Friday, July 13, 2012

Liz Lemon Meets Dracula

At last, my hours spent writing 30 Rock fan fiction have paid off! Alan Moore noticed!

What you see is a panel from the newest League of Extraordinary Gentleman comic, Century: 2009. And yes, rather than allude to esoteric novels from turn-of-the-century Britain, Moore gives shoutouts to works that exist in more contemporary fictional universes — occasionally like Driveshaft from Lost or Who Dat Ninja? from 30 Rock, but more often BBC shows that I’ve never heard of and might as well be esoteric novels from turn-of-the-century Britain. Still, that is Mina Murray walking in front of a representation of the same fictional universe that gave us Jackie Jormp-Jomp, and I like that.

As for the comic itself, it’s better than I expected but not great. It all gets wrapped up in an extended Harry Potter riff that I wasn’t into. That said, 2009 features enough of Moore’s famously layered references to win me over. Case in point: In this universe, Emma Peel from The Avengers is Emma Night, who by 2009 has risen to the head of MI6. Yes, she’s the new M, in the style of Judi Dench in the latter-era Bond films, and on top of that, her name is Emma. Emma is M. And on top of that, as pointed out in the Annotated League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, artist Kevin O’Neill thoughtfully placed a framed photo of a man who looks a great deal like George Lazenby on Emma Night’s desk, presumably a reference to the fact that the actress who played Emma Peel, Diana Rigg, also played the love interest in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, in which Lazenby played Bond.

And basically every panel works like that. Sure, you need the online version of Cliffs Notes to understand what you’re looking at, but if it just had references to American sitcoms, you might think this comic book about British literary superheroes seemed slightly silly.

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