In the summer of 2003, actor Shane West was flying high. He was coming off of a run of successful “chick flicks”, and was just about to begin work on the beloved television classic, ER.
A fact I’m sure he was never privy to, though, was my complete and utter love for him. Sure, he was pure heartthrob material in A Walk to Remember and Whatever It Takes, but my heart ached for him as the rebelliously dashing Tom Sawyer in one of Fanspeak Files’ favorite box office bombs of all time, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
The film was loosely based off of Volume 1 of the comic book series of the same name, created by writer Alan Moore and artist Kevin O’Neill. I say loosely, because if you were to pick up a copy of the book, after seeing the movie, you’d be surprised at the plentiful crude and nutty happenings page after page.
With the film’s domestic total gross falling just short of the production budget, if you’ve heard of LXG, it’s most likely not because you saw it in theaters. Even so, LXG has quite a following in the fandom circuit. Fan art, stories, and merch can easily be found with a quick Google search or comic convention visit.
At the height of the film’s fandom, Kaitlin and I were delving deep into our fan fiction years. After seeing LXG and falling hard for Tom Sawyer, and in Kaitlin’s case it was Dorian Gray, we absolutely had to insert ourselves into the extraordinary world.
Thus Not a Gazelle was born, and with super powers of our own, we hopped onto The Nautilus and wrote some truly ridiculous fan fiction.
Drew Lacton was orphaned after her famous mother, Mariette Lacton, died during labor. Her mother was a powerful Angel, who was loved by all of France. So, naturally, Drew wanted to continue the family tradition, but there was one difference between Drew and her mother. Drew was half Angel, and half Demon. Her father, a villainous demon, was killed soon after Drew’s birth by a fellow demon. This demon was angry with Drew’s father for helping birth an Angel’s child, therefore, he was destroyed.
Drew was raised by a family friend,Adele Bouvier, who owned a small flower shop in Paris. Once Drew discovered her powers, Adele confessed the secrets of her origin. Drew knew she wanted to fight crime, as her mother once did, so she took up the job of searching for criminals in need of a good dose of justice.
Out of all of my self-based fan fiction characters Drew was definitely the most badass, besides the fact that once again, she was totally Mary-Sue. I 100% based her off of Jessica Alba’s Dark Angel, and to this day still picture her fighting crime in Paris in her leather outfit.
Drew sighed deeply, just had been with the league for less than thirty minutes, and they had already gotten her into trouble. Drew then felt a presence beside her, and she turned to her right to see the blonde young woman about her age.
The girl was shaking, but she seemed to be well mannered, for she then introduced herself.
” Meg Blackwell, telepath. ”
” Drew Lacton, dark angel. ”
“Dark angel, eh? I’ve read about those. Never met one though, and I’ve only heard of one…it was you! “, Meg smiled brightly at her find.
” Pardon me? ”
“You are the only known dark angel. “
“So I’ve noticed…”
Meg and Drew became instant companions, of course, and traveled alongside the league in pursuit of the company’s antagonist, The Fantom. Not to be confused with The Phantom of the Opera, another fandom we immediately latched onto and created fan fiction for.
Sadly, Not A Gazelle didn’t last quite as long as our Potter writing. The ideas were there, but the words ceased hitting the page. Perhaps we’ll return to it someday, but until then I’ll leave you with this smidgen of romance between Tom and Drew. A moment that hopefully led to many late nights telling stories over coffee in the dining room, and stolen kisses below deck.
Drew turned to see Tom standing before her. With his hands tucked into his pockets, and a smile on his face, Drew suddenly felt naked in her day clothes.
“Hello, there, Tom.”
“How..how was your night? Enjoy sleeping on a ship?”
“Oh, yes. I’ve been on this ship many a times, and have grown used to the movements.”
The two began to slowly walk together, as they spoke, down the hallway.