Alan Moore is an outstanding writer, and I have completely enjoyed some of his other work, such as Batman: The Killing Joke and Watchmen. The idea behind The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is ingenious - gathering together marvelous characters from great stories that are as different as possible and bringing them together to fight a foe also created in an excellent story. Some of the characters were drawn from a few of my favorite books, and I expected to love seeing them in the setting of a comic book. I had heard great things about this book, and I had high expectations for it.
The book seemed to start off slowly, and the main villain revealed at the end of the fourth issue was easily guessable within the first five pages of the first issue. My hopes were raised, however, when Captain Nemo entered the picture. His character's personality kept with the original character Jules Verne created in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. His submarine was incredibly cool, his weapons were awesome, and he always ended up showing up at the exact right moment, or pulling out just the thing needed to save the day. Unfortunately, he ended up being the only character I liked within the entire story.
I had two main problems with the story - the first was the characters (with the exception of Nemo). Both the heroes and the villains were flawed people - that should have made the story more interesting and believable. It seemed as though
The second problem I had with this book was that it should have been a mix of the realistic and the fantastical - instead it was a mix of the stereotypical and the ridiculous. The difference between what this book could have been and what it ended up being is incredible.
I was completely disappointed by this book - I disliked the characters, was bored at the pace of the story, and incredulous at the absurdity of many of the scenes and situations. I'm not asking for the book to be purely realistic, or for the characters to fall into the realms of good/evil or white/black - just for it to make some sort of sense, and for the reader to actually be able to root for somebody to win. By the end of the book, I no longer cared who won the fight - I was just glad it was over.
The only reasons I'm even giving the book this high a rating are the idea behind the book and Captain Nemo. I can't really recommend this book to anyone - maybe other Alan Moore fans will have a different opinion. I wouldn't waste my time, though - read Watchmen or The Killing Joke instead.