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Fridge: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The Comics

Volume I

  • When I read that Ishmael was working as a crewmen for Nemo, I thought it logical: If you had worked for Ahab, you certainly can manage Nemo.

Volume II

The Black Dossier

  • In The Leagueof Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, a section written in a pastiche of Shakespeare, we learn that the original 007 was, of all people, Prospero. At first I thought this connection was a bit far fetched. It wasn't until later that I learned a bit about John Dee's career. Moore has Prospero stand in for Dee in the League universe. Dee, best known as an occultist, was also a spymaster for Elizabeth. He corresponded with the Court in secret, signing his name with a special glyph of his own invention: two circles under the top line of an acute angle. And yes, it was this practice that inspired Ian Fleming during the creation of the James Bond character. I'll never doubt Moore's research again. Also, it's widely thought that Shakespeare based Prospero on John Dee, adding another layer to the symbolism.
  • The teamup of Bond, Night, and Drummond can be seen as somewhat parallels of Murray's original League. Superficially, they resemble Allan, Mina, and Hyde with their dynamic, with Bond as the established British hero, Night as an influential female member of the group, and Drummond as a very Hyde-like brute. Adding to that is Bond and Night's relationship and Drummond's loving defensiveness of Night (albeit in the context of a godfather rather than an attraction). Going even further, Bond also turns out to be a parallel of Griffin, being a stealthy and murderous rapist who betrayed England to another power when he killed Night's father on behalf of the CIA. And true to form, the Hyde-like Drummond goes after Bond, although, sadly and unlike Griffin, Bond kills Drummond and gets away with his treachery.
  • The Black Dossier reveals the significance of Dr. No's name- a tip off that there was No Doctor. But one thing Moore didn't point out- in the novel, No is killed by being crushed by a pile of guano, an indicator that the Dr. No story was, in fact, a load of crap.

Century

  • The fact that people keep bursting into song at certain moments in several of the issues of Century (#1 and #3 particularly) can be odd and jarring — until you remember that The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen takes place in a universe where all fiction happens. All of it. Including the fiction where people often burst into song and dance at key moments.
  • In 1910, there is a reference to Ice-9, which suggests that the events of Cat's Cradle happened in the League-verse. However, in that novel, a bit of Ice-9 falls into the ocean and destroys the world by freezing the world's oceans, events that are obviously difficult to reconcile with League continuity. Fridge Brilliance hits when you remember that superheroes are also real in this universe, and if they're anywhere near as powerful as they are in their own comics, the oceans freezing over doesn't seem like an insurmountable problem after all—they deal with stuff like that all the time.
  • The 14th Earl of Gurney is actually the main character of The Ruling Class, which premiered in and is set in 1972. His presence in 1910 in this story was an egregious research mistake on the part of Moore ... or maybe not. In his stories, Macheath is always saved from execution at the last second by something contrived. Having a character from an entirely different time period exist here and profess to committing Jack's crimes is as contrived as it gets!
    • Heck, there may be an even simpler answer. Setting the events of the play in 1910 instead of Victoria's crowning, having the Earl of Gurney show up six decades early, Jack the Ripper... the entire set up is hugely anachronistic. Just like the actual Threepenny Opera is!
  • Crowley, 60's rock, and Harry Potter. All are treated Satanically in Century. This seems an odd move for the left-hand path follower Alan Moore. Until you remember that people still falsely accused these things of being Satanic, and all fiction is true in this continuity.

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