Monday, September 30, 2013

My Modern "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" Fantasy

Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is one of the most uniquely conceived superhero teams ever.  Why?  Because it’s a team consisting of characters from classic Victorian literature, and that is a brilliant and original concept.  Then, in their adventures, they would also encounter scenarios, elements, and antagonists derived from literature.  Pure genius.      

That’s why – as a thought experiment – hypothetically constructing out a modern reincarnation of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) concept is a lot of fun.  It has been done and discussed in a lot of forums in the Internet.  Now, I want to share my own ideas.  I will be discussing here my dream line-up for a modern LXG team, the recurring characters they would encounter, and the villains of the story.

But, first, I used these guidelines:
  1. It shall be made up of characters from modern novels.  Sure, these guys have been portrayed in comics, movies and/or TV shows already, but their original debuts and depiction were in books.  Thus, characters that have been originally from comics, movies, and TV – even if they were later on depicted in books – were disqualified for consideration.  This is for the purpose of conforming to the original model of LXG – a team made up of characters from literature.
  2. For the purpose of conceptualizing this modern LXG, the definition of “modern” here is from 90’s to the present.  Thus, the characters and literary elements considered are those that are relevant during that given period or have appeared in books printed during that period.  
  3. The characters should have existed – in their respective narratives – sometime during the modern period.  Thus, those characters from novels that were set in the past or future are disqualified.  Just as the original LXG characters could “realistically” encounter each other due to existing in the same time period (Victorian Era), so will the characters of this modern LXG.  (Pity, Katniss Everdeen would have been a fine addition to this team.  Of course, if using “time travel” is allowed…) 
  4. The original LXG team has been mostly British, since literature of that era was dominated by the British.  At the present, like all aspects of pop culture, America dominates modern literature.  However, to be as close to the original “feel” of the team as possible, a significant amount of priority was given on characters from British literature to be in my line-up.  Still, a lot of members are Americans (or have American origins).
  5. The roster of my modern LXG is small-sized, just like the original.  The original had five.  The movie had seven.  I will up the notch a bit.  My fantasy team will have eight (at most) at a time.  (What do I mean by “at a time”?  Read on to see what I mean) 
  6. This is, first and foremost, a presentation of which modern literary characters will appear in the story, and NOT at all a full discussion of the story itself.  I don’t have a complete and organized plot and narrative in mind.    I have ideas on how some things will turn out, but I have no idea on how it would get there.  All I have are some vague story details, which I will share in connection to the characters.  


The initial line-up is going to be composed of Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer), Lisbeth Salander (Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson), Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz), Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling), Ronald Deschain (The Dark Tower series by Stephen King), Iorek Byrnison (His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman), Henry DeTamble (The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger) and Edward Cullen (Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer).  Later on, one of the original members (continue reading to know who it would be) will leave and will be replaced by Abraham Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith).         

A 12-year old Artemis Fowl (maybe, even 14 at most; an older Artemis than that, the boy-leader charm could be lost) is going to be the leader of this team.  As the mastermind, the success of the team is dependent on his planning and schemes.  And I intend for this team to be almost invincibly successful.  Artemis will be able to put every detail and contingencies into consideration while formulating his flawless strategies; he will be steps ahead of everyone most of the time, and would make use of his team members efficiently.  Even when it appears that Artemis made a mistake or had failed, it will be revealed later on that that “mistake” or “failure” has been part of his general plan all along.  Oh, there will be times there will be legit setbacks and real mistakes, but Artemis will be able to figure out a way to bounce back with a vengeance and adjust his tactics. 

The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, shall be the tortured and sole female of the group (as what Mina Harker was in the original LXG).  Though Artemis Fowl is already a very capable hacker, he will assign all the hacking and tech stuff to Lisbeth.  Lisbeth will be the “intelligence officer” of the team.  But her information gathering is not solely dependent on her hacking.   As what was depicted in the books and movies, she is also very capable in doing physical, investigative legwork.  She will be constantly on the go on her bike.  She will be extremely dogged in doing her work, capable of doing everything to get what she wants – even conducting atrocious deeds like blackmail and ruthless torture.    

As what Spider-Man (Peter Parker) was with the Avengers, so will Odd Thomas' role be on my fantasy LXG.  He will be the most moral and charming of the group, as well as the funniest and most talkative (thus, the guy we would all love).  He will be constantly blabbing out witty comments, wisecracks, and random trivia.  His ability to see ghosts and ability to be psychically drawn to people he wishes to find will come invaluable to the team; he will be doing most of the detective work – with the help of the clues provided by ghosts – to help the team connect the dots.  As Elvis and Frank Sinatra became Odd’s ghost companions in America (in the books), his regular ghost companions (since he’ll be in London when this team is assembled) shall be Sir Winston Churchill, Queen Victoria, and the deceased Beatles (he would also encounter other ghosts of famous British and European people).  Being a sort of detective, Odd will be constantly paired with Lisbeth on missions.  Odd’s warm, witty, and chatty personality and Lisbeth’s dark, anti-social personality will definitely clash when they are together – with Odd annoying Lisbeth constantly with his constant gabbing, but Odd remaining good-natured  even when Lisbeth lashes at him or ignore him – and that would make some awesome entertaining moments.  There will be no romance between them, but there will be heavy romantic chemistry.           
I consider Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood first (because there’s no way Harry Potter is going to be on my team.  He’s okay, but he’s not the most interesting character in his own series) to serve as the magician figure of this team, but I feel that Neville Longbottom is going to be a better fit.  And the more I consider it, the more I felt that he’s perfect for a roster spot.  My version of Neville is of him being an adult already, and is now a badass Auror.  Not only is he a powerful wand wielder, but he has also figured out a way to summon the Sword of Gryffindor at will and is highly adept in using it.     

Roland Deschain (making the connection between Roland Deschain and Britain is easy, considering the significance of Arthurian legend to Roland’s background and reality) and Iorek Byrnison shall be the badass “big guns” of this team.  The two of them would be doing the most damage when the modern LXG finally found themselves in combat.  Whenever they enter a room, a huge bodypile will sure to happen.  Here’s how it will go: In one of his looped journeys (this could be even his last trip) to the Dark Tower (since, on the way, he travels through different realities because of informal interlaps between them) Roland, the last gunslinger, will find himself lost in the reality that the bear king, Iorek Byrnison, is in.  After getting acquainted with each other (maybe even after a minor skirmish between them), they would be drawn towards a dimensional door that would send them both to modern London.  And since the two of them are both not of this world and being both hardened warriors – and Iorek seeing the obvious similarity between his late comrade-at-arms, Lee Scorseby, with Roland – the two of them will easily bond with each other better than with the rest of the team. 

Henry DeTamble, who has the ability to time travel but has no control of it, won’t be a regular help to the team.  But I still find his inclusion in my fantasy LXG fascinating.  There’s a potential for narrative brilliance when his unique ability is properly explored and exploited.  The least contribution he can do for the overall flow of the story is providing some funny moments, with his sudden time travelling and appearing out of nowhere naked (since whenever he time travels, the clothes that he is wearing can’t come with him).  And, at most, when the story focuses on him, he can provide for some interesting, unique and dynamic narrative.  Also, Artemis Fowl will surely find a way to efficiently make use of him.  I don’t know yet how it will be so, but I believe he will be the most important part in the success of this modern LXG – both in the sense of the team’s adventures and the actual product.

The inclusion of Edward Cullen in this line-up has surely come as a surprise for you.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I despise Twilight.  It’s horrible.  But there’s no denying the fact that it is a huge literary and cultural impact. Heck, it’s one of the top 10 most bestselling books in history.  So it makes sense to include a character from it.  Besides, despite how lame and terribly emo the portrayal of Edward is, he’s still a vampire.  Thus, he can rip lungs out and break necks with ease.  He has superhuman strength, speed, and senses.  On top of that, he is a telepath.  If Edward Cullen is written properly, he can be a legit interesting and badass vampire character.  He can crush trucks, move faster than a human eye can follow, and can read minds.  Surely, he is a bonafide asset on my modern LXG team.     

It was revealed at the end of the book (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) that the President Abraham Lincoln did not actually perish after being assassinated.  He has gained immortality by being transformed into a vampire.  And since his transformation, he has continued slaying evil vampires up into modern times.  A vampire plot, originating in London, to enslave humanity will bring Lincoln to Britain.  Lincoln will then be joining the team after the departure of one of the original members.   And, yes, Honest Abe is going to be with his trademark customized shotgun-axe.      


I first consider Hannibal Lecter (from Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris) to become part of the team, and then as a main villain.  But both didn’t feel right.  And then I thought of making him a “third party” – neither part of the LXG nor a villain – recurring character.  And that’s the best option.  Sure, Hannibal’s terrifying cannibalism will remain a part of him in this story, but, just like in the books, he will only murder and eat those that have caused offense on him – and almost all of those that fit that description (as what have been described in the books) are unlikable d-bags that deserve to die anyway.  He will have a villainous nature, but only bad guys will suffer his villainy.  The LXG will initially go up against Lecter, but he will prove to be an intellectual superior to Artemis Fowl.  However, Lecter won’t be a real villain to the team, but rather will “point out” to them a deeper and bigger evil that they need to address.  Eventually, the LXG and Lecter will have an informal truce.  And though he would remain a target for the LXG, he will be an invaluable indirect ally and benefactor to the LXG, occasionally. 

I also figure that Robert Langdon (from Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, and Inferno by Dan Brown) will be an ally to the LXG.  He will provide some important information to the team from time to time.  In the story, during the recruitment phase of the team, Langdon will be considered for it, but will eventually get a pass.            

The badass CIA spook John Clark (from Tom Clancy’s “Ryanverse” books) shall be responsible for the creation of this modern LXG.  He will be the “Nick Fury” to this modern LXG’s Avengers.   As the leader of Rainbow Six – a group of elite soldiers from different nations – which is stationed in the UK, John Clark will find himself given the responsibility (maybe by Sir Basil, UK’s head spook in the “Ryanverse”) to create a superhero task force that would deal with rising cases of supernatural matters.  He will be the one – with the help of Artemis Fowl – doing the recruitment of the team.  He will also be briefly training them.  In exceptional instances, he will even come along with the team in some of their adventures.  Clark is the LXG’s government connection, and Artemis Fowl reports to him.              

I really, really want Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games trilogy by ) to be part of this for she is probably the strongest female character conceived in recent literature.  Maybe Henry DeTamble can meet her during his time travelling trips.  And heavy implications of Katniss becoming a member of the LXG someday (through time travel maybe) will be constantly given in every time she appears in the story


After the LXG obtained and enjoyed their early, initial success – like stopping an evil corporation or society from mass producing Monster Blood (from Goosebumps by R.L. Stine) or releasing a “Captain Trips” (from The Stand by Stephen King) bio-weapon to the world or causing a zombie apocalypse (with heavy allusions to World War Z used); and having an adventure in Isla Nublar (the land of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton) – they would be facing their first real juggernaut threat: Pennywise (from It by Stephen King) and Bellatrix Lestrange (from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling), resurrected (don’t ask me how) and teaming up for some massacre (not just murder, but massacre) sprees, mayhem, and terror.  Harry Potter and Percy Jackson will team up to initially face of the two villains, but would be brutally annihilated.  The LXG, of course, will be the ones saving the day, but with extreme effort. 
Then, as typical of the LXG, one of the original members will betray the team in the start of the second volume of the story, and will be the central villain.  That traitor will turn out to be an insane Edward Cullen (after Bella had an affair with Jacob Black, and left him), who has been only helping out with the LXG in saving the world so that he can conquer it himself.  All along, he has been the secret mastermind behind the vampire plot of conquering the world, and enslaving humans like cattle.  He has planned to do it one nation at a time, and decided to start with the UK.  It will enforce the fact, that as a general rule, vampires are corrupted, evil, and frightening, and NOT at all cute.  The mad vampire, Edward Cullen, will gather his vampire army, which he has been amassing through the years, in London.  His important subordinates will consist of different vampire characters from recent vampire novels – like Lestat Lioncourt and other vampires from Anne Rice’s vampire novels, vampires from The Southern Vampire mysteries by Charlaine Harris (to be honest, I have no idea of the mythos of this series.  I only know of it as the series in which the TV series True Blood is based from.  And I haven’t seen one episode of it), etc.  Moreover, it will be revealed that Cullen has been able to make himself the master of the terrifying soul-sucking Dementors (from Harry Potter), who will answer to his every command.  After his betrayal of and departure from the team, that’s when Abraham Lincoln will come in and take his place.  Then, in the epic final battle  between the LXG and their allies versus Edward Cullen’s evil army, Edward Cullen will perish after being simultaneously struck down by Abraham Lincoln and Neville Longbottom (Abe severs Cullen’s head with his axe, while at the same time, Neville severs Cullen’s trunk with the Sword of Gryffindor).

LMAO!  That’s one heck of a crazy and wild take on a modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Nonetheless, if ever, by some absurd miracle, what I ranted above becomes a reality, I will definitely be the first in line to buy the collected volume of this comicbook series (or the first to download each issue). 

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