Wednesday, September 28, 2005

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen for Today!

A fun game that was played a lot at the time that the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out was "Pick your own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from ____ time period." I thought it was a real fun idea, and recently, a pal of mine on CBR revived the idea, and I figured it would be fun to put the idea here, as well.

So, here are the rules - make up a team of "extraordinary gentlemen" using just characters from popular novels (and using the character as they appear IN THE NOVEL). And, like the original title, you have to make sure the characters COULD exist together. For instance, James Bond first appeared in 1953, so that is fifty-two years ago, so if you chose to use Bond, he would be pretty darned old, and probably not of much use to the team. So, going by this criteria, name a team of characters who could make a "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" today, in 2005.

My team would be:

Jason Bourne would be the coordinator of the team. He would be a bit too old to go on missions himself (Bourne Identity was from 1981, and Bourne was late 30s then), but he would be an invaluable resource in organizing the group.

He would come across Tyler Durden, still in an asylum, and Durden would be a helpful, if unpredictable, member of the team. Smart and strong, Tyler would be a force to reckon with.

Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu, from the Da Vinci code, are teammates you'd want to have. The sort of detectives who are used to dealing with weird situations.

Harry Potter is a must for the team. I think that speaks for itself. Although, to be specific, I could see him working as a sort of ambassador to the Muggles.

Finally, I think Lestat would work well on the team.

Those are my picks, feel free to share your own!

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21 Comments:

Blogger Bill Reed said...

I love this game, but I'm no good at it. It's much easier to just pick stuff from pop culture so that you can have Buffy and all that. Pfah.

Robert Langdon was the first one I thought of.

Um... I suck.

9/28/2005 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Vic Fluro said...

Urrrgh. No good either.

Frank Hart (from The Visible Man)
Cliff Hanger
Doomlord Vek
Sergeant 'Street' Wise
Harry Angel
all bankrolled by Ivor Lott.

Or possibly an alternate earth crew with Killraven, Bill Savage (from Invasion), The Tower King, Al Rico (from Death Game 1999)and Frankenstein (from Death Race 2000).

9/28/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a hard game; there aren't too many popular characters created in novels in the last few years that I can think of, I'm pretty sure you named most of the ones that spring to mind. It'd be far easier to do movie or tv characters.

9/28/2005 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Tenzil said...

Assuming we can also use Television, which fills the same place popular fiction like Dickens and Serial Fiction did in the 19th century:

Patrick Bateman (American Psycho)
Sidney Bristow (Alias)
MacGyver (Macgyver)
Teal'c (Stargate: SG1)
Shadow (American Gods)
Sherman McCoy (Bonfire of the Vanities)
K.I.T.T. (Knight Rider)
John Munch (Homicide/Law & Order)

Coordinated/Overseen by Fox Mulder (X-Files)

So we have an uncatchable murderer, a secret agent, a SUPER secret agent, an alien, a demigod, a financial whiz/faceman, a sentient supercar, and a couple of seen-it-all genius detectives.

Sound good?

9/28/2005 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous RAB said...

Starting from the premise that the past incarnations of LOEG were not merely from literature but from the POPULAR literature of their era, and the further premise that movies have taken that role in more recent times, my group consists of cinematic icons rather than literary figures. In other words, everyone knows these characters, which is the whole point.

Doctor Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) - a brilliant psychologist desperate for intellectual challenges. His mere presence instantly demonstrates the urgency of the situation; he wouldn't be given his freedom for any reason, unless the end of the world was a real possibility.

Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) - Lecter's presence demands someone in law enforcement to keep an eye on him. In her own right, Gunderson is relentless and unstoppable, with an unswerving commitment to seeing justice done.

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) - a skeptical young genius and autodidact polymath with a gift for problem solving. Engaged in constant rivalry with Lecter for intellectual bragging rights.

Raymond Babbitt (Dustin Hoffman) - an autistic savant with perfect memory. Both Lecter and Hunting would be fascinated by his case. An excellent driver, "Rain Man" would provide transportation for the team.

Mathilda (Natalie Portman) - a quiet young woman who as a child was trained in marksmanship by Leon, the world's greatest hit man. Her skill in weapons and talent for survival will be assets to the team.

As you can see, I've given this a lot of thought.

9/29/2005 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Great idea. Can only think of five:

Jack Reacher (from Lee Child's series of novels) - physically imposing character with a sharp detective mind. Possible leader.

Susannah Dean AKA Detta Holmes AKA Detta Walker (from Stephen King's Dark Tower series) - Schizophrenic gunfighter, also possible leader.

John Dortmunder (from Donald Westlake's Dortmunder series) - highly skilled lovable thief constantly suffering from bad luck.

Croyd Crenson AKA The Sleeper (from George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series) - Super-powered mercenary who falls into a coma every fortnight and wakes up with a new body and new powers. Paranoid character who takes speed to keep himself awake for long periods.

Dr Hannibal Lecter (from Thomas Harris' Lecter series) - 'Nuff said.

9/29/2005 12:28:00 AM  
Anonymous ArizonaTeach said...

I don't know, but I would kill to see a team-up between Charles Carter from Carter Beats the Devil and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (I can see them living, because of their circumstances, well into the 20th century). Who else is from around the 1920s....?

9/29/2005 12:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Daniel Apodaca said...

I think it would be especially funny if Marla Singer tagged along with the team, getting them into unnecessary altercations, and trying to seduce everyone on the team.

9/29/2005 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

BAH!

I KNOW that you can make a very good argument that TV shows and movies are the modern equivalents of the fiction used as the basis for the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but that is too EASY!

It is much more challenging to actually have to look to books!

9/29/2005 01:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike Isenberg said...

Hagbard Celine, from the Illuminatus! trilogy.

He's the modern-day Nemo. Got the crazy submarine and everything. He'd be kind of old, but probably still kicking around.

9/29/2005 01:38:00 AM  
Blogger The Hermit said...

Too many Americans for a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. As I always say when these exercises are conducted, Americans do not form Leagues of Extraordinary Gentlemen. They form A-Teams, and Killsquads, and Phoenix Forces, and Guardians, and Hard Corps, and Able Teams, and Marauders, and Fox Force Fives, and SoBs, and Stunt Sevens...

9/29/2005 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Argh!! I only read classic fiction!! The only new books I read are all nonfiction. I hate not being able to join these games!

http://johnnytriangles.blogspot.com/

9/29/2005 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger joncormier said...

This isn't as easy as it first appears is it? I'm trying to use relatively new fiction and fiction that's mostly pop-culture oriented. But let's face it if we were just doing pop-culture books our lists would be Grisham, Clancy and King characters as well as the Da Vinci Code. I read Angels and Demons and thought it was lame and have no desire to read Da Vinci Code anymore. Okay shutting up and getting on with the list now:

Jonathan Strange from Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell for his battlefield experience and powerful magics.

Harry Potter because he's the most famous fictional character of the last decade and another powerful magician to work with Strange.

Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde's series (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten). A literary detective who can zap in and out of books. She also a special operatives agent who has, quite frankly, the best rogues gallery of any work of fiction (including comics). And I did spell Fforde correctly.

Hiro Protagonist from Snow Crash. Sword fighting and a brilliant techie.

Molly from Neuromancer. Every team needs some muscle.

Ender from Ender's Game as the tactician.

I guess all my characters have dark sides that can get in the way but that's cool.

9/29/2005 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Dirk Gently, man. Dirk Gently.

9/29/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger joncormier said...

How could I forget Dirk? I wanted to take someone from The Hitch-hikers' Guide to the Galaxy but I have no idea who would be "helpful," y'know?

9/29/2005 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Marionette said...

Well technically if you have Thursday Next she has access to any character from fiction ever, up to and including Emperor Zhark and his zharkian battle cruiser.

As well as Thursday, my team would include Princess Paragon, and I'll see your Harry Potter and raise you Chrestomanci. I'll also have whichever aspect of the Eternal Champion is nearest, so long as it's not Elric, because he's such a misery.

9/29/2005 02:27:00 PM  
Anonymous jake said...

rambo(it was originally a book)
harry potter
christine (the possesed car)
jack ryan(tom clancy stuff)
bridget jones (gots to have jiggly arm candy!)

9/29/2005 06:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a 1950s team:

Reginald Jeeves, P. G. Wodehouse Jeeves and Wooster series. Extraordinary Gentleman's Gentleman. Master planner and psychological manipulator. Particularly adept at cleaning up situations others have bungled.

James Bond, Ian Fleming. Driver, fighter, lover, the ultimate action hero.

Tom Ripley, Patricia Highsmith. Dapper sociopath. Social chameleon able to function in a variety of settings. Extensive familiarity with Europe's sexual and criminal underworlds. Utter ruthlessness.

Tom Swift, Jr., Victor Appleton. Gadgeteer and financeer. Extensive access to technology and supreme inventiveness. Might be best to have him out of the room when the really rough stuff goes down.

I tried to come up with a woman, but the 1950s were kind of thin on women action heroes. The team could also use a horror/supernatural specialist.

Bill Burns

9/29/2005 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I tried to come up with a woman, but the 1950s were kind of thin on women action heroes."

Modesty Blaise
Her first appearance was in a comic strip in 1962 (numerous novels after that). In the 1950s she would be still actively running her criminal organization "The Network".

She and her right-hand man Willie Garvin would be a powerful addition (if not leaders) in a 1950s group.

9/30/2005 04:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Bill Burns said...

I thought of Modesty Blaise, but I wanted to restrict myself to people who appeared in books published in the 50s.

9/30/2005 07:29:00 AM  
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