How League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Turned Disney’s Mary Poppins Into God


Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill reimagined Mary Poppins as an awesome avatar of God and pitted her against Harry Potter in a magical battle.

Part of the inherent appeal of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has always been the creators’ way of re-approaching classic characters and painting them in entirely different lights to reflect modern views. This extended beyond the Victorian-era creations of the original 1999 series, with the sequels delving into other notable pop culture luminaries.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century introduced a number of particularly powerful characters from across literature and transformed Mary Poppins from her common modern Disney twist into a cold but motherly God.


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In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the world is revealed to exist in multiple forms, with distinct dimensions – including the Blazing World, a mysterious realm outside of normal space and time. Thanks to Prospero, Shakespeare’s duke-turned-sorcerer Storm and a former member of the League, and his connection to the dimension the heroes can finally call upon. This becomes crucial at the end of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century. Mina Murray (from Bram Stoker’s Dracula) and the immortal Orlando (from Virginia Woolf’s novel) were the last standing members of the group at the climax, set in 2009, left alone against the crazed whims of the Antichrist, who in this series has been reimagined as a horrifying , a murderous and almost pitiful incarnation of Harry Potter.


Calling Prospero, the pair were instead greeted by the apparent avatar of God in the world, who took the form of Mary Poppins. Entering the battle, the character was never expressly named due to copyright laws granting other publishers the rights to the character. But his appearance and demeanor were consistent with early portrayals of the character. Instead of having acquired the mischievous but gentle aspects of his Disney incarnation, this more driven and cold version of Poppins was rather prescient of the character’s original conception by author PL Travers. Regardless of her personality, she quickly proved powerful enough to simply ignore the massive spells summoned by Potter.


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As part of the story’s general commentary on the heroes of modern fiction, Poppins was wholly unimpressed with the Antichrist, his angst, or his powers. As the Antichrist quickly boasts of having an entire book of the Bible focusing on him (referring to the Book of Revelations), Poppins pointed out that she is on every page – seemingly confirming his position as the version of this world of God. She then used her reality warping abilities to turn Potter into a chalk drawing which then faded easily in the light rain, saving the day with ease as the heroes were hopelessly outmatched by Potter and his magical abilities. As quickly as she arrived, she then returned to the Blazing World (along with the villainous Oliver Haddo, apparently intent on securing his longtime punishment for his actions).


It’s quietly perfect that Mary Poppins gets such an impressive power boost for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The series has always been a way to explore the definition of the hero in popular fiction from the defining eras of Western storytelling, exploring the dark undercurrents of beloved characters. While the Disney version of Poppins ended up with a much softer edge than the base version, she could still be cold and detached when she needed to and was still displayed as an unknowable being of power. She has always retained a motherly side, making her a perfect substitute for a vengeful but compassionate God, one who seeks to solve problems and cannot abide terrible children but retains an affection for those under his protection. It’s a perfect modern escalation of the concept.


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