Tomorrow, Americans get their dirty hands on League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century 2009 by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. I've had a copy for a week and a half and have rather enjoyed it. So now it's time to pick out five favourite references, like last time, over and above those picked out in an earlier preview.
Obvious as all hell, but MI5 is staffed by people who bear uncanny resemblances to television and film fictional British secret agents, including an aging Roger Moore lookalike, who played both James Bond and The Saint, with an eyebrow still raised and looking to the "camera". It's big, brashy and a bit sledgehammery, but I really enjoyed it.
A fictional version of a Ricky Gervais that might have been, taking over Ricky's role in Armando Ianucci's Time Trumpet, a look back at the future of television from even further in the future.
3. West 24
President Palmer was the new President in 24, an African American, whose appointment preceded President Obama's election. Here, he takes over from President Bartlett of the West Wing, created as an idealised Clinton, now being treated as an abused George Bush. And it looks like President Palmer has Jack Bauer on the case.
4. Will Stanton
There's a certain character that made all the headlines the other week when the comic went on sale in England. And while I am in awe at the tricks Moore and O'Neill use to avoid any trademark or copyright issues concerning him, there is a name they use, found, scorched, in the grounds of a magical school. But rather than having the initials HP on his folder, instead there is the name "Will Stanton."
Will was the lead in the second The Dark Is Rising novel from 1973, the seventh son of a seventh son who discovers his wizarding heritage on his eleventh birthday, and must collect six "signs" to help fight The Dark. Yes, comparisons have been made. What this means, despite all the newspaper headlines, it may be a very different children's wizarding character who is actually portrayed on the page…
5. End Of Level Boss
But my favourite reference is the big one at the end. The end of level boss, the deus ex machina, who travels from the Blazing World to sort everything out in a very two dimensional fashion.Trying to avoid the spoilers…
And of course the creator of said character was also involved in a battle with film makers, felt betrayed and was then courted unsuccessfully for decades…