The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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Not to be confused with The League of Gentlemen, which is something entirely different. (Although they might be in here somewhere...)

Writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill's vision of a Superhero team, like the X-Men or the Justice League of America, set in the world of Victorian English penny-dreadful adventure stories. Moore combined public domain characters from the period, hundreds in total, into a coherent whole. The first volume of the series was published from March, 1999 to September, 2000.

The League's members:

  • Allan Quatermain: The Great White Hunter from King Solomon's Mines, now an old, ailing opium addict. He doesn't function too well. That is, until he gets rejuvenated. He's much more effective sixty years later.
  • Mina Murray: Formerly Mina Harker, she re-takes her maiden name following the events of Bram Stoker's Dracula; the reader has only her unsubstantiated word as to why she and her husband divorced. Her red scarf conceals a brutal set of slashing scars very unlike a traditional vampire's bite, because of Dracula's actually bat-like teeth. She was the first member recruited, and unequivocally the leader. Her position was decided by the team's first "M" Professor Moriarity who believed her gender would prevent the men of the group from feeling a "territorial" desire for her position. Instead they all have deep seated misogynistic resentment.
  • Dr. Jekyll: Or, more accurately, Mr. Hyde; as some 20 years of time have passed, he grew from his diminutive size as depicted in Robert Louis Stevenson's book into a powerful giant, and the Super Serum was no longer needed to bring him out. He's also a psychopath of the grandest type, and prone to every excess. Both Jekyll and especially Hyde have a soft spot for Mina, who is apparently the only person Hyde never wanted to hurt (this is because she does not hate him for what he is) [1].
  • Hawley Griffin: The title character of The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, a scheming transparent criminal megalomaniac first introduced in League raping teenage girls in a dormitory. (His on-page victim was Pollyanna, who decided not to let being brutalized get her down.)
  • Captain Nemo: Returning to a depiction introduced in Jules Verne's sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Nemo is a disenfranchised Indian prince, a Sikh, whose mortal enemy is the British Crown. His Nautilus is a newly-constructed replacement that invokes the appearance and functionality of the giant squid atop a giant whale; Technical drawings suggest the sections can separate. His first mate is Ishmael, late of Moby-Dick. One notable crewman is Broad Arrow Jack, the star of an eponymous 1866 "penny dreadful" written by E. Harcourt Burrage.

Later members of the team include Orlando, an immortal man/woman whose gender periodically changes (from the very odd novel by Virginia Woolf), famous gentleman thief Raffles and occult investigator Thomas Carnacki.

Other notable characters include Professor Moriarty and Mycroft Holmes from the Holmesian canon. (The great detective himself only appears in a Flash Back, as he would overshadow the other figures; at the time of the story, he's off faking his death around Europe.) A proposed ancestor to a certain superspy is introduced in the person of Campion Bond: a priggish, rotund, cowardly, sanctimonious schemer with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. His family's got quite the reputation; quite the bad one.

The Literary Agent Hypothesis is used as a plot point; the authors of the original stories are depicted as biographers, and the "real" events surrounding the league's members are often far more disturbing than the tales would have us believe. For instance, all the members except Murray are believed dead, having faked their own demises years before.

Volume 1 follows the tale of the league's formation, and a battle against the forces of the mysterious "Chinese Doctor" (actually Fu Manchu) and the machinations of Moriarty. In the second volume, the Martian invasion from The War of the Worlds is explored, featuring appearances by Dr. Moreau and John Carter of Mars. The "Black Dossier," an elaborate side-story, features the titular Dossier as a Framing Device for the history of all the different iterations of the League, from the one in Shakespeare's time through to World War II, and brings the references to a truly ridiculous level. The Black Dossier signalled a change in style for the comics; where the initial idea was "Justice League of Victorian England", the ambition evolved into creating a shared universe for all fictional places and characters. All of them.

The first part of the third volume, "Century" was published in 2009, setting up an End of the World as We Know It arc spanning the 20th and early 21st century. In 1910, the League investigates a doomsday cult led by magician Oliver Haddo, while simultaneously dealing with a madman killing prostitutes on the waterfront. New members of the League include psychic detective Thomas Carnacki, who has been having visions of what's to come, high-class cracksman A.J. Raffles, and League veteran Orlando, as headstrong, omnisexual, and perpetually bored as ever. As this is going on, the dying Captain Nemo's daughter Janni has come to London to escape her father's plan to make her his successor, taking up work at a tavern on the waterfront. And there are musical numbers. Lots of them.

The second volume of Century, published July 2011, finds the league back in swinging London in 1969. The team is down to just Orlando, Mina and Allan, but they get a ride from the octogenarian Janni on the Nautilus. They must seek out and stop the cult founded by the late Oliver Haddo and prevent him from using popular musicians for dark purposes.

The sheer number of sly references to Victoriana that are found in the pages of League's first two volumes astound many scholars; each page includes subtle and overt Continuity Nods to British literary tradition and culture, everything from Rupert Bear and other classic Talking Animal characters as Moreau's hybrid monsters, to a Cottingley Fairy in a jar of alcohol at the British Museum. On the other hand, they usually take these references in so horrifying a direction that it's sometimes more insulting if you recognize them. The trend continues with more contemporary fiction in the later volumes, often with clever Writing Around Trademarks, as these works aren't public domain.


Tropes used in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen include:
  • All Myths Are True: Or perhaps more accurately, all fiction is true.
  • All There in the Manual: Knowledge of the books of the period (all of them) is very helpful to understanding the subtle goings-on, if not the main plot.
    • And then there's stuff like the previous leagues, whose activities are chronicled in supplementary stories. You can seriously read a Shakespearean-style play about Prospero and Caliban and their ilk forming the first League, complete with Shakespearean jokes like guards named Mr. Shytte and Mr. Pysse.
    • There are also books of annotations by Jess Nevins which point out some of the really obscure references, though even Nevins can sometimes get overwhelmed. When cataloguing one of the back-up "world tour" sections from the second volume, he subtitled it "In Which Alan Moore Tries To Kill Me". Said sections have one obscure Victorian reference per sentence.
  • Anything That Moves:
    • Fanny Hill.
    • Orlando, too.
    • Hyde in his crazier moments.
  • Asshole Victim: Griffin to Hyde.
  • Author Appeal: The mÃnage à trois between Quatermain, Mina and Orlando.
    • Alan Moore's fondness for old-time forms of pornography also tends to come through, to the point where later volumes can focus just as much, if not more at times, on the sexual exploits of the characters as much as their adventures. In particular, the first volume features characters and settings from Victorian pornographic journal The Pearl, and Black Dossier gives us, among others, a Jane-style Tijuana Bible from the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four and the various exploits (in more than one way) of the eighteenth century League courtesy of Fanny Hill.
  • Author Avatar: Quatermain in the first two volumes, The Duke Of Milan in the third.
  • Badass Grandpa: Auguste Dupin is Mina and Allan's liaison in Paris, and despite being in his late 90s if not early 100s, he looks Mr. Hyde straight in the face and blasts his ear off with his pepperbox pistol. Mina is impressed.
  • Badass Normal: There are technically a few of these, but Mina Murray stands out - a dainty, slightly-built music teacher rubbing shoulders with the likes of Captain Nemo and Edward Hyde!
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Moriarty, the Martians, Harry Lime, Oliver Haddo
  • Biggus Dickus: Sinbad, according to Orlando.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Frequently enough that some of what you read will completely go over your head if you don't speak Arabic or Chinese. For example, in Fu Manchu's lair a man is being tortured by having words written onto his body in molten metal. The Chinese script translates as, "A man who does not know pain is like a book whose pages have not been written."

Peg: "Wij hebben ons vrijwillig aangeboden. Zijn geslacht is kolossaal."
Mina: "She, um, she says they volunteered because of his personality."

  • Bi the Way: In Century 1969, Mina "tortures" a woman for information regarding a cult.
  • Blood Knight: Orlando, with a bit of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass for good measure.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The dinner scene in volume two, in which Hyde reveals some of his origins. And that he'd (Disturbing spoiler, highlight to read:) brutally beat and sodomized Griffin to near-death a few minutes previous. (The blood on his clothes, hands, and teeth becomes visible as Griffin finally dies in another room. Which happens to be above them, so that the blood is revealed to be dripping through the ceiling as well.)
  • Break the Cutie: Nemo's daughter Janni, oh so much. Ironically her gang rape by her employer and the customers of the bar she works in makes her willing to accept the role of Nemo, the very thing she ran away from home to avoid, in order to have her revenge. And she does. By the end of the volume Ishmael reckons she's more of a monster than her father. "Ain't it bleeding wonderful?"
  • But Your Wings Are Beautiful: Mina's scars.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Averted, see Literary Agent Hypothesis
  • Character Exaggeration: Bulldog Drummond's racism (the reason the original stories haven't aged well) is turned up to eleven.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Hyde's thermal vision. This being Hyde, he's smart enough not to tell Griffin about it, knowing that it might come in handy sometime.
  • Chickification: Mina is a lot more vulnerable in Century 1969 than we've seen her before. Explained as a result of the strain of being immortal finally starting to catch up with her. To be fair, Alan is a complete mess by the end as well, but that's mostly a consequence of losing her.
  • Continuity Nod: To a lot of continuity; its Backstory is a distilled mixture of every book written in the 1880s and 90s ever, from Dickens to erotica. And includes a distant ancestor of the Dude from The Big Lebowski.
  • Crapsack World: Particularly by Volume II.
  • Darker and Edgier: Everything. The Nautilus gains a new, darker look and a lot More Dakka but a lot less Dakkar in volume three.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Griffin.
  • Deconstruction Crossover: One of the most typical examples. Probably, even the Trope Codifier.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance
  • Did Not Do the Research: For all of the effort and research put into the fictional characters, Alan Moore's Victorian London replaces historical accuracy with Darker and Edgier and trusts the reader not to know the difference.
    • There are a couple in the Shakespeare pastiche in Black Dossier. First, the little play is called a lost folio. Shakespeare's collected plays constitute a folio; a single fragment of a play would have been published as a quarto (if something that short would have even been printed at all). Secondly, the servants are shown speaking in iambic pentameter. In actual Shakespeare plays, servants spoke in prose, and verse was reserved for nobles.
    • Also, the Cavorite in Volume 1 is completely different from how it's described in the original H. G. Wells story. Cavorite doesn't produce thrust, it blocks gravity waves and it probably wouldn't make very good airship fuel. How it works is you coat the bottom of your space capsule with a shellack made from the stuff and it will stop the Earth's gravity from pulling it down. Since it's no longer affected by Earth's gravity, it starts "falling" up towards the Moon, whose gravity field now has nothing to stop it from pulling on the uncoated top side. You might be able to make an airship if you covered something entirely in Cavorite, but it would probably be hard to steer. You'd need verniers &/or gyrostabilizers constantly running in perfect synch to keep it from smashing into the ground or floating off into outer space, which would be pretty much impossible with Victorian-era technology, even crazy Steampunk Victorian-era technology.
      • Keep in mind what they're using is a retcon version of cavorite existing before the Welles story. It could be that in order to get his project off the ground Cavor ended up creating an inferior version of the substance. It should also be noted that the cavorite actually behaves in a manner very similar to the propulsion system of "The Skylark Of Space".
    • The Chinese characters that are seen in all the inscriptions are actually the simplified Chinese that were introduced after the Cultural Revolution in 1950's.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Janni Nemo is the Queen of this trope. Do not mess with her unless you want your city itself attacked, the harbour burnt, looted and pillaged, hundreds of people murdered, on top of which you too will get ass-raped along the way.
  • The Dragon: "Jimmy" for M in The Black Dossier.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Martians, Lovecraft's own make an appearance. In a Jeeves and Wooster story. As well as in a prequel story concerning Quatermaines activites just after he faked his death. And lets not forget The Moonchild.
    • Nyarlathotep him itself makes an appearance as a "respected diplomat" from Yuggoth to the Blazing World.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Fu Manchu is introduced writing on a man's bare skin with caustic paint. Nice guy.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While Nemo is a ruthless terrorist vocally committed to killing as many Englishmen as creatively as possible, he draws the line at using poison gas.
    • In a 'sort of' example, Hyde does not appreciate what the Invisible Man has done regarding either Mina or selling everyone out to the Martians... but his response is even worse. Here, it's less because Hyde would never do such a thing (it's suggested he already has, many times), it's because he has some kind of regard for Mina personally.
    • Less 'evil' more 'amoral', but while Mycroft Holmes usually acts aloof and impartial towards the quite morally questionable things he and the League get up to, he is visibly disgusted and angered when the real Jack the Ripper gets out of a well-deserved hanging when someone else who couldn't have done his crimes confesses to them solely to get the attention.
  • Evil Counterpart: ...sort of. The League has counterpart organizations working on behalf of the French (Les Hommes Mysterieux) and German (Der Zweilicht Helden) governments. While The League tends to include atleast a few traditional heroes, the closest thing the French have to a hero is Robur the Conqueror and Arsène Lupin. The Germans are strictly villains, with such monsters as Dr Mabuse, Dr Caligari and his somnambulist assassin, and Dr Rotwang from Metropolis.
  • Fan Disservice: Plenty in volume 2. Griffin brutally attacks and humiliates Mina, which is followed by Hyde raping Griffin before killing him, and on the side there's Mina's sex scene. With Allan. Then It Got Worse. Allan likes Mina's scars. A lot.
  • Fat Bastard: Campion Bond, Mycroft Holmes, Billy Bunter...
  • Feghoot: Some of the references are nothing but elaborate set-ups for truly awful puns. The suicide of 1950s superhero Jack Flash is probably the most cringe-inducing (he jumped off an apartment building after trying & failing to do the deed with stove gas three times).
  • Fictional Counterpart: Not just to places and things but fictional representations of people even come into play as well. Most notably Adenoid Hynkel taking Adolf Hitler's place in WWII and all the various versions of Aleister Crowley that will come into play in Vol. Three. Also, The Rutles were the sixties biggest band. Other noteable ones include Horatio Hornblower taking Nelsons place in British military history, and the identity of Jack the Ripper being Mack The Knife.
  • Five-Man Band: The 1890s league.
    • The Hero: Wilhelmina Murray. (Leader of the League and pretty much the one thing preventing the team from killing each other. She fails in Volume Two.)
    • The Lancer: Allan Quatermain. (Opium-addicted, elderly and love interest for Mina. When he can be shaken out of the drug haze, he's a Badass Normal and the only one besides Wilhelmina that is not a Psycho for Hire.)
    • The Big Guy: Mr. Hyde. (Self-explanatory.)
    • The Smart Guy: Nemo. (The Professor in the team, and the one that first notices they might not exactly be working for a good guy in Volume One.)
    • The Chick: Dr. Jekyll
    • Token Evil Teammate/ The Sixth Ranger: Hawley Griffin. ( He betrays them eventually)
  • Foot Focus: Janni is always barefoot.
  • Gender Bender: Orlando, obviously.
  • Genre Shift: The Black Dossier brings out of the world of Victorian adventure novels into a mid 20th century spy caper.
    • Also happens internally at least once per volume, between the main comic narrative and the supplementary materials. These are usually prose of some sort, whether intelligence report, travelogue, or pulp sci-fi, but they can get... bizarre. The Black Dossier, for example, includes sections sections done in the style of an 18th century satirical broadsheet, an Elizabethan drama, a Beat Novel, and a Tijuana bible based on Nineteen Eighty-Four, among others; Volume Two includes a board game.
  • Great White Hunter: Quatermain
  • Guide Dang It: One of the few comics to have (and actually need) a guide. Jess Nevins' incredible guidebooks are essential to understanding all the references for anyone who isn't a professor of Victorian literature.
  • The Gump: Orlando and as time goes on Mina and Allan as well.
  • Hellish Pupils: The "Chinese Doctor" has semi-rectangular goat-like eyes.
  • Here There Were Dragons: All of the magic and sorcery that populate fairy tales and folklore was real in the League world in one way or another but that magic has been pushed further and further into the background by various forces. The governments of the world have taken it upon themselves to not only keep a tight lid on this fact but also relegate the amazing things that happen in their own time as fiction.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Mr. Hyde dies when defending London from the Martians.
    • After climbing the leg, ripping the carapace off the machine, then eating the Martian inside.
  • In Name Only: The Movie. The comic book is a Victorian era Crisis Crossover, whereas the movie is an Alternate History Steampunk sci-fi thriller whose characters just happen to be lifted from books. Movie!League makes Quartermain the leader/hero instead of Mina, as well as adding Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer (who weren't even mentioned in the books), replacing Psycho for Hire Hawley Griffin with an invisible Gentleman Thief, and making Mina a vampire.
  • Invisible Streaker: Griffin. Not that it helps against Hyde.
  • Jack the Ripper
  • John Munch: His father, Pete, appears as an astronaut in the "Minions of the Moon" backup for Century: 1969. Like his son, he also a conspiracy theorist but this being the world of the League it's possible he's actually right.
  • Karmic Death: Griffin suffers this. He pisses off Hyde, who as it turns out, can see him despite his invisibility. He then beats and rapes Griffin to death.
  • Karma Houdini: Arguably, the point of joining the League is to become one via the reward of amnesty (ex. Hyde, Griffin, Jekyll, Raffles, Nemo.). most don't make it though. Mack the Knife of Volume Three is a far more straight example. He even sings about it near the end.
    • Also, the kids at the festival in 1969? Well, Fridge Logic dictates that they'd be the right age to have lost parents to Big Brother's Culture Police, and a few must have denounced their parents...
  • Kick the Dog: Nemo's crew is initially introduced as a group of loyal subordinates who simply follow the man's orders, no matter the morality behind them. In the third book, they not only reveal to have a taste for piracy and murder, but brutally attack London's docks in maniacal glee.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Normally, beating and raping someone to death is a Moral Event Horizon, but when the victim is Griffin...
  • Lady of War: Mina
    • Janni Nemo as well. Even bruised after being brutally assaulted and even surrounded by the dead and dying as vicious pirates go about the business of an honest day's slaughter, she still looks graceful and beautiful.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The New Traveler's Almanac does this in regards to the shocking amount of shipwrecked Englishmen involved in discovering previously uncharted isles.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Griffin pisses off the one member of the team who has no qualms about killing him and who can detect him despite his invisibility. It...doesn't end well for Griffin at all.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: "The Chinese Doctor" (Fu Manchu). Also "Jimmy", Miss Night (Emma Peel), and Uncle Hugo (Bulldog Drummond) in The Black Dossier.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: All stories are true we just know them as stories because someone else wrote them down and the truth became distorted. In The Black Dossier we learn that the Big Brother government had a fiction department set up to turn a lot of their cases and biographies into entertainment in order to discredit them.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Orlando seems to have few hang-ups or complaints about being immortal. Deconstructed slightly, however; particularly when male, he can instead go to the other extreme from Who Wants to Live Forever? and come off as unfeeling and even sociopathic.
  • Legacy Character: With a bit of Generation Xerox: Macheath from The Threepenny Opera is apparently descended from the Macheath of The Beggars Opera. Also, Jack Kerouac's characters Doctor Sax and Dean Moriarty are the descendants of Fu Manchu and Prof. James Moriarty respectively.
  • Mad Scientist: Nemo, Moriarty, Fu Manchu. The Black Dossier throws in Caligari and C.R. Rotwang.
  • Magic Carpet: Gullivar Jones
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover
  • Mirror Chemistry: In a text feature in Vol. 2, it is revealed that Alice emerged from the Looking Glass world with her entire body mirror-reversed. As a result, she was unable to eat normal food, and ultimately starved to death.
  • The Mole: Griffin allied with the Martians during their invasion.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Boy's Own Adventure tone of the narrator's text boxes is hilarious, but within two pages of a Gorn scene of a semi-likeable female character being beaten to the point of passing out with a splat in a pool of her own vomit, the whiplash spoils the humor.
  • Musical Episode: The first issue of volume three, believe it or not. Features a dockside whore narrating Janni's story with a rendition of "Pirate Jenny" and no less than three musical numbers by Jack the Ripper/MacHeath.
    • This is clearly a trend for the volume, as there are even more songs in Century: 1969.
  • My Grandson, Myself: Allan Quartermain, Junior. Mycroft Holmes sees right through it, naturally.
    • Humorously, virtually everyone else who caught wind of both "Allan Quartermain, Jr." and the search for Ayesha's Fire of Eternal Life failed to make the connection spectacularly despite the transparency of the lie.
  • Nailed to the Wagon: Allan was locked in his cabin to purge the opium from his system, though his addiction would last another issue. Cruelly, his cabin was aboard the Nautilus, so only half of what he saw were hallucinations.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Happens at least once in every volume, but especially Century where Carnacki's visions of the apocalypse inspire the instigator of Apocalypse to plan accordingly.
  • No Name Given: Nemo is Latin for "no one", his true name is never revealed. In Verne's The Mysterious Island, his name was given as Dakkar (Anglicized version of Thakkoor), which was used as a title by some rulers of princely states. It could be a last name, a first name, or just a title.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Griffin's blood.
  • No Export for You: In Canada, at least, you can't buy the black dossier in stores. You need to get it online.
  • Occult Detective: Carnacki
  • Opium Den: Quatermain starts the comic in one.
  • Out with a Bang: A gruesome example in the second volume: Hyde rapes the Invisible Man Griffin to death.
  • Papa Wolf: Bulldog Drummond to his goddaughter, Emma Peel Night.
  • Parody Commercial: As extras in each issue, along the lines of "Our cigarettes will cure asthma!"
  • Pirate Girl: Janni, a.k.a. "Pirate Jenny".
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Most of the villains of the series have some sort of un-PC behaviour played up, especially misogyny, which is shared by several.
    • Except for the Martians who are far to busy commiting genocide to bother with such things.
    • And the heroes aren't exactly the most PC bunch either - though interestingly, Nemo (the only actual minority on hand) is probably the most openly prejudiced.
  • Psycho for Hire: Hyde, Griffin, and to an extent Nemo. The entirety of Les Hommes Mysterieux, as well, save perhaps Lupin. And then there's Die Zweilichthelden...
  • Psycho Sidekick: Everyone except Mina and Allan.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Les Hommes Mysterieux, the French government's answer to the League, form a 1-1 match with its counterpart organization.
  • Public Domain Character: All of them, pretty much, save for those mentioned under Lawyer-Friendly Cameo above.
  • Punk Rock: The epilogue of Century 1969 sees Allan and Orlando hip-deep in the scene, as their underground club has kept up with the times in the eight years since Mina disappeared.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
  • Rape as Drama: Janni's personality reversal from rebelling against her father's ideals to eagerly embracing them after being gang-raped contains more than a hint of this trope.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Replacement Scrappy: In-universe, even. The government tries at one point to form a League with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for every member of the Murray Group. They end up disbanded after one unsuccesful mission.
  • Schedule Slip: A regular enough occurrence that there's actually a backup strip in the v2 trade about it.
  • Scrapbook Story: The Black Dossier.
  • Sherlock Holmes: He has a sort of cameo in a flashback sequence.
  • She/He/It/They Are All Grown Up: The Artful Dodger in V2, Billy Bunter in Black Dossier, Baz Thomas in Century
  • Shout-Out: They may as well have called it Shout Out: The Comic Book.
  • Sky Pirate: Robur and Captain Mors
  • Sociopathic Hero: Hyde and Griffin.
  • The Spymaster: 'M'
  • Stealth Pun: The Reverend Dr. Syn is described as "a mild-mannered clergyman from Kent". "Clark" is regional slang for clergy. That's right, he's a mild-mannered Clark from Kent.
    • In Black Dossier, the XL series of rockets are named for the fate suffered by the previous incarnation; the one used by Allan and Mina is named "Pancake". At the end of their adventure, it explodes. Its successor, naturally, is the Fireball XL 5.
    • Appropriately enough, Century: 1969 seems to have most sex and exploration of sexual mores of any of the League books thus far.
  • Steampunk: Fancy whiz-bang devices everywhere! -- in the first two volumes and Century: 1910 at least.
    • The Black Dossier has several segments that could probably be better labeled Raygun Gothic.
  • Submarine Pirates: Captain Nemo and his crew.
  • Take That: The Black Dossier has several. The X-L series of spacecraft are named for an abbreviation of extra-large and it's noted by Mina they could only ever be American because "who else would think that 'extra' starts with an 'X'?" This is in all likelihood a partial dig at the movie, which abbreviated its title as "LXG".
    • Also, James Bond's grandpa was a perverted little coward. Bond himself appears in The Black Dossier, and he seems to have retained his ancestor's qualities as, two pages into his appearance, he tries to rape Mina. She beats him up, and when Allan shows up, he knocks Bond's pansy ass to the ground, kicks him in the 'nads and mocks him. Further, the Bond in this version is specifically stated to be one who defeated Dr. No - the version played by Sean Connery, who also portrayed Quatermain's character in the movie. And then Moore proceeds to take this Up to Eleven in the climax, in which it is revealed that there never even was a Dr. No in the first place, Bond had betrayed England to the U.S, and murdered one of MI5's own agents.
    • A slightly gentler one is directed at "a maker of phosphate drinks" (Coca Cola). The polar bears from their commercials show up in one of the Almanacs, as well as Santa Claus who accidentally killed a representative from the company.
  • That Man Is Dead in The Black Dossier:

M: "Jim, you can call me M. Behind my back, you can even call me Mother. But Harry...Harry died a long time ago in the sewers under Vienna. Let's leave it like that, shall we?

  • The Fantastic Trope of Wonderous Titles
  • They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Inverted -- Ishmael prefers Nemo to call him by his first name, rather than "Mr. Mate". On his deathbed, he does. Janni calls him "Mr. Mate", but he lets it slide.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Acording to The Black Dossier, in the LOEG universe, Hitler is replaced by Adenoid Hynkel from, get ready for this, the 1940 anti-Nazi film The Great Dictator starring Charlie Chaplin; thus ensuring that the same type of facial hair is hated in both worlds.
  • Totally Radical: Mina's efforts to keep up with the times in "Century: 1969" take on this edge, as is noted (and made fun of) by Allan and Orlando; deconstructed, as it's her way of trying to cope with the crushing psychological implications of being forever young and immortal.
  • Tripod Terror: Lampshaded
  • Tuxedo and Martini: The basis of the mockery around James Bond.
  • The Unfettered: Mr. Hyde, increasingly.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Orlando, mainly because s/he has been around so long s/he can't remember which historical battles s/he was and wasn't present at.
    • Word of God also says that s/he is a pathological liar.
  • Verbal Tic: Griffin has a memorable low chuckle, typically spelled out "Aheheh", with which he punctuates his sentences. It is often also used to inform the reader that Griffin is in a panel (as he is invisible).
  • Villain Song: Jack the Ripper himself gets two in the third volume, one about how little things have changed since his killing spree, the other deriding the ruling class and the law for creating a world where people like him exist. He may be a nutter but he can carry a tune.
  • Villain Team-Up: At the end of the 1969 installment, Haddo possesses Tom Riddle.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Mina and Allan set alongside the original Victorian League are underwhelming. Much of Mina's second League suffer from this and are relegated to defending themselves with pistols and swords.
    • To be fair to Mina, she's more competent than the rest of the League combined because unlike them, she isn't insane.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Initally averted; while the consequences of Orlando's immortality are delved into, it's never a cause for Wangst and s/he certainly has fun. Likewise, Mina and Allan's biggest problem with immortality so far is keeping sex interesting. Word of God promises that the new book, Century, will tediously explore Mina and Allan's burnout as they survive to 2010.
  • Yellow Peril: Fu Manchu.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Invoked in one of the letter columns in regards to Nemo.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Done with Janni in Volume Three, wherein fighting fate apparently leads to getting gang-raped for your defiance.

Notes

  1. Hyde is the evil side of Jekyll without any of his good qualities, and every person he meets doesn't know why, but immediately recognizes him as evil. He will never be loved or even accepted--but she has met worse