The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen review by Raphael Borg

Having spent a significant part of my childhood using grandad’s library as my personal playground, when I first got to know a movie with an ensemble cast of most of the characters on Grandpa’s bookshelf coming together I was fascinated.

The movie isn’t great – although I d struggle to call it the worst either – but upon reading what it was based on, written by Watchmen’s Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O’Neill, an artist so unrestrained he had most of his works banned, it is immediately apparent that the studio hardly even scratched the surface. It is easily a metatextual statement on superhero comics, intricately creating a shared universe from icons that were never meant to meet and whose fundamental flaws makes it impossible to make it work – but even in that impossibility a story is born. In that sense, I would call it the “Anti-Watchmen”. Whereas one embraces the heroes until they are brought to their finality, the impossibility of existence in the other engenders a tale of its own, regardless how unappealing the prospect may presented to be. It presents a sense of inevitability, that it takes the extraordinary concerted effort of something unappealing both in idea and in look, a world which should not be, to keep the rest afloat. It presents fiction as the sacrificial lamb, the one that takes upon it the rot of reality, to keep reality floating and moving by being the platform to be dissected in its place so that the reader may regard it’s hideous viscera without being lost in it, simultaneously dancing between displaying and protecting the reader from this rotten reality. Moore often described fiction as the scalpel of reality in this respect – and it is displayed brilliantly thanks to an intricately designed world and perfectly executed Character Dynamics.

A must read with so many layers winking at lovers of literature.


Gabriel Borg and 1 other

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen review by Raphael Borg