Speaking of memes, more than two months ago I inadvertently (well, at least not advertently) started a mini-meme: who would be in your modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? (My nominations: Sid Halley, Lovejoy, Hawk, Hermione Granger, and Steve Zizzou.) While I created my list mainly for my own amusement and the fewer-than-100 people who look at my blog daily, I was pleasantly surprised that a talented handful of Bully-readers responded with their own creative, innovative, and varied Leagues that made me exclaim with delight "Oooh, I wish I'd thought of that!" I'd promised at one point to round them all up but the combination of a hectic and harried summer and my intensive, time-consuming battles with the Lego Star Wars video game drove it out of my little stuffed mind.
Until now. Let's take a look at your Leagues, shall we?
I imposed an artificial definition on each of the five members of my League: The Leader, The Rogue, The Muscle, The Woman of Mystery, and The Guy with a Boat, and most people took those definitions as gospel and slotted their League right in those spots. (For the record, I wouldn't have minded if you broke those definitions!) In addition, many people picked a sixth member to serve as the League Mastermind, the brainpower behind the field operations. That hadn't occurred to me, so it was a great addition!
Chawunky picked Mary Poppins, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Ford Prefect, Tock the Watchdog from The Phantom Tollbooth, Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, A Wrinkle in Time's Meg Murry and, as the brains of the operation, Willy Wonka. Brilliant!
The Fortress Keeper nominated Doctor Who (the fourth, fifth, or ninth Doctor), Lost in Space's Dr. Zachary Smith, Sin City's Marv (or Godzilla as a back-up choice!), Jiao Long from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea's Admiral Harriman Nelson, and, as his "bonus brainy guy," TV's Monk. "Imagine him cleaning up after these guys!" quips the FK.
Simon picks Al Giardello from Homicide: Life on the Street, The Talented Mr. (Tom) Ripley, Mrs. Emma Peel of The Avengers, Terry Tsurugi from The Street Fighter, Hagbard Celine from The Illuminatus! Trilogy, and TV's MacGyver (and he even spells it correctly, which gets him major points in my book!).
Mabster contributed a clever SF-themed League: Pham Nuwen from Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep, Ford Prefect, Batou from Ghost In The Shell, Teela Brown (Larry Niven's Ringworld series), Olmy/Thistledown from Greg Bear's novels, and, as the mastermind, Robert A. Heinlein's Lazarus Long. Sci-fi-riffic!!
Matthew gets extra bonus points for posting the following brilliant observation: "Did you realize that the A-Team fits this five-person team model perfectly? You have to change 'boat' to 'plane' to fit Murdock in, but other than that..." Brilliant, Matthew...I love it when a plan comes together! Matthew also contributes an amazing themed league: The League of Extraordinary Canadian Gentlemen: Dominic da Vinci from the TV show Da Vinci's Inquest, Keycase Milne from Arthur Hailey's Hotel, Buddy the Goon from Warren Zevon's "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)", Victory Nelson (from the novels of Tanya Huff), and Tractor Jack, from the Arrogant Worms song "Pirates of the Saskatchewan." Even more bonus points for your maple-leaf themed League, Matthew!
Crucible nominated F'lar from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne, David Gemmel's Druss ("why would you choose anyone but the man with the Axe?" asks Crucible...why indeed!), Elspeth Gordie from Isobelle Carmody's Obernewtyn Chronicles, and from Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar Saga, Amos Trask. Literally fantastic!
Finally, Anonymous suggested a whole slew of potential candidates, a list so good s/he shouldn't have posted anonymously!: Willard Stiles from The Ratman's Notebooks by Gilbert Ralston, Charlie McGee from Stephen King's Firestarter, Ishmael from the novel by Daniel Quinn, Harry Potter's Severus Snape, Susan Fletcher from Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, Ronin Samurai from Sensei by John Donohue, three-inch tall George from William Joyce's George Shrinks (brilliant!), and Special Agent Mark Beamon from Kyle Mills's Rising Phoenix. Anonymous goes for extra credit by being the only memer to propose a villainous group for his League to battle: Agatha Christie's The Big Four.
You people impress the heck out of me, do you know that? Thanks one and all for playin', and I wouldn't say no to new nominations!
Finally, most posters reminded me I didn't assign anyone to the Mycroft Holmes role in the Alan Moore original. You're right, guysevery great League needs a mastermind, a brilliant brain whose quicksilver mind leaves his antagonists in the dust, who inspires awe, respect, admiration, and the utter devotion of his friends and followers, if not his siblings. No single man can fill that position in my League better than Ferris Bueller, as adept at plotting ten steps ahead as he is of diving into a situation on the fly. He's a master of disguise, whether it's as a voice on the phone or his uncanny impersonation of Abe Frohman, the Sausage King of Chicago. He takes good care of his friends. He's a folk hero to his peers. He knows how to fake out the parents with the clammy palms. And his philosophy is second to none: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." League or no, we should all live by such a creed. Go get 'em, big guy.
Who's in your League?