as The Mentor to Orlando despite the former being two thousand five hundred years older than him. He serves as one to Mina and Co. as well.
Daddy's Little Villain: She is conflicted about becoming this and taking on the Nemo mantle but she sets about going her own way doing it.
The Dreaded: She becomes a terror to rival that of her father and perhaps exceed him...even the likes of Dr. Mabuse is impressed with her.
From Nobody to Nightmare: She is the daughter of The Dreaded Captain Nemo but she becomes The Runaway and tries to work as a waitress in London's docks. After she's beaten and gang raped, she takes up her Daddy's mantle and indeed seems to be worse than him.
Happily Married: To Broad Arrow Jack, who served on her father's crew. She cites her love for her husband, who dies in Nemo:Roses of Berlin as the real reason for not wanting to live forever.
Meaningful Name: She is known as Jenny Diver in the expanded lore of Volume 2 and takes the name in Vol 3, Part 1 as an alias. It's the same name from Brecht's Threepenny Opera and the one who sings the famous Pirate Jenny ballad in the play.
Pet the Dog: A more noble figure than her father, Janni has more Pet the Dog moments alongside her wanton slaughter of enemy ships by the dozen. She returns the corpse of King Kong to Skull Island and fights on the side of the Allies during World War II.
Andrew Norton is the Prisoner of Time, a figure trapped in a fixed location in space, the city of London and its suburbs but can visit the city at any point in time, past, present and future. This allows him to interact with the League over several different centuries across time.
Author Avatar: He's drawn to resemble his creator, Iain Sinclair.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: He does this throughout all his appearances, which greatly disconcerts Mina and Orlando, specifically addressing their fictional nature, and then in 1969 discussing the life of Donald Cammell, who directed Performance, whose characters are real figures in the story we are reading and also talking, like author Iain Sinclair about the real-life coincidences and associations of King's Cross stationnote referring to Sinclair and Moore's interest in psychogeography including the "Franchise Express" gathering steam a quarter over platform ten and the fact that it served as the location of an opium den for Johnny Depp.
Britain Is Only London:invoked For him it's a literal trope, he is trapped in London and its suburbs physically but can visit the space in any point of time. This is the reason he doesn't accompany Orlando and Mina when they visit Hogwarts in Scotland.
Future Slang: His appearances throughout history, his 20th Century Trenchcoat and modern spectacles make him stand out in pre-modern times but then he opens his mouth and speaks in a very contemporary syntax with multiple cultural references that are outside the comprehension of 19th Century Characters like Mina.
Ominous Message from the Future: He delivers this to Mina and Co. over the course of Vol 3, first in 1909 and 1969. First time, it's far too cryptic and Reference Overdosed. Second time it's even more ominous, even telling them that when they meet again in 2009, it will be Too Late. He's right.
An elderly French detective who comes out of retirement when a former case of his reopens. Prostitutes in the vicinity of the Rue Morgue are being killed by what is described as a large, ape-like creature.
Badass Grandpa: A diminutive centenarian. Doesn't stop him from shooting at point blank with an antiquated pistol at Mr. Hyde the moment he appears, while Allan Quatermain is too busy being knocked out.
Ascended Fanboy: He stares in awe at the Nautilus and hints to Mina that he read Litterature/Dracula, praising her courage.
French Jerk: Totally averted. Indeed he's one of the most respectful treatments of original creations in the volume. A wonderful gentleman with good manners who treats Mina without judgment and condescension.
The handlers of the League in its many incarnations. The League's various individuals regard their motives with mistrust and said mistrust is usually justified.
Face-Heel Turn: From the point of view of Nemo, manufacturing and using biological weapons on the Martians was this. For the rest of the team, who didn't have any inkling about aforementioned plan, the Harry Lime orchestrated coup of England to install Big Brother was this, they cut off all ties from MI6 after that.
Griffin: "Aheh. Well, that solves the mystery of the detective's disappearance: his brother ate him."
Sherlock Holmes' brother.
A Lighter Shade of Black: He's not an outright villain like Moriarty, but he's still a pretty amoral character. In the supplemental material of Vol 2, Mina comments that he's a kind of intellectual monster.
Adipose Rex: Head of British Intelligence, and extremely fat.
Sibling Rivalry: It's implied that he and his brother do not get along well.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's willing to use biological warfare to stop the Martians, even if it risks deaths of other Londoners. In Vol 3. Part 1, he orders an execution of Jack MacHeath for the Ripper murders without a trial and is appalled when the Earl of Gurney takes the blame for all the killings(he had only killed one) letting Jack become a Karma Houdini much to his disgust.
Good Hair, Evil Hair: He alternates between a thin beard with a pencil line mustache, and a simple handlebar.
In the Blood: The Bond family, whether Sir Basildon Bond in Prospero's time or his more famous grandson in the 20th Century are generally shifty scumbags who are condescending, macho and full of themselves.
Jerk Ass: He's not especially evil or rude but he's very condescending, manipulative and a real toady. He also condescends to Mina and thinks she's not fit to lead the League because she's a woman
Vetinari Job Security: He seems to have this in Vol. 1 even after basically being a henchman to James Moriarty, he keeps his position in Vol. 2 with no rebuke. Averted in The Black Dossier and Vol 3. Century, the former book has him noting his loss of favor while the latter book has him serve as waiter to the second M and the League, with nothing to do but sulk off-panel.
A descendant of Campion Bond, Jimmy is the same kind of weaselly slimeball that the League dealt with in the Victorian era though more unpleasant and smug than Campion. He served the government during the Big Brother regime and is a well regarded secret agent.
Dirty Old Man: The glimpse of him in Century 2009 being attended by a ridiculously bosomed blonde nurse suggests this. Hardly surprising.
Fake Ultimate Hero: He's touted as a great secret agent but his use of gadgets in a fight are shown to be Awesome, but Impractical and only make him look foolish. It's revealed in the end that Jimmy is in fact a traitor to England, having murdered Emma Knight's father and being in the pocket of Americans.
Fountain of Expies: An in-Universe example, he's such an institution that MI6 essentially use his name and identity to different agents.
He-Man Woman Hater: In Alan Moore's view, this was the unpleasant undercurrent of the original stories and Jimmy makes even The Comedian seem like a feminist by comparison, being a rapist who uses torture instruments as foreplay.
Karma Houdini: Murders Emma Knight's father, betrays England for America, rapes many women and is a thug, and when confronted by Bulldog Drummond rubs it in that he's going to kill him and get away with it and have sex with Emma Knight too.
He has even become an institution by the time of Volume III.
Take That: Let's fact it, Jimmy is essentially Alan Moore's attack on the myth of James Bond.
Villain with Good Publicity: He's a traitor to England and a rapist but is also considered a honored establishment figure, so MI6 keeps younger stand-ins like J3 and J6 to do field work, while the original is tended to by a buxom blonde nurse.
Writing Around Trademarks: It's pretty clear who he is but for copyright reasons isn't actually referred to as James Bond, or 007.
By the time the Second World War ended, a character called Harry Lime became M and Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain decided to leave England. In the meantime, Ingsoc established Big Brother as Dictator of England with Lime's willing support and aid.
Allohistorical Allusion: His middle name is Kim after his famous grandfather. It's also a reference to real-life Soviet Spy Kim Phillby, a friend of Graham Greene who wrote the screenplay of The Third Man of whom Harry Lime is an Expy.
Big Brother Is Watching You: Harry Lime does the watching for Big Brother and even watches him in turn and later kills him to replace Ingsoc when he realizes that it's not working.
Bigger Bad: Of The Black Dossier, though he doesn't actually fight the League, preferring to work behind the scenes.
Disney Villain Death: An interesting variation: He "falls" up into space while holding onto the Cavorite.
Entertainingly Wrong: He notes that Sherlock Holmes understood his activities as a criminal but somehow never reached the conclusion that his criminal empire was on a scale that could only be enabled by The British Empire, never realizing that he, the Great Detective was ultimately an Unwitting Pawn for MI6.
Only You Can Repopulate My Race: 70 years after his death at the end of Vol. 1, his embalmed corpse is extracted for sperm and DNA to repopulate the Amazon Women on the Moon's population. Watch this space...
Politically Incorrect Villain: Expresses scorn towards Mina, and calls her a "lesbian" for her position as leader of the league. He also flips out and calls Sherlock "a drug addicted sodomite" when the latter defeats him.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his personal opinion, he's quite sharp about what can make a team work, even arguing for Mina to lead the team to the more macho Campion Bond on the grounds that a woman in a squad of strong males would be ideally placed to keep a lid on the inevitable Dysfunction Junction.
An occultist who first confronts the League in Century 1910, he goes on to be the recurring Big Bad of Volume III.
Big Bad / Big Bad Duumvirate: He is this for Volume III as a whole. Sharing it in Century 2009 with the Moonchild or the Antichrist.
Didn't See That Coming: His convoluted plans collapse when Carter shoots his body in the head while his spirit is in the Astral Plane trying to possess Terner/Mick Jagger, as a last resort he possesses the body of a creepy dude named Tom Riddle.
Expy: Oliver Haddo was a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Aleister Crowley who appeared in W. Somerset Maugham's The Magician. Crowley being a Fountain of Expies inspired several works in the 20th Century and Volume III and the expanded lore has him taking on several alternate guises and forms of each of his expies throughout the century, a short list includes Karswell from M. R. James' Casting the Runes, Hjalmar Poelzig(Boris Karloff) from Edgar G. Ulmer's film The Black Cat, Adrian Marcato from Rosemarys Baby and Kosmo Gallion from a famous episode of The Avengers.
Grand Theft Me: He keeps hijacking different hosts through the centuries, each of them being an expy of him. He pulls a very dickish one on Kosmo Gallionnote From The Avengers TV Show, hijacking him on his death bed and then boasting of sleeping with his fiancee while Gallion dies in Haddo's decrepit body.
Though eventually he becomes a victim of this. His plan of hijacking Terner's body at Hyde Park fails when he's killed by Carter (Michael Caine in Mike Hodges film) and is forced to take on the aspect of Tom Riddle, the future Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter books. He regrets this since the Antichrist was a total failure, at least for him.
Politically Incorrect Villain: He claims that the occult is a way to get away from conservative sexual repression but tends to regard his women followers as concubines. He even makes vulgar misogynist remarks to Mina, even threatening to take advantage of her by pulling a Grand Theft Me on her body, though Mina stops him from achieving that.
Really Gets Around: Haddo tends to be surrounded by lots of semi-naked followers and even makes creepy overtures to Mina.
Shaggy Dog Story: He noted that his plan on starting a new aeon failed and that the Moonchild he wanted turned out to be a whiny Spoiled Brat strung out on prescription drugs.
Victory Is Boring: He thwarts the League in Vol. 1 and 2 and manages to create The Antichrist but is sorely disappointed and even regretful at the entire thing.
The Moonchild or the Antichrist is one half of the Big Bad Duumvirate of Volume III. His fate is to bring about the end of the world. He is a parody of the Harry Potter character and is roundly defeated by God or Mary Robbins.
Go Mad from the Revelation: Let's say he didn't take the revelation of his true nature and his purpose in life very well. Specifically that all his adventures were a ruse to prevent him from facing his true purpose.
Important Haircut: Has a significant buzz of shorn hair and the room he is in is filled with cut black hair and a pair of broken glasses.
Jerk Ass: Even aside from the terrible things he does, he's a whiny little ingrate trussed up on prescription pills and looks down on Mina and Orlando for not being a great hero, "like Jesus" and that they're "just women".
Kill 'em All: Murders the entire Harry Potter supporting cast, and the people of Hogsmeade including Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Draco, Hagrid, McGonagall, Snape, Dumbledore and Hedwig.
That Man Is Dead: The fact that he erased all visible traces of his former identity suggests that the Moonchild no longer identifies himself as Harry Potter.
Underestimating Badassery: Looks down at Mina Murray and Orlando as being ineffectual heroes against him because they are "just women", you know people who have combined fought the likes of Dracula, James Moriarty, the Martians and The Trojan War.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Not a sympathetic example, indeed a pathetic example, but he was basically created for a purpose and function he did not ask for and tried to resist with anti-depressant pills and hiding himself from the world.
Writing Around Trademarks: His appearance is completely different from his popular identity. For one thing he's bald, he's broken his glasses and there's a bandaid in place of the lightning bolt scar of Harry Potter. The only thing left are his distinct green eyes.
Mighty Whitey: Though so tyrannical her subjects apparently depose her, according to Janni Dakkar.
Off With Her Head: Her present fate as of the end of Nemo:Roses of Berlin, Hildy Johnson raises questions if she could have survived that considering her immortality, but Janni assures her that she's dead.