Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo: Roses of Berlin (2014)

Author: Alan Moore | Illustrator: Kevin O'Neill | Page Count: 56

I think I recognise my conscience on those rare occasions when I meet it.”

Roses of Berlin is set in 1941.  An adversary from Janni‘s past, typically unnamed but recognisable, returns to make life difficult for her and her family.

Moore brings a few things back from past adventures to keep the continuity going, and heaps some new content on top to keep things fresh.  As usual, he fills his narrative with obscure references to people and places that will alienate a great many readers.  To get the most from the story you’ll need some knowledge of WWII politics and silent era cinema, particularly the German Expressionist movement.  I have some of the latter, but not so much of the former.  Realistically, though, I suspect that percentage will be reversed in the majority of cases.

He further alienates readers by having some of the text in German without a footnote translation.  I only know about ten words in German, so I was unable to understand what was going on in those scenes.  There’s also some minor French dialogue.  I could read it but it wasn't at all necessary to understanding the plot.  It merely reinforces what we've already been told, which begs the question of why it was included at all.  I can’t say the same for the German pages, though.  They could be similarly unnecessary, or they could be crucial.  Fuctifino.

Overall, perhaps partly because of what’s mentioned above but not completely, I found this volume lacking.  The cinematic elements were fun and action packed, but the story didn't feel like it warranted its own separate edition.

Nothing to do with the plot but notable nonetheless is the return of the League title on the cover after being absent on Heart of Ice (2013).

2½ propaganda broadcasts out of 5

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