17. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
Published by Vertigo Comics
I'll admit it. I'm the guy who liked the movie. Sure, it didn't have the nuances and aha moments of Moore and O'Neill's original masterpiece (perhaps the best of Moore's recent work), but it was a fun romp through literary memories and what-if playgrounds. Still, as much as I enjoyed the film, it doesn't remotely come close to how much I love the comic book on which it's based.
Moore and O'Neill do in print with LoEG what we fans have been doing for years in our imaginations -- creating a Justice League made up of our favorite characters from our favorite books. But he does more than that... Instead of creating merely an elaborately cast fan fiction, he tells an amazing story that actually builds on the literary histories (and futures) of said characters.
And he plays hard ball with the central mystery and conceit behind the series -- who exactly is pulling the team together and why that matters.