You knew the end of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century was coming, and as its publication date draws closer we can finally get a pretty good look at the shape it will take. Top Shelf Productions has released the cover, a five-page preview and some info regarding League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century #3, the concluding chapter of the third volume of writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill's popular series.

Entitled "2009" after the year when it takes place, the 80-page softcover concludes the century-spanning story that began in 2009's "1910" and continued in last year's "1969". The prophesied child that the immortal members of the 20th century League -- Mina Harker, Quartermain and Orlando -- have been fretting over in previous chapters has finally come of age and is ready to end the world. The League, however, seems to be in no shape to save anyone; it remains disbanded, while its leader, Mina, appears to be locked in a mental institution.

Here's what Top Shelf, which is co-publishing with the UK's Knockabout Comics, has to say about the book:

In this third and final chapter, our narrative draws to its cataclysmic close in London 2009. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past hundred years has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised aeon of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended starting with North London, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, that now stands in his way. The bitter, intractable war of attrition in Q'umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away in Kashmir a Sikh terrorist with a now-nuclear armed submarine wages a holy war against Islam that might push the whole world into atomic holocaust, and in a London mental institution there's a patient who insists that she has all the answers.

The popular LOEG series began in 1999 as a miniseries from Moore's ABC imprint of the then-independent WildStorm studio... which was in the process of being sold to DC Comics, and Moore found himself in the uncomfortable position of having his writing published by a publisher with which he had frosty relations. He honored his contracts and the in-progress work with WildStorm-turned-WildStorm/DC before switching publishers.

In the original series, Moore and O'Neill posited a "What if Victorian adventure fiction were a shared universe, a DC and Marvel Comics?" premise, and then assembled a team of misfit "superheroes" from Bram Stoker's Dracula, R. Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quartermain stories, H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man and Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

After the first two literary allusion-filled miniseries, came the infinitely more complicated 2008 standalone graphic novel League of Extraordinary Gentleman: The Black Dossier, which brought the action into the 20th century and began to incorporate an increasing number of other types of fiction from other genres and time-periods.

The series of comics spawned a 2003 film adaptation which is remarkable for being the worst, most unwatchable film based on one of Moore's comics. No mean feat, considering how poorly all of the films in that sub-genre of comics adaptations -- 2001's From Hell, 2005's V For Vendetta, 2009's Watchmen -- adapted their source material.

League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century #3 is due in June, offering a welcome alternative to some of DC's Before Watchmen suite of books.


[Via Top Shelf]

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