YMMV / The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The comics:

  • Creator Provincialism: A frequent criticism of the later volumes. For a series that's ostensibly a tribute to the history of fiction, it can strike some readers as a bit strange that most of the coded references in 2009 are to British pop culture, in spite of the growing influence of American and Japanese pop culture in the 21st century.
    • There's also the effects of Moore's New Media Are Evil stance on the later volumes. In the first few volumes, Moore clearly went out of his way to build the world of the League through a wide variety of literature and written down tales and plays (legal or illegal), the scope of which crossed many cultures and even included pornographic sources. However in 1969 and 2009 Moore's worldbuilding starts taking a more cynical POV. Not only did the reference pool shrink as the years went by in-series, most of the recent references shifted to other sources such as film and television, ignoring the modern era's own literature output and other popular storytelling methods entirely. This was not used to draw on some of the practical limitations the aforementioned media have that don't often affect the others as much but was instead presented as a decline to fiction as a whole. So the take away being Moore has made a world that insists the legacy of Victorian era fiction has been tarnished by modern fiction but didn't actually include much of who joined that canvas in the ever growing years.
    • In regards to the Nemo Trilogy, it has been referenced from an essay that Moore wrote that the view point of science shifted from a more exploratory and for better knowledge into a more corrupt tool to be used. Even comparing the views of Jules Verne or H. G. Wells in comparison to the later Edisonade kid heroes. To some this viewpoint seems problematic. The world of the league had played the likes of Captain Nemo straight as such a major character. Simply put Nemo while very ambitious to learn used his technology back in that time to basically become a terrorist. On the other hand we see Tom Swift get deconstructed apart for using his technology to invent the electric rifle. Some may have serious problems accepting Moore's idea the Nautilus is the noble science and the taser is the evil science.
  • Creator's Pet: Orlando is regarded as some as this in the Century trilogy. Worth noting though the character is a Base-Breaking Character who divides opinion.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Whenever the Doctor appears, or is referenced, fans tend to make a big deal of it. This is to be expected, given how he's a classic British pop culture hero no matter how brief his appearances are.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Ayesha, Queen of Kor and the main antagonist of the Nemo spinoff.
  • Fanfic Fuel: This is a universe where every piece of fiction to ever be published exists alongside each other and are connected in some way. Go nuts.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Alan Moore always tried to sell the series on the strength of its central Massively Multiplayer Crossover, with an intricate universe that showed dozens of classic works of literature weaved together into a cohesive whole. In that regard, one element that got some buzz was his use of Broad Strokes to develop once-bland cyphers into interesting characters in their own right. In the first volume, these two elements perfectly complimented and spiced up a genuinely interesting adventure story. However, by the time of Black Dossier and especially Century, they had become a major weakness. For the former, many scenes ended up being devoted to showing off Moore's education instead of advancing the plot, leaving a whole lot of interesting names scattered through a slow and boring narrative. As the series advanced into modern times, Moore also ran out of Public Domain Characters, forcing him to do a whole lot of obvious Writing Around Trademarks. For the latter, Moore attempted to apply his broad-strokes reinvention technique to characters who were far more well-known and fleshed-out to readers than the likes of Allan Quatermain (most infamously James Bond and Harry Potter), leaving the impression that Moore either hadn't done any research or was trying to fulfill some kind of vendetta. Other times, he botched the reinvention; one of his most ambitious creations, Orlando, earned a reputation as a Creator's Pet, and the general opinion of the Golliwog is that he was best left forgotten.
    • Moore has used the series as a means of performing mean-spirited hatchet jobs on characters he doesn't like since the beginning. The very first volume featured Griffin literally raping Becky Randall (including a rather insulting and out-of-character depiction of her as a stereotypical "dumb American") and attempting to rape Pollyanna Whittier (whose lack of obvious trauma over the incident is played for comedy). But, unlike his treatment of Harry Potter and James Bond, the characters in question were old-tyme enough that they didn't have strong fanbases overlapping with those of the audience to be offended at their treatment. And, also unlike them, the hatchet-job was a side-note within the plot rather than a central part of the narrative. note 
  • Genius Bonus: If you got every single reference in this series without help... you need to make a lot more pages here at TV Tropes.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: A big part of the reaction towards Century: 2009 comes from the fact that a big part of the last leg of the story boiled down to a mean-spirited hatchet-job directed at Harry Potter. Whether fans' reactions were just this trope in action, or whether it was legitimately poorly-done and damaged the work from a literary standpoint is up for debate.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In Century: 2009, Judi Dench's M from the James Bond films, who in this universe is Emma Peel, is made immortal. A few months later, she was killed off in Skyfall.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • Moore's Grand Finale for Century: 2009 involves an epic face-off between Harry Potter and Mary Poppins. Just a few months after he wrote that scene (and almost exactly a month after the comic hit the stands) a battle between Voldemort and a swarm of Mary Poppinses turned out to be part of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
    • Among many other tidbits, Century: 2009 manages to tie James Bond and The Avengers together into one universe with the revelation that Judi Dench's M in the later Bond films is actually an aging Emma Peel. Though we never get to find out M's true identity in the films, Skyfall actually did turn out to include a brief moment where Kincade, Bond's old groundskeeper, addresses her as "Emma" (presumably because he misheard "M" as "Em").
    • Century: 2009 includes a brief cameo from "seasoned fixer Malcolm Tucker" on a television screen, in the same issue that includes several background cameos from The Doctor. Fast-forward to 2013: Malcolm Tucker is now the Twelfth Doctor.
    • A 2005 episode of Extras featuring Daniel Radcliffe mercilessly hitting on Dame Diana Rigg suddenly became Hilarious in Hindsight when Century: 2009 featured Emma Peel leading the fight to take down a deranged Harry Potter. Maybe she wanted revenge on him for flinging that condom at her head?
    • The final scene of the comic is of Quatermain's grave in Africa, just like the movie.
    • Similarly, though the movie had "Fantom" (a villain loosely based on Erik from The Phantom of the Opera and Fantomas) the comics did finally incorporate Phantom of the Opera into the plot of The Black Dossier. According to one of the supplementary stories, the League had their final face-off with France's "Les Hommes Mystérieux" at the Paris Opera, where they tried to stop their plot to plant explosives in the Phantom's old lair. The other half, Fantomas, being one of the French team members.
    • About thirteen years after Alan Moore made Sherlock Holmes' older brother "M" in the first volume of League, the original M's grandson became Sherlock Holmes in Elementary.
    • Alan Moore has long been well-known for practicing ceremonial magic and being an avid student of occultism and the mystic arts, and he (in)famously claimed in 2003 that he worships Glycon, a Roman snake god that was once the center of an ancient pagan cult. In 2011, he attracted a bit of controversy for portraying Harry Potter as a thoroughly unsympathetic Antichrist figure who's also supposedly the epitome of everything wrong with the 21st century. In other words: Moore is an occultist who talks to snakes and has an intense personal hatred of Harry Potter. Voldemort? Is that you...?
    • After all those years of decrying fantasy stories as inherrently Satanist, the most well known target, old Potter himself, is literally the Antichrist.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: At this point it's evidently clear there's a chunk of people following these comics only for the curiosity of seeing what works Moore chooses to reference. Many of these people are openly critical to Moore's choices but considering how large in scope these comics are they still want to see who's going to show up.
  • Les Yay: Mina has no use for Orlando when he's a male.
  • Narm:
    • Allan's death. To elaborate: he gets electrocuted by lightning coming from Harry Potter's dick.
    • YOU ARE THE SHIT OF THE WORLD! I SHALL KILL YOU NOW!
  • Never Live It Down: One can see the League as this trope taken to its zenith. Basically, if a character's original books had elements of sexism, racism, and class-biases that the author dislikes, they will be brought in an subject to Character Exaggeration to the extreme. For some younger readers to which Moore's version can serve as a Gateway Series it could ensure these aspects get focused on to the exclusion of everything else about the works. Moore would contend many of these were Lost in Imitation while others would contend Moore has deconstructed far beyond their breaking point.
    • It's true that Allan Quatermain is a Great White Hunter and an opium addict and he wasn't always a straight and confident hero, but the barely functional on-and-off-the-wagon League take on Quatermain is just as much Moore's invention as everything he accuses Hollywood of doing to soften him and others of his kind up.
    • As a minor example Pollyanna gets used for a comedy joke based on the very trope named after her The Pollyanna. Here even being nearly raped by an invisible man is not enough to rock Pollyanna's glad game. Even though as per the original book Pollyanna has some Stepford Smiler elements that while making her still an optimist it can break in really traumatic situations, making it rather out of character that she'd keep it up after Griffin's attack.
    • Bulldog Drummond is another on this list who showed off values that at the time of his creation were acceptable. From a modern perspective one could find him not as likable. However by Moore's take alone one might not see him as having ever been likable in the first place.
    • Did James Bond deserve a long overdue piss-take? Absolutely. Could there be humor in Moore's take? Yes. But does that mean there's nothing compelling about his films or the original book or espionage fiction which Moore sees as propaganda for Rule-Abiding Rebel? That last part is dubious, especially since Moore's focus on his Bond satire is Fleming!Bond, and Roger Moore and Daniel Craig. Missing is On Her Majesty's Secret Service which many consider an excellent film, and a very successful and convincing attempt at humanizing Bond. Let alone remembering how Fleming Bond himself grew as the book series continued. There is also the other aesthetic qualities such as the action, gadgets, and set design which Moore mocks as impractical, but which others would see as Narm Charm of the kind Moore celebrates elsewhere and which is surely no less practical than the Science Hero set-up of Captain Nemo and others, which Moore plays straight.
    • Many fans of the series, and In-Universe Severus Snape, have long seen Harry Potter as a trust-fund kid coasting off the sacrifices of his superiors as well as an unassuming, leash-drawn protaginist, and yes, to the extent that he looked flatter than his co-stars, yes, there were complaints about unneeded moaning about his life, especially in certain installments, and yes the World Building wasn't one of most thought out of the era, but the series also had a lot of rich characters and concepts (such as Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, and Remus Lupin) as well as a lot of cool concepts and ideas, not all of which should be swept aside. And aside from that long list of complaints, the character wasn't without his noble qualities either. And as for representing the summit of modern franchise and blockbusters (which Moore says is repetitive, dead, and regurgitating cliches), many would wonder why Harry Potter is attacked when it is an original IP developed in the late-90s, made into a series of films that haven't been remade at the time Moore was writing.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The depiction of beloved children's characters like Rupert the Bear and the cast of The Wind in the Willows as creations of Doctor Moreau.
    • The dead bodies fused to the remains of the train in Century 2009, to say nothing of the flashback panels to the events of the massacre that caused that.
  • No Export for You: In Canada, at least, you can't buy The Black Dossier without online ordering.
  • Older Than They Think: Another point of contention about Moore's Lost in Imitation and Truer to the Text (and the Never Live It Down and Character Exaggeration that follows) is that some elements are often forgotten about. The following are things specifically Moore included in League that did not appear here first nor were they first suggested there:
    • Captain Nemo's Indian origin was made by Jules Verne himself in The Mysterious Island and partly foreshadowed in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. However thanks to many adaptations turning him British, some are surprised Moore's restoring something instead of changing it.
    • In Dracula Mina and Jonathan Harker's marriage is presented fairly happy by the standards of the time. It is, however, the boy's club attitude he and the other male characters share that helps Mina get turned into the Damsel in Distress. The book ends with a happy epilogue for them, which "League" doesn't use. Moore isn't the first to suggest that Mina Murray's marriage with Jonathan Harker would hit the rocks after the supposed Happy Ending; many critics and Francis Ford Coppola suggested that subtext before him.
    • There's one line in Robert Louis Stevenson's story that mentions Hyde "grew in stature" as time goes on. Some interpret this to mean physically, and this is the interpretation Moore ran with to essentially make Hyde a Hulk-like beast. The opposite view says that in the beginning of the book Jekyll is described as hearty while Hyde was smaller and sickly, and suggests this line meant Hyde grew to be the more healthy, stronger-looking one instead of actually growing to Hulk size. Either way this discussion happened long before Moore.
      • Hyde's possible homosexual attraction has been suggested as a subtext idea within the narrative before Moore's comic had Hyde rape Griffin.
    • The idea of flanderizing Pollyanna into her most basic trait is something that even long since inspired her to Trope Namer for The Pollyanna, so despite its usage here was long older than Moore's Invisible Man tries to rape her joke.
    • Likewise for making Don Quixote live up to his daydreams. People such as Vladimir Nabokov have long observed that Don Quixote is not really all that bad as a Knight Errant, famously pointing out that he wins more fights than he loses.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Sherlock Holmes's single appeareance in Volume I, during Moriarty's flashback to Reichenbach Falls.
  • Schedule Slip: A regular enough occurrence that there's actually a backup strip in the v2 trade about it.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • People who disliked Harry Potter or who liked it but felt it was overrated in esteem and especially found the title character less interesting than the supporting cast enjoyed Moore's takedown of it in Century Vol 3. These fans also point out that Moore's basic satirical message, i.e. a Character Exaggeration of his Idiot Hero tendencies and an attack on the stories overall "trust-fund orphan" narrative of entitled heroism and luck-driven victories is in fact completely accurate and moreover echoed criticisms of the book made by its own fans and by Severus Snape within the stories. They note that Snape is the only HP character who is treated positively by Moore.
    • The same applies for people who enjoyed the trolling of James Bond, even by Bond fans who felt the character was so overexposed they found this revisionist version entertaining. The fact that Jimmy is so hilariously bad at his job and a bungling wimp who can barely get laid makes him less of a Take That! and more of a dark Deconstructive Parody for Bond fans.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The announcement of the Century trilogy initially had fans buzzing because they thought they'd finally get to see the original graphic novel's premise applied to 20th century fiction. And they did... except, instead of creating a new team of champions for a new era of fiction, Moore just made the two remaining members of the original Five-Man Band immortal, and added one consistent new member (Orlando) who quickly devolved into a Creator's Pet. By 2009, Mina and Allan have mentally aged so much that they barely even resemble their literary counterparts (which kind of kills what made the series fascinating in the first place) leaving behind little more than ultra-obscure background references.
    • Once Century: 2009 finally revealed the Moonchild's identity, many fans of Harry Potter objected to the entire storyline not necessarily because of Moore's treatment of the character, but because it wasn't nearly as interesting as it could have been. If Moore had managed to rein in his hatred of today's pop culture, and had actually familiarized himself with the character enough to make his portrayal feel authentic, it could have been a genuinely fascinating look at youthful rebellion, the paranoia of the post-9/11 world, and the conflict between destiny and free will. Instead, Harry is just portrayed as a one-note foul-mouthed teen with an attitude problem. Regardless of how you might feel about the source material, that's hardly the basis for an interesting villain.
      • A bit meta but almost all of Alan Moore's choices for Century:2009 were recycled cliches about millennials. Millennials are overly reliant on pharmaceuticals, have no culture, aren't involved in politics or society, the list goes on. For all of Moore's supposed counter-culture tendencies, it's very easy to picture him complaining about today's big civil rights movements in the same way Louise Mensch might. How bad is it? The closest Moore comes to approaching what today's generation has to deal with is observing that row after row of houses are empty but quickly backpedals from this and tries to frame it as being the fault of Millennials! That the entire Harry Potter plot line boils down to a Dark!Harry Manipulative!Dumbledore fanfiction is really just the least of Moore's poor choices.
      • Others felt that the universe of the book continuing to be doggedly Anglocentric in its depicted references—in spite of the growing influence of American and Japanese pop culture—was also far too provincial in scope.
  • Values Dissonance: The comic deliberately fakes this trope to create aesops such as "The Chinese are brilliant, but evil." We would like to stress this is a verbatim quote.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Beatnik novella from the Black Dossier reads like this, which, given the source material, isn't surprising. If one takes the time to actually decipher the text, the plot seems to involve Fu Manchu and Professor Moriarty's descendants (Dean Moriarty and Doctor Sax, respectively) continuing a family feud by unleashing an ancient Aztec linguistic virus made from centipedes. Oh and the virus actually turns out to be Lovecraftian Eldritch Abominations.

The film:

  • Broken Base: In a connection to the example for the comic the film gets this a lot too. The film made a lot of changes to the point of being In-Name-Only, this clearly irritated fans who like the comic. But given there is an entry of this trope there too, there were a lot of people who found the comic disappointing (or became disappointing). For this side some of the movie's decisions are called improvements to the comic. Debates about this still spring up to this day on most sites talking about the movie or comics.
  • Complete Monster: The elusive Fantom, actually Professor James Moriarty, wishes to engulf the world in war, just so he can line his pockets. Killing British and German citizens to increase tensions, the Fantom tries to attack a peace conference by sinking all of Venice, where it was taking place. Founding the titular League while acting as "M", claiming it to be a counterterrorist organization, he gathers a group of individuals with superpowers and advanced technology, planning to replicate them to sell to the highest bidder in the war he plans. At his secret base, he houses hundreds of scientists, forcing them to work around the clock to recreate the League's abilities, while keeping their families hostage in overcrowded cells.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The movie's Evil Plan involves a mysterious bad guy (who's eventually revealed to be Professor Moriarty) trying to start World War I a few decades early. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which came out almost a decade later, was about the same thing. In this film, Moriarty even references the Reichenbach falls as where "that man died." Perhaps he got some plastic surgery, and tried to start his Evil Plan all over again, but went more ambitious by using the League?
    • Richard Roxburgh would also go on to play Dracula in Van Helsing a year later, which also featured a Mr. Hyde who was depicted as a Hulk Expy.
    • When reviewing the 1994 live-action film The Jungle Book, Roger Ebert talked about the In-Name-Only premise and wondered "What's next? Tom Sawyer with a car chase and a shoot-out?"
    • The team of this comic-book film consists of
      • Nemo: A man with an unusual beard, untold riches, and access to advanced technology that no one else can duplicate.
      • Quatermain: A legendary old hero in an era that is not his own, who lost someone close to him while working for his government.
      • Mina: A beautiful red-haired woman with a traumatic past who dresses largely in black and is much more dangerous than she appears.
      • Jekyll: A mild-mannered Doctor who, at times, transforms into his large, super-strong and ferocious alter ego.
      • An attack on the heroes' cool transport by the pretty boy bad guy and his inside knowledge, and he's working for an even more dangerous foe.
      • And they're all working at the behest of a mysterious government figure. The only ones that don't match are Thor and Hawkeye note , but other than that, one almost expects Quatermain to yell "League, Assemble!"
  • Narm: Let's just say that the effects used for Mr. Hyde weren't that great at the time of the movie's release and have not aged well since.
    • Hyde and Mina have really put-on monster voices that sound more like children playing pretend than professional actors in a blockbuster film. Thankfully Mina only uses hers once.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The in-between states of Mr. Hyde's transformations are as disgusting as the effects are bad.
    • Dante's Hyde transformation may not be a good effect, but he's basically stuck in in one of Hyde's mid states, except even larger, so his skin is stretched out and bright red.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The Big Bad loses all intimidation when he starts taunting Quartermaine in the cemetery. Why? Because the whole time he's running around desperately trying to get out like a frightened child.
    • In general, Moriarty spends most of his screen time running away from fights he started. He claims to have been reborn; evidently into someone far less impressive.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Shane West (Sawyer) later played Michael in Nikita. It's a little bit funny, because Peta Wilson (Mina) got her start as the lead on La Femme Nikita, of which Nikita is a remake.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • Skinner is convincing enough as a CGI effect, but it becomes extremely obvious whenever he's just an actor in face paint.
    • Credit where credit is due: the producers do deserve some commendation for portraying Mr. Hyde primarily through Practical Effects, but unfortunately, the rubber muscle suit they use is not convincing. At all.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Dorian mocking Jekyll when he refuses to become Hyde again is probably meant to be kicking the dog, but the League explicitly wanted Hyde for his brute strength, leaving one to wonder what exactly Jekyll thought he was going to be contributing.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen