Beard: New ‘League’ skewers ‘Harry Potter’Written by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 2009,” writer Alan Moore may be revealing what certain societal watchdog groups have espoused all along – Harry Potter is the Antichrist. Moore’s long-running series brings together characters from literature and pop culture and the newest volume, out now, brings the story to present day and serves up a few sacred cows, namely J.K. Rowling’s famous boy-wizard.
In the last LOEG volume, we saw — spoiler alert — the League disband in 1969 and leader Mina Murray stuffed away in a loony bin. In “2009,” the world’s slipped further into turmoil and, with no League to defend it, become prime real estate for the prophesized Antichrist to set up shop. Moore, along with artist Kevin O’Neill, has filled his infamous series with boatloads of references to other works of fiction in many media, but this new installment marks a unique time when he’ll have to be extra-careful to avoid copyright and trademark infringements. Don’t expect any mentions of “Harry” or “Potter.”
What you may expect is some topical references, most especially a certain war that opens up “2009,” set in the fictional Mid-East country of “Q’umar.” Moore has claimed that he doesn’t really keep up with modern pop culture, so it will be of great interest to see how this new book continues his fine and often acid-tongued skewering of cultural icons. Past chapters have mostly centered on Victorian and Edwardian references; the previous “1969” revealed how our eternal League heroes fit in with more psychedelic times.
The “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” comics have grown increasingly dense since their 1998 inception, even to those readers who’ve followed right along with each new volume. It’s difficult to wholeheartedly recommend them to newbies, but if a prospective reader enjoys a good read that doesn’t involve superheroes, then this may be for them. If anything, they might even follow lines of sight back to their original literary and cultural foundations.