Sunday, March 30, 2014

Nemo: The Roses of Berlin

   Tackling the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book is always a bit of a challenge - but generally the reader is rewarded for his or her effort.

   The graphic novel Nemo: The Roses of Berlin focuses on Janni, the daughter of the original Captain Nemo, who has continued her father's piratical ways.

   But then disaster strikes as the airship carrying her daughter and son-in-law is shot down by German forces in 1941 - and Janni vows to rescue both from a tortured fate at the hands of the Nazis.

   As always, writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O'Neill create an amazing world, loaded with lots of references to fictional characters that thrive in this world where all fiction is real.

   It's a bit frustrating for the reader - I know that I'm missing quite a few references along the way, though I certainly enjoy the ones I pick up on.

   Lots of clever literary and film appropriation going on here, of course, including one of cinema's most famous robots, and lots of graphic action sequences.

   But there's an added level of difficulty here, as there's no effort made to translate a large amount of German and French dialogue. I can sort out enough of the latter to get by, but not the former - so I end up feeling like I'm missing out on half the story here.

   It's bad enough missing the references to other stories (shouldn't each edition come with an Index or some such?), without losing much of the dialogue, too.

   Even with those difficulties, it's another strong tale in this ongoing saga. The only bad thing about this series is the long wait between chapters - but it's well worth it!

Grade: A-

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great review. I always got a kick out of the lack of translation. It's like Moore is saying, "It's your fault for not speaking the language..."

Chuck said...

Anon, yeah, that's pretty much my reaction when I run across such things. Of course, then I wonder, would Janni (Nemo) actually speak English all the time?

Anonymous said...

By the way. The German parts are filled with many errors. Whoever translated it seemed to have used an internet-tool too. Very disappointing.

Peter Wallace said...

I think someone online does a list of references to all of these stories. Maybe it's a website.
Pete

Chuck said...

Pete, here's that site: http://jessnevins.com/annotations/rosesofberlin.html

It cleared up most of the questions (though there's a few they're not sure about, either).