Nemo: The Roses of Berlin is the next story in Alan Moore‘s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen universe. This one is a follow-up to the previous story, Nemo: Heart of Ice, and it follows the story of Janni Dakkar, the daughter of the legendary Captain Nemo. In The Roses of Berlin, it’s 1941 and Janni and her husband Broad Arrow Jack travel into the heart of Berlin to rescue their daughter from the hands of Adenoid Hynkel.
What I’ve enjoyed about The Roses of Berlin and the previous volume is that the series has gone back to the high adventure of the first two volumes of the series. There is fun to be had in this series, and plenty of references to books and movies and what have you, but it doesn’t feel like you have to have a classics degree from Oxford to understand the story. Maybe it just helps that I know what Moore is referencing here, and I feel like I’m on the inside of some kind of special club. I think that has always been part of the appeal of the entire series. You may not catch everything that Moore is referring to, but when you do catch something, you feel like all those high school English classes were worth something.
It goes without saying that the art by Kevin O’Neill is spectacular. It might take a while for him to produce the pages, but it is always worth the time. In this volume, O’Neill goes hog wild with his version of Germany by way of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Every page is packed with highly detailed art that is both thoroughly modern but also feels like something from an earlier time. The art in this book is everything you would expect from O’Neill, and my only real complaint is that there’s just not enough of it.
This is another solid entry in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. The series may not be as groundbreaking as it was at the start, but at least it’s not as frustrating a read as the Black Dossier or Century. This is a straight forward adventure story that is very well told.