The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Art: 7/10

Good concept, fun to scan

Not necessarily the best read, more of a sourcebook

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:  Black Dossier

Publisher:  Wildstorm/DC Comics

Writer:  Alan Moore

Artist:  Dennis O’Neill

# of Issues:  One-Shot

Release Date:   2007

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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier (Alternate Cover)

It is 1958, and two agents have broken into the British Intelligence to steal a file called the Black Dossier. In the file, it contains the history of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and what information has been gathered about its members. Now Mina and Alan are pursued by the organization and they must find the secrets of the Black Dossier and escape before they are caught.

Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dennis O’Neill, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier followed the six issue limited series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume II set during the War of the Worlds. It was met with positive reviews when it was released in hardback format and now has also been released as a trade paperback.

I loved the first two volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but had a hard time with Black Dossier. I like what it is attempting to do. You are diving into the secret files on the League with Alan and Mina. You don’t know how Alan and Mina came to exist like they are living and instead of giving you the answers, you have to derive them from the text provided. This is interesting and thought provoking, but not very easy.

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3-D panels…Fun and topical in a ’50s experience, but a pain to read.

The problem with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier is that it is almost unreadable at points. When it comes to some of the reference sections, I find myself just phasing out. They are clever but the prose is so-so or so stylized that they doesn’t really flow. That makes the comic book sections all the more important and they are ok. It is fun to see a James Bond character and Emma Peel (the Ms. Night character) of The Avengers playing a role, but like most of the League books there are plenty of characters to look up like the bruiser Hugo Drummond who was an English detective of the time. It is fun to see the fictional characters interact, but Moore himself admits that he sees this more as a sourcebook than a story…but with so few League stories, as a reader I wanted a bit more. All the stuff is fun to flip through, but I prefer the linear stories of the first two limited series with maybe some fun bonus aspects mixed in.

Black Dossier also introduces Orlando (of Virginia Woolf’s novel of the same title) and Prospero (of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest) and both characters become important players in The League of Extraordinary—Century storyline. Both characters are introduced within the dossier but later show up when Mina and Alan cross over into the .

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier is definitely just for fans. It is hard enough to follow for avid readers of the series and would make no sense as a jump on point. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen returns in a bit of a prequel to this story in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen—Century: 1910 which marks the first part of Moore’s three part follow-up (sometimes also just called collectively The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III:  Century).

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Related Links:

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen—Volume I

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen—Volume II

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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