the guardian Fri 22 May 2009
In his dreams, Dr Carnacki sees a Moonchild. In London's East End, Mac the Knife continues the bloody spree that the Ripper began. And in a plush room filled with curiosities, Mina Murray, Allan Quartermain and the immortal Orlando are bickering. Century: 1910 is the first instalment of the final volume of Moore and O'Neill's splendid comic-book trilogy, which pulls characters from literature and mythology into a sly and often grotesque postmodern waltz. This league, led by Rider Haggard's imperial hero and Stoker's vampire-cursed heroine, has already battled Moriarty, Fu Manchu and the Martians. Here the enemies are Somerset Maugham's occultist Oliver Haddo, the vengeful Pirate Jenny and Mac the Knife from Brecht's Threepenny Opera - victims of a cruel world rather than genuine villains. But while it lacks some of the vigour and novelty of the earlier volumes, it has plenty of colour, drama and humour - much of the latter coming from self-important Orlando. This opener whets the appetite for the series conclusion nicely.