The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (1999 onwards) is an ongoing comic book series by Alan Moore set in a world where all of the characters from every book, play, poem, television show and film ever created exist alongside each other. During the Victorian era, a group of misfits and monsters is assembled to stop an attack on the Great British Empire...
Volume 1, issue 1, Empire Dreams
- Campion Bond: We live in troubled times, where fretful dreams settle upon the Empire's brow. If England's to survive them, then your work is vital. Be about it vigorously and without delay, for the shadows of the century grow long... and your chariot approaches.
- Mina Murray: The French authorities believe the captain dead since the "mysterious island" affair fifteen years ago. It's better he remains aboard his ship.
- Allan Quatermain: It's better he remains dead! Do you know who you're dealing with? That's Captain Nemo. Nemo the madman. Nemo the science-pirate...
- Mina Murray: Preferable, surely, to Quatermain the opium-sot? I have, you may believe me, met with many deplorable specimens of humanity, but you...
- Allan Quatermain: Madame, that's enough! I pray god that all Englishwomen are not now of your manly ilk.
Volume 1, issue 2, Ghosts & Miracles
- Captain Nemo: This is insufferable! To play the manservant, like some low-caste punkah-wallah...
- Allan Quatermain: You think I like playing that harpy's husband any better? We must suffer it as best we can and think of England.
- Rosa Coote: Oh, that's Katy... our Miss Carr. She's a great believer in "the school of pain." Frankly, sometimes we don't know what she's going to do next!
- Edward Hyde: A cure? You'll cure me, will you, like a wart on Jekyll's arse? Why you self-important little turd! Unfasten these confounded straps. I'll snap your neck in two!
- Inspector Donovan: That would hardly be very wise of me, would it sir?
Volume 1, issue 3, Mysteries of the East
- Allan Quatermain: Well, there they go. I must say, I'm not taken with that Griffin fellow. I don't trust her with him.
- Henry Jekyll: I hadn't thought about him. To be honest, I've more pressing worries of my own... the thing is, I don't trust me with myself.
- Hawley Griffin: God, what a squalid thing humanity can be! Would that they might all vanish and be made invisible instead of I.
- Mina Murray: You clearly have a low opinion of humanity, sir. No doubt that is why you were so eager to become something entirely other.
- Hawley Griffin: Aheheh. Not entirely other. I still have human wants. It's simply that my own desires are more... transparent.
- Hawley Griffin: She thinks she's Sherlock Holmes, back from the dead!
- Mina Murray: I think no such thing! Rather, it is you men who, typically, are not doing any thinking at all!
Volume 1, issue 4, Gods of Annihilation
- Mina Murray: I can't say that I got a proper look at [Fu Manchu].
- Allan Quatermain: Be glad. You'd only have bad dreams.
- Mina Murray: Mr. Quatermain, you do not know me or my history very well. More to the point, you do not have the first idea about my dreams. Dreams that were merely bad, sir, would be a great relief to me.
- Allan Quatermain: They'll spot me in an instant. I look like a damned pantomime character! I wish I still had my chainmail shirt...
- Mina Murray: Mr. Quatermain, you are far too scarred and hideous to quibble about fashion.
- Edward Hyde: I can kill the little bastards as quick as they come at me...
- Mina Murray: No, Hyde, you can't. There are hundreds of them and if we do not think of something quickly, they will kill us all.
- Hawley Griffin: Aheh. All of us that they can see, anyway.
- Allan Quatermain: Griffin, if it came to it, I'd bloody well kill you myself!
- Hawley Griffin: Aheheh. Careful Quatermain. You won't see me coming, you know.
Volume 1, issue 5, "Some Deep, Organising Power..."
- Prof. James Moriarty: Ah, what it is to be a man below so blue a sky.
- Sherlock Holmes: Indeed. As closing acts go, I'll allow the scenery is more than adequate.
- Prof. James Moriarty: Why, sir, it is Olympian! We tread the very borders of mythology!
- Sherlock Holmes: I rather think you flatter both of us. There. I am done.
- Prof. James Moriarty: Sham modesty. It ill becomes you. What is leaving alpenstock and a silver cigarette case on a lonely mountain pathway, if not playing to your legend?
- Sherlock Holmes: It is a keepsake to a dear friend. Nothing more. I'm tired with all this talk, professor. So, then. To the death?
- Prof. James Moriarty: Oh, yes. Yes, absolutely.
- Prof. James Moriarty: Shadowboxing, Bond. We're all just shadowboxing.
- Prof. James Moriarty: Am I, for example, a director of military intelligence posing as a criminal, or a criminal posing as a director of military intelligence? Or both?
- Captain Nemo: Griffin, you madman! What's the meaning of this? What is the reason for this policeman's costume?
- Hawley Griffin: I was cold. It's getting rather chilly out there, you know. Besides, I've heard that the ladies find the uniform quite irresistible. Don't you agree, Miss Murray?
- Mina Murray: He's harmed someone. He's hurt a constable...
- Hawley Griffin: "Oh heavens! He's harmed a poor policeman!" Well, forgive me. I'd rather thought we were a covert military unit, but it seems instead we are a knitting circle!
Volume 1, issue 6, The Day of Be-With-Us.
- Prof. James Moriarty: Ah, Sergeant, does your soul thrill as mine does to these seas of cloud, to this god-like perspective? To this god-like power? Look at it down there. London. Just look at it. The Thames a marvellous piddle-stream of silver 'neath the August moon. Those huddled lights. Those countless tiny lives. The poor-but-honest folk of Spitalfields, of Hackney, Shoreditch, Wapping... Limehouse. Commence the pyro-explosive bombardment.
- Mina Murray: P- Professor Moriarty. I have the greatest respect for you as a mathematician. I- I had hoped I might convince...
- Prof. James Moriarty: Yes, yes, yes... Sergeant? Throw this smelly little lesbian over the side.
Volume 2, issue 1, Phases of Deimos
- Lieut. Gullivar Jones: They're refugee ships! They're finally abandoning Mars after all these years!
- John Carter: Oh god. Gullivar, it's an armada. Those photograph cubes. That egg. They know about us. They know where we come from. Earth... they're heading for Earth.
Volume 2, issue 2, People of Other Lands
[Upon being blasted by the Martian's heat ray]
- Edward Hyde: YOU BASTARDS! YOU SKY WOG BASTARDS!! I'LL EAT YOU!!!
[Upon seeing another Martian spaceship fall from the sky]
- Mina Murray: I- is that...?
- Allan Quatermain: Pound to a penny it's another cylinder. Looks like it's falling towards Woking or somewhere...
- Edward Hyde: Hunh. Long way to come just to conquer Woking.
- Mina Murray: I had thought it your custom to repel companionship?
- Edward Hyde: Huhn. It's just the darkies, opium-sots and snickering lunatics that I can't stand. You're all right.
- Mina Murray: I fear that you are somewhat harsh about our fellows, Mr. Hyde. What makes you think me any better?
- Edward Hyde: Call me Edward. I don't know. Frankly, it confuses me. and makes me furious with you. Sometimes I think I should just rape and behead you. But a voice in me still fiercer than my own tells me if I did that, I must next take my life. It's puzzling. Perhaps it is that I would then have killed the only living thing that does not fear me. D'you think that's it?
- Mina Murray: Y-you would be quite mistaken, sir. I fear you very much.
- Edward Hyde: Perhaps. Perhaps you do. But not like all the others. I believe you do not hate me. I believe you have perhaps met someone worse than me. Would that be right?
- Mina Murray: Yes.
- Edward Hyde: I thought as much. Miss Murray, though I am a beast, do not think that I am stupid. I know that I am hideous and hateful. I am not loved, nor ever hope to be. Nor am I fool enough to think that what I feel for you is love. But in this world, alone, I do not hate you... and alone in this world, you do not hate me. I... I would be grateful if you left me now. Go quickly, woman. Go before I break your jaw.
- Hawley Griffin: Aheheh. Good evening.
- Invader: UUUUUUU...
- Hawley Griffin: There, now. Don't get upset. I'm going to draw you a picture.
[Griffin draws five circles in the dirt, with a stick figure over the fourth circle and a circle with wavy lines over the fifth]
- Hawley Griffin: There. Something even lumps of afterbirth like you should understand. See? There's the Sun, then Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Out of Earth come us chaps. Out of Mars come you chaps.
[Griffin draws a stick figure next to the stick figure already above the "Earth" circle]
- Hawley Griffin: Now, here's me. I'm one of us chaps... [erases second stick figure] ... but you can't see me. Aheheh Now, here's what I think: You're going to give mankind a good dusting down. And you're going to win. Aheheh. With me so far? You're going to rule the Earth. Look! I've drawn a little afterbirth above the Earth, ruling it. You see? Just there... next to me. You're going to rule the Earth next to me.
Volume 2, issue 3, And the Dawn Comes Up Like Thunder
- Captain Nemo: I must confess, I admire the British people's bravery. With horror at their doorstep, they seem unconcerned.
- Allan Quatermain: Huh. Hardly unconcerned. More blinkered, I'd have said. Pretending everything's tickety-boo, Nemo. It's the great British pastime.
- Editor's note: Lord love us! Can our nation's doughtiest defenders quell the influx of these queerly-behaved foreign devils who show no sign of attempting to adapt to our time-honoured English way of life, with cricket on the green and ladies bicycling to Evensong? Buy our next issue, lands, and let it be your proof of loyal citizenship! God save the Home Secretary!
Volume 2, issue 4, All Creatures Great and Small
- Captain Nemo: Ishmael, if one of them approaches Blackfriar's bridge, try to put a round beneath its canopy. Failing that, collapse the bridge.
- Ishmael: Aye aye, sir.
- Edward Hyde: Collapse the bridge? With all those innocent lives? Ohhh, Nemo!
- Captain Nemo: Do not mock me, horror. The Thames is London's moat now and whatever measures are necessary to contain our problem south of the river, those measures will be taken.
- Edward Hyde: Huh. Goodbye South London, then.
- Captain Nemo: Possibly. If we are fortunate, there are no more cannisters to come. Those creatures already here can only destroy so much. As for the population, hopefully they can escape in time. If not, it is hardly a major strategic loss. They are only...
- Edward Hyde: Human?
- Captain Nemo: English.
Volume 2, issue 5, Red in Tooth and Claw
- Hawley Griffin: Oh please. Please don't kill me...
- Edward Hyde: Don't worry, Griffin. I won't. Not for ages.
- Hawley Griffin: Nhuhuhuhn. Please, Hyde, please...
- Edward Hyde: Stop saying that! Stop saying "please", you treacherous little shit! You betrayed us all for a lot of slugs, didn't you?! DIDN'T YOU?!
- Hawley Griffin: Aaa! Aa, God! Yes, yes, I betrayed you...
- Edward Hyde: Yes. You did. But that's not why I'm cross. I'm cross because your treatment of Miss Murray was... uncivil. Get on the floor.
- Editor's note: Oh, cripes! Can this beastly business possibly get any worse? To learn the admittedly predictable answer to this largely rhetorical question, do not fail to purchase our concluding number, unless, of course, you are a sissy, coward or girl.
Volume 2, issue 6, "You Should See Me Dance the Polka..."
- Allan Quatermain: Bond, listen... what horde of monsters Moreau's creating...
- Campion Bond: Ah. You met his playmates, did you? They're not important. Merely an eccentric hobby that we tolerate.
- Mina Murray: W-we'd assumed they were his government project...
- Campion Bond: Really? Why would we need subhuman brutes who've barely mastered English when we already have soldiers?
- Campion Bond: Look, we just need to buy time until H-142 is delivered.
- Mina Murray: Edward, I can't allow this. You'll be killed.
- Edward Hyde: Yes, I suppose I shall. And end up looking rather noble, when all I really want to do is slaughter something, eh? Miss Murray, before I go, would you allow me the honour of a kiss?
- Allan Quatermain: Mina...
- Mina Murray: Oh, Edward. O-of course. Of course I would.
- Edward Hyde: Ah. Ah, God. Thank you. Thank you.
- [he kisses her]
- Mina Murray: E-Edward, I...
- Edward Hyde: No, No, please. One other thing, then I'll ask nothing more. Would you allow me to touch your breast?
- Mina Murray: Oh, God. Oh, God... Edward, you... you must promise not to hurt me.
- Edward Hyde: Of course. I shall never hurt you. Never.
[he lightly touches her breast]
- Edward Hyde: Oh, it's thundering so fast... so very fast. I was right, then, about this world. Always I knew that Heaven would be the cruelest of places. Farewell, my perfect Mina.
[Hyde has seized the leg of one of the tripods]
- Edward Hyde: Huhuhn. Yes, that's right. Shoot me again, you little shit, without blowing your own foot off. Huhur. You're in trouble now, aren't you? I mean... Urrngh... I'm no engineer, and correct me if I'm mistaken, but... HRRUNNGH! (bends the tripod's leg) ... but don't you seem to have rather a design flaw in these three-legged things? Now, don't get me wrong: God created a lot of useless, stupid-looking creatures on this world, too but He didn't... NURRRGHH! (rams the leg of the tripod) ... He didn't see fit to make any of them three-legged. Why was that, do you think?
(The tripod topples over)
The first collected volume
- Editor's note: Greetings, children of vanquished and colonised nations the world o'er. Welcome to this Christmas compendium edition of our exciting picture-periodical for boys and girls. And let us bid a special welcome to those poorer children who, in four or five years' time, will be gratefully reading these words in a creased and dog-eared copy of this very publication, its dust jacket torn and several pages from the second chapter stuck together, that has been donated to their orphanage or borstal by local Rotarians.
The Black Dossier
- Orlando: Embroiled in slave rebellion, I escaped crucifixion simply by declaring 'I am Vito', everyone else apparently being called 'Spartacus'.
- Orlando: Now in 1943. My tale is almost over, while outside the air-raid continues. I know that Allan and Mina are alive somewhere, and expect that I shall see them, sooner or later. As for myself, I was three thousand two hundred and three years old last week, and I endure. I saw London founded, hewn with Trojan blades, and now see it flatted with German incendiary devices.
- I've witnessed cities beaten to their knees, fought all our pointless little wars, seen millions slaughtered, peerless cultures smudged by history's thumb, and, all things considered, wouldn't change a moment. I was Bio, I was Vita, and where human life went, there was I. It was a great adventure, and I am proud to have been a man; to have been a woman. To have been Orlando.
Part One: What Keeps Mankind Alive?
- [Janni has just had an argument with her ailing father, Captain Nemo]
- Ishmael: I'd never have brought you up here if I'd known the captain would upset you...
- Janni: He's not a captain! When was he in any country's navy? He's a prince who plays with boats!
Far away in foreign climes, dear...
I have roamed for twenty years...
Though they've thought me dead at times, dear...
Few have shed me any tears...
- Suki: And the ship...
The Black Raider...
With Hell for a cargo...
Comes in from the sea...
Part Two: Paint It Black
- [After Mina seduces Julia for information about Oliver Haddo]
- Allan: Mina? Are you all right?
- Mina: Of course I'm alright. Why shouldn't I be?
- Allan: Well, we... we heard that other girl screaming. D-did you torture her for the information?
- Mina: Oh... yes. Yes. I can be quite ruthless when I have to be.
- Terner: Well, howdy there. Please pull up a chair, and don't leave me sittin' here alone.
Mark me well, 'cuz I'm old as Hell. I'm the serpent coiled beneath the throne.
I had a spree in gay Paree back when Robespierre was in town,
And I subdued my hilarity when the heads came rolling down.
Won't you please me? Won't you take a chance?
Though it ain't easy, it's the way I like to dance.
:I can recall watching Babel fall, an' I witnessed the decline of Rome.
:Saw Samson shorn in no time at all, loaned Delilah my shears an' comb.
My laughter grew with each child you slew, and I scorned each victim's cries.
Wherever man's been, I've been too. I'm your friend who never dies.
Come on and please me! Come on and take that chance!
No, it ain't easy, but it's how I like to dance!
While Dachau choked, and Nagasaki smoked, oh, how I joked! What fun I poked!
And every cause and every fight, whether wrong or right, filled me with delight.
I've met with popes and inquisitors from the Holy Roman See.
Imams and priests have been my visitors, they're awwl workin' for me!
Just try to please me! Just try to take a chance!
Though it ain't easy, it's the way I'll make you dance!
So where a tyrant learns humanity, or a victim learns to victimize,
There you'll find me, I'm Mestopholes, in my most up-to-date disguise.
So when you talk to me, speak courteously, no matter what my latest role.
'Cuz I'll be with you for eternity. I'm the one who owns your soul.
Oh yeah, you please me, and you ain't got a chance.
You can't appease me 'less you join me in my dance!
Part Three: Let It Come Down
- M: Well, you're not the woman I was expecting. I thought you'd be Miss Murray. Or her daughter. Or her... What, great-granddaughter?
- Orlando: You still remember us, then. I'm Orlando, by the way.
- M: Orlando? Really? So you're the... [looks through files] Let me see, what was it? Oh, yes... You're the "Delusional Queer", last seen in 1945. You see? We still remember you... Or at least I do.
- Orlando: What do you mean?
- M: I mean that I met Miss Murray... Or her daughter... In 1958, when I was much younger and prettier. Back then, I thought her a traitor. I even thought she'd murdered my beloved Uncle Hugo. Then, recently, a disenchanted CIA operative named Westen contacted us. He revealed that America had used a British agent to assassinate my father, Sir John Night... The same agent who'd partnered me against Miss Murray. I realised he'd probably killed my Godfather, too. Privately, I began to reevaluate Miss Murray and your "League".
- Orlando: What happened to the agent?
- M: Oh, you know: Cirrhosis. Emphysema. Syphilis. He's ninety-something and in agony, but we're keeping him alive. It's the least I can do. Unfortunately, he'd somehow become a national institution. We've employed increasingly younger stand-ins, keeping the propaganda myth going, like J3 and J6, for example. So, though your group absconded after World War II, I personally regard you neutrally... But you didn't know that. Why risk coming here?
- Orlando: Good point. I suppose I must be pretty fucking desperate, aren't I? You see, the world's ending. You have to help me find Mina. She vanished in 1969, and...
- M: Wait a minute. You say the world's ending. Do you mean Prince Dakkar and the business in Kashmir?
- Orlando: [confused] Prince...? [realises] Oh... You mean little Jack Nemo. No, not him. I knew his grandmother. This is a traditional apocalypse. Oliver Haddo engineered an Antichrist...
- M: [thinks for a moment] Hmm... UNIT and our Cardiff enterprise are apparently anticipating a major occult event. All right... Let's assume you're who you say you are. Let's assume you're the legandary Orlando. That raises a lot of interesting questions. Would you like to follow me?
- Dr. Coote: You see, our main problem is that we've apparently admitted two Mina Murrays.
- Orlando: Two? But that's...
- Dr Coote: Yes, well, obviously, there's some sort of mix-up. Back when my mother and grandmother ran this place, the records show a Wilhelmina Murray being taken in. Delusional, according to her notes.
- Orlando: How do you mean? Well, she was in her early twenties, yet claimed to have been born during the 1860s. Evidently, she imagined lots of things. Vampires, Martians invisible men... That was in 1969.
- Orlando: [horrified] 1969? Oh god. Oh god, that was forty years ago. You mean...?
- Dr. Coote: [oblivious] Well, clearly she's not the same woman as the Wilhelmina Murray we're currently holding, who's also in her twenties. I can only think that the files were swapped or lost during the uproar before I took over. Th-there was an unfounded sexual scandal that was terribly disruptive. Possibly the error happened then.
- Orlando: [numbly] All that time...
- Dr. Coote: Yes. I imagine that the first Miss Murray was discharged or died, and that her files were attributed to your sister... But then there are those awful scars on both women's necks. It's all very puzzling.
- [Mina and Orlando find the ruins of the "Invisible College"]
- Orlando: Shit. This is the worst yet. He must have calmed down by the time he reached King's Cross.
- Mina: That's a frightening thought.
- Orlando: Yeah. [they climb through the front doorway] I should have brought my sword...
- Mina: I- I don't know. I think this happened some years ago. Look at the moss growing everywhere.
- Orlando: Hmm... So why hasn't the Antichrist ended the world yet?
- Mina: P-perhaps he didn't want to be the Antichrist. Perhaps this was his reaction.
- [They step into a hall of broken stairways, littered with corpses]
- Orlando: Yeah. Yeah, you could be right. I don't suppose anybody wants to be the Antichrist, do they?
- Mina: I suppose not. [inspects the broken staircases] This architecture must have moved about, once...
- Orlando: And these people... Mina, this is like one of those American High School massacres...
- [The College is shown under attack as an unseen boy kills a blond-haired boy in front of a redhead boy and a brunette girl]
- Redhead Boy: [frightened] Please. Please don't. W-We're your friends...
- Brunette Girl: [crying] I want my mum. I want my mum. I want...
- Mina: [shocked] Th-there have been massacres in schools?
- Orlando: Oh... Sorry. I forgot. You've been in hospital... Yeah, there's been a few. Shootings, though - not magic.
- Angry Teacher: [to the boy] ...on then! Go on then, you little shit! You've always been a little shit! You...
- Mina: Then maybe this magical landscape mirrors the real world. Perhaps that's why it's so awful.
- Orlando: [sadly] Yes. And it was meant to be so marvellous...
- [The boy holds his wand to the temple of an elderly woman]]
- Older Female Teacher: ...No. Oh, no. Oh no, no, no, no, no...
- Orlando: Of course, it could be the other way round, couldn't it? If our magical landscape, our art and fairytales and fictions... If that goes bad, maybe the material world follows suit. I don't know. I- I'm not sure what I'm trying to say...
- Mina: [gazes in horror at a bisected corpse] Oh, god. Look at this poor man. He's in two halves. I- I expect he was a caretaker or something...
- Elderly Teacher: [held at wandpoint] ...right! All right, I- I admit it. A-all the exploits were arranged, to hide what we were preparing you for. H-he compelled us! Please, I...
- Orlando: [staring at the remains of the Records Office] Hmm... Well, it looks like he certainly gave this place a good seeing to.
- Mina: Yes, it does.
- [During the fight with the Antichrist, a woman with a carpet bag and a parrot umbrella floats down from the sky]
- Orlando: Oh christ. This is bad. This is really bad...
- The Antichrist: Wh-Who the fuck are you?
- God: Oh, I think you know. I have a great many responsibilities. Foremost, however, is my concern for children. I am concerned regarding their wellbeing, and the healthy development of their imaginations. I am concerned regarding their behaviour... And I'm afraid, young man, that I don't care for you at all.
- The Antichrist: [enraged] That is, like, totally disrespecting me, yeah? I mean, you know that I'm, like, the Antichrist and everything? I'm well famous, actually! I'm in a book of the Bible!
- God: Tsk. Just the one book? I'm on every page. Who did you think you were talking to?
- [The Antichrist stares at her for a moment, then breaths fire]
- [The flames disperse, and the woman is shown unscathed]
- God: That's quite enough of that. [puts out the flames on her coat and her hat] I rocked the fretful baby gods to sleep before time started. And I am companion to the woman who paste up the stars. The quarters of the world are bound unto my compass. I have taken tea with earthquakes. I know what the bee knows... And you really are a dreadful little boy.
- The Antichrist: Um... Look, I'm... I'm sorry, okay? I...I didn't know who you were. I-I didn't mean to...
- [He is turned into a chalk drawing]
- God: Hmph. Splish splash.
- [Lightning flashes, and it rains, washing away the drawing]
- Annotations to the League (Notes and annotations collected by Jess Nevins in a page-by-page commentary to the comics.)
- The League Foundation
- The League of Leagues website
- The DC Comics Message Board for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
- Peter Sanderson's in-depth analysis
- Original Text of Gulliver of Mars
- Review of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 2, and in-depth detail on other War of the Worlds related comics