The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a comic series written by Alan Moore and drawn by Kevin O'Neill; it started life as a six-issue miniseries from 1999, which was subsequently followed by an ongoing set of sequels and spin-offs.
The central idea behind the series is that almost every character identified by name (along with a great number who remain anonymous) is lifted from a pre-existing work of fiction. Originally set in the late Victorian era and featuring characters from works such as Dracula and the Sherlock Holmes stories, it has since expanded to cover many other eras.
The first volume is a six-issue miniseries which ran from March 1999 to September 2000, later published as a collected edition. It tells the story of how a team of Victorian adventurers and oddballs - Mina Murray from Bram Stoker's Dracula, Allan Quartermain from H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, Dr. Henry Jekyll from Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Captain Nemo from Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Dr. Griffin from H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man - were assembled at the behest of a mysterious government official known only as M.
Included in the volume is a prose story entitled "Allan and the Sundered Veil".
The second volume was another six-issue miniseries, running from September 2002 to November 2003. This followed the final adventure of the Victorian team as they go up against the alien invaders from H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
This volume contains another text feature, "The New Traveller's Almanac". This is a faux travelogue, purportedly written in the nineteen-thirties, charting the various locations which make up the world of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, giving hints at future storylines in the process.
Black Dossier came out in 2007, between volumes 2 and 3, and is a graphic novel rather than a miniseries. The main body of the story takes place in 1958: the only surviving members of the Victorian league are Mina Murray and Allan Quartermain, who have rejuvinated themselves after finding the fountain of youth. They are now on the wrong side of the British government, however, and the current M - Harry Lime - sends a trio of secret agents (thinly-veiled portrayals of James Bond, Bulldog Drummond and Emma Peel) to pursue them.
The book also contains many short stories in different formats (amongst them comics, prose, and even a play script) set at various different points prior to the main narrative.
Volume 3: CenturyEdit
Volume 3 is comprised of three books, each 72 pages long. These were 1910, published in April 2009; 1969, published in July 2011; and 2009, published in June 2012. As the titles suggest, each book takes place in a different year; the overarching narrative sees an Edwardian league and its three surviving, eternally youthful members (Allan, Mina and Virginia Woolf's character Orlando) trying to prevent an Aleister Crowley-like magician from creating the Antichrist.
In addition, each volume includes a chapter of a prose story called "Minions of the Moon".
The third volume was followed by a spin-off published in 2013, called Nemo: Heart of Ice. Instead of any of the recurring characters, this book follows Janni Dakkar, the daughter of Captain Nemo. This was followed in 2014 by a sequel, Nemo: Roses of Berlin; a third book, Nemo: River of Ghosts, has been announced.
The three spin-offs are scheduled to be followed by a fourth volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Possible 1964 storyEdit
Moore has also expressed interest in a League miniseries set in 1964. This would presumably tell the story of the superhero group which Mina belonged to in this period, as established by Century: Captain Universe, Marsman, Zom of the Zodiac, Satin Astro, Captain Zenith, Electro Girl and Vull the Invisible - the last of these actually being Mina in disguise, replacing the original, deceased Vull.