League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol.3: Century Part.1: What Keeps Mankind Alive

Cover image from Century Vol.1

Cover image from Century Vol.1

Wonderful news! Here is the cover to the next thrilling installment to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Due in April 2009 (although anyone who remembers the protracted wait for Black Dossier will perhaps not be holding their breath) by Top Shelf Publications. The first part of a trilogy that follows the league from 1910, through to the lysergic 1968, culminating in a ‘terrifying’ conclusion in 2008.

Moore has revealed that the style and pacing of the comic will be markedly different to the other volumes, citing the removal of pressure from mainstream publishers (previous League incarnations were on the Warner/DC owned ABC/Wildstorm imprint).

Moore states ‘…while we were working within the confines of mainstream comics, we were perhaps unconsciously following the basic formulae of mainstream comics. There’s sort of an overall ethos in comics, in boys’ adventure fiction, that you must keep the action moving, which is not really the standards of serious drama or literature. So for this third volume of League, we’re pacing it differently. It’s got a lot more depth and resonance, a lot more drama for the money. And I think that the payoff of this first volume is that it will be frightening enough to make the reader forget the slower pace of its opening pages.’

Increasingly, with previous chapters of League (especially Black Dossier), Moore has included more adult themes which tended to make his former paymaster publishers squirm uncomfortably in their seats.

Moore has also revealed titbits of information regarding the subsequent chapters of Century. The second chapter, titled Paint It Black, appears to have a flavour of Nic Roeg’s Performance (wonderful sixties curiosity featuring Mick Jagger and Edward Fox) and reference rock music’s dalliance with the ‘Age of Aquarius’, LSD and a cast of characters from many strands of sixties related fiction. The birth of the Moonchild is promised!

Details on the third and final chapter of Century are sketchy as of yet but promises a raging nuclear-armed terrorist (from a infamous nautical family) and the rise to power of a terrible ‘magical child’ . Unfortunately, there appears to be no members of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen around to counter the threat.

Each issue is 72 pages long and is a self contained story to ‘…thus relieve readers from any kind of painful cliffhanger between issues’. However there is an over-aching plotline that connects the issues.

a page from Century

a page from Century

What Keeps Mankind Alive is set against a backdrop of London, 1910, twelve years after the failed Martian invasion and nine years since England put a man upon the moon. With Halley’s Comet passing overhead, the nation prepares for the coronation of King George V, and far away on his South Atlantic Island, the science-pirate Captain Nemo is dying. In the bowels of the British Museum, Carnacki the ghost-finder is plagued by visions of a shadowy occult order who are attempting to create something called a Moonchild, while on London’s dockside the most notorious serial murderer of the previous century has returned to carry on his grisly trade. Working for Mycroft Holmes’ British Intelligence alongside a rejuvenated Allan Quartermain, the reformed thief Anthony Raffles and the eternal warrior Orlando, Miss Murray is drawn into a brutal opera acted out upon the waterfront by players that include the furiously angry Pirate Jenny and the charismatic butcher known as Mack the Knife. Actually Chapter One revolves around the song Pirate Jenny (Seeräuberjenny) from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. Characters in this chapter will burst into song at various points in the narrative. Moore has written new lyrics for Mack the Knife, Pirate Jenny, What Keeps Mankind Alive and Mack’s Plea From The Gallows. (from wikipedia)

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~ by moonchief on July 18, 2008.

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