Who Will Fill the Gap Between League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century Vol. 2 (1969) and Vol. 3 (2009)?
Greetings from the Odinson,
With League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O’Neill took the idea of a band of heroes and gave it a unique twist. At the turn of the century (the late 19th Century to be exact), Mina Murray (Harker), a young woman that faced the horrors of Dracula and survived, was recruited by Campion Bond, a representative of the British government and grandfather to none other than James Bond, to assemble a team of unique individuals to stop a madman from starting a war that could destroy the Empire. This strong-willed young woman assembled Allan Quartermain, a renowned Big Game hunter and professional adventurer; Captain Nemo and his amazing submarine the Nautilus; Dr. Jekyll, a mild-mannered man who consumes a potion and transforms into the monstrous Mr. Hyde; and Hawley Griffin, the notorious Invisible Man. Together, this League of Extraordinary Gentlemen faces the sinister machinations of Fu Manchu, the diabolical Professor Moriarty, the horrors of the Island of Doctor Moreau, and the apocalyptic War of the Worlds. One of the really neat aspects of Moore and O’Neill’s tale is that he establishes that there have been other Leagues in the past, and with his epic tale LOEG: Century, throughout the 20th Century.
As established in Moore’s yarn, a new team is formed every few years. But something happens in LOEG: Century Vol. 2 which takes place in 1969 that leaves a huge gap between the events of this volume and the events of Vol. 3, which picks up in the year 2009. That leaves a 40-year gap. Somebody had to be picking up the slack in that time. There had to be a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to stand against the forces of darkness and protect all mankind from the bad guys. This got the Odinson wondering, who could be members of such an eclectic group of outsiders and heroes. I think I just might have the answer…
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen of the 1970s:
Steve Austin – Steve Austin is a test pilot that is left on the verge of death after an experimental aircraft he was piloting crashes. OSI, a government sponsored organization, using super science rebuilds Austin’s destroyed body. They make him stronger, faster, better. His right arm, both legs, and one of his eyes are all replaced with robot parts. Steve Austin becomes the worlds first Bionic Man, a cyborg with superhuman strength, speed and a mechanical eye with telescopic and microscopic vision.
Jamie Sommers – Jamie Sommers was a professional tennis player who after a skydiving accident is left on the verge of death. Steve Austin calls on OSI to save her life. Both of her legs, an arm, and an ear are replaced with cybernetic implants. Sommers is transformed into the Bionic Woman. Like Austin, she possesses superhuman strength in her bionic arm, but her bionic legs allow her to run even faster than her male counterpart. Her new ear allows her to hear great distances and she can even hear whispered conversations happening in another room. Jamie Sommers and Steve Austin eventually marry and together the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman are an unstoppable force for good.
Bigfoot and Wildboy – Bigfoot is the towering legendary monster of the great northwest, an enigmatic beast with superhuman strength and a lumbering lope of up to 50 mph. Wildboy is an expert hunter with near superhuman level agility and a master with a sling and knife. Together, Bigfoot and Wildboy roam the woodlands and mountains of the great northwest righting wrongs and protecting the innocent. NOTE: The pics I used for these two are not the actual Bigfoot and Wildboy heroes I’m talking about, but the pics beautifully illustrate what they look like.
Kojak – Kojak is a tough-as-nails New York City police detective with a knack for catching the bad guy and a fondness for lollipops. A dark sense of humor and tough love attitude, Kojak is willing to do whatever it takes to clean up the mean city streets. Other names on this list provide the muscle while Kojak brings years of detective experience and street smarts to the table. Plus, he can always ease the tension of the group with a disarming smile and by delivering his catch phrase “Who loves ya, baby?”
The 4th Doctor – The Doctor is a Time Lord that, along with his companions, travels through space and time in the TARDIS and protects the innocent against the worst threats the universe has to offer. Through the power of regeneration, the Doctor is ostensibly immortal. Each incarnation retains all the knowledge of the previous but possesses a new face and new quirks to his personality. The 4th Doctor is instantly recognizable by his long flowing scarf and head of glorious curly hair. With superhuman level intelligence and a knack for beating impossible odds, the Doctor brings with him a bag of unique tricks to this League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Not to mention, killer hero theme music.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen of the 1980s:
The A-Team – These Vietnam vets were arrested for a crime they did not commit, but they escaped. Now they venture across America from coast to coast trying to stay one step ahead of their military pursuers and using their special forces training to help the oppressed and downtrodden. B.A. Baracus is the driver and the muscle, Captain “Howling Mad” Murdock is the mechanic and pilot, Faceman is the smooth-talking “face” of the group and a lady’s man, and Hannibal Smith is the brains. If you want a job done, you want the best. You want the A-Team. “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Manimal – Dr Jonathan Chase is a shape-shifter with the ability to transform himself into any animal he chooses. He uses his amazing power to help the police solve crimes. His favorite animal forms to take, and who could blame him, are that of a high-flying majestic eagle and that of a sleek deadly and powerful black panther. Chase’s ability can bring a unique aspect never before seen in the ranks of the League.
Street Hawk – Jesse Mach is an ex-motorcycle cop who is chosen to test an all terrain motorcycle armed with machine guns and gadgets and able to obtain speeds in excess of 300 mph. Alongside his partner Norman Tuttle, the man who designed the super bike, Mach fights crime as the mysterious hero known as Street Hawk. Mach brings police training and a versatile weapon against injustice to the table and would be a valuable asset to this League. NOTE: Knight Rider would have also been a good choice, but I’ve always like Street Hawk better.
Airwolf – With more firepower than Blue Thunder, Airwolf is the premiere attack super helicopter and is piloted by Captain Hawke. Airwolf often flies covert operations for the mysterious government organization known as the FIRM. Problem is, the FIRM is just as likely to try and steal Airwolf back from Hawke as they are to provide useful Intel and support for missions. Armed with high caliber machine guns, missiles, bombs, and high-tech gadgets, this super-copter brings to the table a kind of firepower the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have never seen.
MacGyver – MacGyver is a super intelligent troubleshooter with a knack for using any and every tool and item at his disposal to get the job done. This is the guy that can use a paperclip, some scotch tape, and bubblegum to disarm a nuclear device and save the day. His ingenious inventive exploits are so legendary that “MacGyver” or “MacGyvering” has become a universal word meaning to get a job done using whatever is available. Kind of an anomaly next to other action heroes of his time, Mac does not use guns and instead prefers to find a peaceful solution to problems. But if the situation arises where the team’s back is to the wall, and time is running out, MacGyver is the guy that will figure out a way to solve the problem.
The Fifth Doctor – As a Time Lord, it should come as no surprise that the Doctor would also be involved in this incarnation of the League. With his signature Panama hat and spectacles (glasses that he doesn’t really need but he thinks they make him look smart) the Fifth Doctor approaches his adventuring with a bit more whimsical charm than some of his past incarnations. Probably his most unusual bit of fashion is the celery stalk he sometimes pins to his shirt. As whimsical as this incarnation of the Doctor may be, make no mistake, with a brilliant mind and the miracle that is the TARDIS at his disposal, the Doctor will always be a force to be reckoned with.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen of the New Millennium:
Buffy Summers – With precognitive dreams and superhuman strength and speed to rival the Children of the Night, Buffy Summers is the Chosen One. Buffy is the Vampire Slayer and together with her friends and allies she protects mankind from the forces of darkness. Buffy and the Scoobies of Sunnydale are the first and last line of defense against whatever the Hellmouth can spit into the world.
Angel – Angel is the vampire with a soul. For over a century, as the monster known as Angelus, he terrorized mankind and cut a swath of death and destruction from one side of the Old World to the other. That was until the day he was cursed by Gypsies to have a soul. Now Angel walks the earth tormented by the guilt of all the horrible deeds he committed while he was still a soulless monster. Angel, together with the rest of his allies at Angel Investigations, battles the forces of darkness and tries desperately to atone for his past sins. Angel and Buffy are star-crossed lovers meant to be together but must forever be apart, for if Angel experiences one moment of true happiness, he will lose his soul and the monster that dwells within him will return to the world.
Spike – Spike is the other vampire with a soul. Once known as William the Bloody, Spike was a cohort of Angelus and, along with Darla and the insane Drusilla, they were the most feared coven of vampires in the Old World. During his time as a creature of darkness, Spike actually killed two slayers. But he could never best Buffy. His desire to kill his third slayer turned into an obsession, an obsession that eventually gave way to true love. So in love with the slayer was Spike that he endured an excruciating trial by fire to regain his soul. He endured the pain, for Buffy made him want to be a better man. Though he is not as smart as Angel, Spike is every bit as powerful. And what he lacks in brains, he more than makes up for in passion and raw animal ferocity. Considering their history together, seeing Buffy, Angel and Spike forced to interact on the same team for a common cause would be worth the price of admission alone. Just check out the classic episode Lovers Walk from BtVS Season 3 to see what I mean.
M.A.N.T.I.S. – Dr. Miles Hawkins is a wealthy man that is shot in the spine and paralyzed from the waist down. Wanting to fight the corruption and criminal element that caused his situation, Hawkins uses his vast resources to create an exoskeleton that not only grants him the ability to walk but it increases his strength, speed and agility tenfold. Now he patrols the back alleys and rooftops as the masked crime-fighter known as M.A.N.T.I.S. (Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System). Not only does he have the power suit, but M.A.N.T.I.S. is also armed with enough weapons, gadgets, and high tech vehicles to make Batman turn green with envy.
Duncan MacLeod – Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod is over four hundred years old. He is an immortal and he cannot die. He is a fierce warrior and an expert in armed and unarmed combat. With a sword, he has no rival. MacLeod has wandered the earth for centuries, engaged in mortal combat with other immortals. The winner takes the other’s head, and with it, his power. All the immortals must fight until there is only one left. The last immortal standing will win the prize, untold power. In the end, there can be only one. Duncan is from an alternate reality of the Highlander Universe where he is the ultimate force for justice rather than his clansman Connor MacLeod. He has centuries of knowledge and experience at his disposal and he’s a cunning warrior. He would make an invaluable addition to any group of heroes.
The Tenth Doctor – Once again the Doctor would heed the call to arms. This incarnation of the Doctor has the whimsical charm of the Fifth Doctor and the passion of the Fourth Doctor. Armed with his Sonic Screwdriver, a universal tool for any situation, the Tenth Doctor sets a bar of action, adventure and pathos so high that all other Doctors past and future will be judged by it. With his intelligence, his technology, and his charm, no League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would be complete without the Doctor leading the charge.
Now that these brave men and women have kept the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen torch burning for the last few decades, the immortal beauty Mina Murray and her colleagues in the pages of LOEG: Century Vol. 3 “2009” can get back to work saving the world.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell