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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

 #2: Ghosts & Miracles


Writer: Alan Moore
Artist: Kevin O'Neill
Colors: Benedict Dimagmaliw
Lettering: William Oakley

Cover date: April 1999

Plot Summary:
Paris, June 1898. Mina Murray, Quatermain and Captain Nemo are fighting a giant monster. Together they manage to defeat it and bring it to their submarine. Later, the monster wakes up as an ordinary human being - his name is Dr. Henry Jekyll. As we will learn later, he transforms into the monster Edward Hyde whenever the situation gets tense.

Back in England, Mina gets the order to recruit another odd person for her team: his name is Hawley Griffin and he's supposed to be dead for seven years. Campion Bond suggests a connection to "virgin births" which were reported from a residential school for girls in Edmonton.

So Mina, Quatermain and Nemo visit this "Correctional Academy for Wayward Gentlewomen" where the principal, Miss Coote, shows them the house: it's a bizarre world where the girls are sometimes treated with a cane. Our heroes stay for the night and witness something extremely strange: one of the school girls is being raped - by an invisible man! Quatermain, Nemo and a bucket of paint manage to knock the culprit out, which also solves the mystery of the "virgin births".

By now, the team has its fifth member: Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man. So the League is complete and gets its first job: trying to find a stolen resource called Cavorite. This material can resist gravitation and with its help the Brits wanted to start a flight to the moon. Now, it's in the hands of the "Doctor", a mighty godfather of crime in London's East End.


This issue has even more references and easter eggs referring to classic literature than #1. The most obvious ones are Bram Stoker's "Dracula" (Mina), H.G. Wells' "Invisible Man", Edgar Allan Poe's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Jules Verne's "20.000 Leagues Under The Sea" (Nemo) und H. Rider Haggard's Quatermain novels, but you can find lots of other details if you're fond of the historic background and victorian literature. If not, you can always take a look at Jess Nevins' unbelievably detailed Annotations.

There's one scene in #2 I found very weird and amusing: the episode in the girls' school. The building, its decoration, the principal's outfit; everything has a slight reference to S&M - it's very hard to describe, you have to see it for yourself!