Saturday, 16 May 2015

Nemo: River of Ghosts

Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill
(Knockabout / Top Shelf)

In a world where all the fictions ever written coalesce into a rich mosaic, it’s 1975. Janni Dakkar, pirate queen of Lincoln Island and head of the fabled Nemo family, is eighty years old and beginning to display a tenuous grasp on reality. Pursuing shadows from her past — or her imagination — she embarks on what may be a final voyage down the vastness of the Amazon, a last attempt to put to rest the blood-drenched spectres of old. With allies and adversaries old and new, we accompany an aging predator on her obsessive trek into the cultural landscape of a strange new continent, from the ruined city of Yu-Atlanchi to the fabulous plateau of Maple White Land. As the dark threads in her narrative are drawn into an inescapable web, Captain Nemo leads her hearse-black Nautilus in a desperate raid on horrors believed dead for decades. Through the exotic spectacle of an imagined South America, Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill steer their fifty-year-long Nemo trilogy to its remarkable conclusion, borne upon a River of Ghosts. 

And with this volume - the third - the story of Janni Nemo comes to a close and the next inheritor of the mantle takes their place.

This time out  it's a much more straight forward read - particularly in comparison to it's immediate predecessor for which you needed a handy German to translate large swathes of the dialogue.  Here, the aged and dying Nemo sets out on one last adventure to investigate the apparent reappearance of Ayesha despite having killed her in the previous volume's Germany of Adenoid Hynkel.

As ever the references abound and as ever I'm missing loads of them but a few of the more obvious ones include The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Stepford Wives, Desperate Dan and The Lost World.

This isn't Moore at his most engrossing it's simply Moore cutting loose and letting the grand lady have the blood and fire send off and decisive conclusion she deserves (and desires).  O'Neill is, as ever, flawless.

An explosive final chapter to an excellent series.  Hopefully not the last we'll see of the League though as it's easily one of my favourite things.

btw - Jess Nevins' always invaluable annotations to this volume can be found here

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