rainspirit: (Default)
[personal profile] rainspirit posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I'm pleased to say that this is my first post in the long years of lurking around this community!

Seeing as this is a community heavily invested in the trials and tribulations of heroes and their nemeses, there will surely be no small representation in today's category. But on meditating on the subject further (and retreading Alan Moore's fantastic, overstuffed graphic novel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), I was reminded of an even older rivalry predating superhero comics: That of Sherlock Holmes, great detective, versus James Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime.

So then! Here are seven pages from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1, Issue 5.

For those who like context, this is Alan Moore's rendition of the final scene of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes short story, The Final Problem. (Also another note that most of my knowledge of the literary references of the series is supplemented by This website, just in case any of you with a copy of The League and feel like tracking down all those weird little details.)

This page and the preceding one are what makes them worthy of this post. Two intelligent men of highly polar moral views, almost amiable in their dialogue as each makes their characters clear: Moriarty is animated and sinister beneath his joviality, Holmes calm and composed as he writes his (presumably) last, fateful letter to Watson, who was led away by the ruse described in panel 2.

(According to the aforementioned annotations website, Sherlock uses baritsu in this scene, a Japanese form of wrestling.)

From Arthur Conan Doyle's next Holmes story, The Adventure of the Empty House: "I am not a fanciful person, but I give you my word that I seemed to hear Moriarty's voice screaming at me out of the abyss."

This scene, done in flashback, then reverts back to the "present day" of the story, in which Moriarty and Bond are speaking in length on their plans while thinking back on the "fateful day" in Switzerland - all while the Invisible Man listens, unheard. It's a great set-up for a bad guy - Moriarty is shown as brilliant, more than a little demented, and worse than that, actually a figure in the workings of the British government. And it is the one scene where Sherlock Holmes is shown, though he is referenced a few times later on in the lore of the LoeG.

I'd like to take a moment to thank the mod team for coming up with these daily themes - it's great inspiration for first time posters!

Date: 2010-12-10 10:50 pm (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives

Just because it's a battle to the death doesn't meant that courtesy and manners shouldn't be observed.

Date: 2010-12-10 10:56 pm (UTC)
proteus_lives: (Default)
From: [personal profile] proteus_lives
They are both such products of the age of Empire.

Sherlock's great moment is writing the letter to Watson. His attention to detail is grand.

Date: 2010-12-10 11:39 pm (UTC)
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starwolf_oakley
And, in turn, Holmes finds Moriarty as overblown. I can almost see him thinking "God, you're irritating" in the "I'm tired with talk" panel.

Of course, it could be worse. In the BBC's "Sherlock" series, Moriarty sees Watson as Holmes' *pet*.

Date: 2010-12-11 02:42 am (UTC)
sherkahn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sherkahn
Etiquette must be followed.

Date: 2010-12-10 11:07 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Doug)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
This remains one of my favourite Moriarty stories...

And it's being followed up with a novel length of the same sort of thing! :)

Date: 2010-12-10 11:45 pm (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Ha! Nice. Thanks for the link.

Date: 2010-12-10 11:35 pm (UTC)
misterbug: (Default)
From: [personal profile] misterbug
I always enjoyed O'Neill's rendering of that horrible moment in which Moriarty silently cracks against that rock - the powerful, sinister incarnation of greater universal evil reduced to a clumsy mass of physical ridiculousness, like a scittering Daddy Long-Legs tangling itself in its own web.

Date: 2010-12-11 01:25 am (UTC)
badficwriter: Flying saucer-I WANT TO BELIEVE (Default)
From: [personal profile] badficwriter
Nice wording. :)

Date: 2010-12-11 01:53 am (UTC)
misterbug: (Default)
From: [personal profile] misterbug
I'm knee-deep in essays at the mo. The buggers bring out the conceited poetic critic in me, who'll go looking for any interpretation of any given work which takes his fancy and argue it solidly.

...But, hey, thanks.

Date: 2010-12-12 08:45 am (UTC)
stubbleupdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stubbleupdate
Do daddy long-legs spin webs?

Date: 2010-12-10 11:40 pm (UTC)
shanejayell: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanejayell
Damn good book. Loved all the references too, tho I know I didn't get them all.

Date: 2010-12-11 01:21 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I'm not sure anyone did, I believe that even O'Neill threw some in that Moore hadn't suggested.

Date: 2010-12-11 12:21 am (UTC)
crinos: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crinos
Wow, Moriarty is kind of a badass.

Holmes Judo flips his ass over a waterfall, he lands ON HIS HEAD on the way down, and he manages to not only survive, but climb up part of the way to curse Holmes.

Date: 2010-12-12 08:45 am (UTC)
stubbleupdate: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stubbleupdate
That's what you do when you've got a head injury.

Date: 2010-12-11 12:57 am (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
Great art on that fight!

Date: 2010-12-11 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pervymax
I forgot how great the was. Thanks for posting this.

Date: 2010-12-11 01:17 am (UTC)
fungo_squiggly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fungo_squiggly
One awesome moment among many in the LXG.

Also, Moore did a great job of recapturing the feeling of Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes.

Quick qestion;

Date: 2010-12-11 05:04 am (UTC)
nefrekeptah: (Ride)
From: [personal profile] nefrekeptah
What's the statute of limitations for making posts like these? Because this entire scene was already posted about a month or two ago.

And I'll say it again; Moriarty is the most overrated villain in the history of literature.

Re: Quick qestion;

Date: 2010-12-11 09:30 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I don't remember seeing it posted.

Re: Quick qestion;

Date: 2010-12-12 04:23 am (UTC)
bradhanon: (Serious editor)
From: [personal profile] bradhanon
Well, absolutely he's overrated regarding the original canon, but I have to admit that the fanon version of him that has grown up over the past 115 years or so is a delightful figure. So fiendish, so urbane, so coolly brilliant and horrible... it almost makes you wish Doyle had written something like that.

Re: Quick qestion;

Date: 2010-12-12 08:33 am (UTC)
grazzt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grazzt
I think that theme posts should be exempt, to a certain extent. Just to allow people to post things that fit the theme, even if they have already been posted.

Date: 2010-12-11 06:49 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
While Moriarty is indeed a classic villain, I have to say that his stature as Holmes' arch-enemy is more than somewhat inflated. I mean, he appeared in, what - two stories? - and yet somehow he's become this invincible mastermind that is the arch-fiend of the Great Detective. If you ask me, Basil of Baker Street and Rattigan are a better example - true, they're a copy, but they're a GOOD copy, and it's canon that they have indeed clashed multiple times. (And Vincent Price does SUCH a good job as Rattigan - definitely one of my favorite portrayals of a villain.)
That being said, this is indeed a good scene, and 'LoEG' Moriarty is quite a memorable villain.

Date: 2010-12-11 09:29 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I liked the Jeremey Brett Sherlock Holmes version of "The Final Problem", which had Moriarty mention some of the other ways Holmes had confounded him, including the likes of "The Red Headed League" being down to Moriarty.

Date: 2010-12-11 11:17 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Well, yes, but that's more of a retcon - modern adaptations of Holmes more or less have to include stuff like that, because Moriarty is so famous that people would complain that he wasn't featured enough. (Although that is a clever method of expanding his role, I agree.)

Date: 2010-12-11 01:54 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Oh I agree, I would have loved to see Moriarty get more of a build up before the reveal in the canon, but he's such an instantly memorable character (His character description is a masterpiece) and the fact that he RATTLED Holmes, he actually made Holmes actively worried, which makes him so instantly memorable, regardless of his brief appearance.

Date: 2010-12-11 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Oh, he's certainly memorable, and I'm not saying he's a bad character or anything - he makes for a great criminal mastermind - it's just that his actual place in Holmesian lore is misrepresented. He basically faced Holmes (that I know of) ONCE. That's it. You could argue that he was Holmes' GREATEST enemy, perhaps, but he was NOT the recurring arch-enemy that he's so often presented as today. The amount of times you get 'It's Moriarty - up to some new, devilish scheme!' moments in modern interpretations is ridiculous - I'm not even a big Holmes fan, and I can think of two or three right off the bat. The battle between them at Reichenbach falls would have made a great payoff to a long-lasting feud, but that's NOT what it was, dammit.

Date: 2010-12-11 05:40 pm (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
I think that he showed up twice, was mentioned a third time. His henchman, Colonel Moran, may have appeared a few more times, though I'm not certain.

Date: 2010-12-11 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] psychopathicus_rex
Oh? My bad, then. Still, two appearances do not an arch-enemy make.

Date: 2010-12-12 05:36 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Moriarty only appears in "The Final Problem". He's the power behind the plot in "The Valley of Fear" (published later, set earlier) but never appears in it.

He's mentioned in passing in a few other stories, but only as a reference to the past.

Watson never even meets Moriarty at all, aside from catching a glimpse of him.

Moran himself only appears in "The Adventure of the Empty House"

Date: 2010-12-11 08:26 am (UTC)
mr_neutron: Mr. Neutron (Default)
From: [personal profile] mr_neutron
Welcome aboard, and may you have many more posts.
I have to admit that I found Moore's retelling of Sherlock and Moriarty's final battle rather flat and lacking, and I think it's unfortunate that this will be many reader's introduction to "The Final Problem." The dialogue spells everything out and feels like a heavy-handed pastiche of Doyle, who was usually less purple. And Moriarty cursing out Holmes is out of character and crass. If I have to see the final confrontation between these two dramatized, I'll take the Granada version any day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoNwlBEXg5s

I have to agree with psychopathicus_rex as well--Moriarty only appears in "The Final Problem" and "The Valley of Fear," and there are more memorable villains in the canon, such as Charles Augustus Milverton and Baron Adelbert Von Gruner. But they don't have any pop cachet.


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