League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Tempest #4
As this book hurtles towards its conclusion - both of this miniseries and, apparently, of the LoEG saga altogether - it’s clear that Moore and O’Neill are intent on things going out with a bang.
This issue is dazzling for all sorts of reasons, and while some of them are linked with fairly traditional plot twists (that threaten to turn things upside-down and make us question what we thought we knew about some major players in this series), some of the reasons are more to do with the creators’ fearless formal experimentation.
As the cover suggests, this issue has a lot of fun parodying well-known British kids’ comics as well as a host of other renowned comic strips, presenting different sequences of the story in the guise of different features (with O’Neill altering his art, sometimes quite drastically, to match).
It’s been present throughout Tempest so far, but it’s never been more pronounced than it is here.
It’s the kind of thing that could fall apart as a jumbled mess, but somehow the strong dramatic through-lines - some of which have been running since the very start of LoEG - help to hold it all together.
Without giving too much away, it all climaxes in a sequence that sets up an apocalyptic conclusion for the book that goes way beyond anything seen in the series so far - and Moore has pretty good form with comicbook apocalypses, so I’m definitely willing to go with him on this one.
My favourite moment in the comic, though, comes from the backup strip where Moore and O’Neill can cut loose with their sillier sides. Here, they delve into mystical/occult heroes with a particular riff on the likes of Ditko and Dr Strange, resulting in this laugh-out-loud panel:
(And without spoiling it, what follows is Moore resolving things through a winning combination of great silliness, clear intelligence, ruthless logic and complete nonsense.)
My only complaint with this issue is that it didn’t come with its own set of ‘4D-specs’ for the 3D section, so I had to dig out the ones from last issue and use those. And that’s literally the only bad thing I have to say about it.