Watchmen Creator Alan Moore Thinks Today’s Superheroes Are ‘Embarrassing’

Alan Moore on Superhero Culture: ‘Embarrassing'
Alan Moore on Superhero Culture: ‘Embarrassing’
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  • Recently, a three-year-old Alan Moore interview surfaced online.
  • In the interview, the Watchmen writer criticizes contemporary superhero culture.
  • He also says the characters are “still very much white supremacist dreams.”

Yesterday, English comic writer Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke) turned 66. The internet celebrated the writers b-day by unearthing a transcript of an interview  Moore gave three years ago, which featured discussions on everything from magic and LSD to comic influences and, a topic of particular vitriol, popular obsession with superheroes. Moores verdict: our obsession is embarrassing.

Moore probably doesn’t need to explain his aversion to superhero worship. His Watchmen graphic novel, a cultural and literary touchstone , does its sardonic and ironic best to cape-drag superheroes through the mud: it dresses them in campy colors; it strips them of powers, morals, and even sexual potency; and it renders all their best laid plans equally impotent, as millions of people die due to the heroes’ failures. Basically, Moores been shitting on superhero culture since the ’80s.

Alan Moore Portrait Shoot, London
Alan Moore Portrait Shoot, London

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Hes also proven uncooperative in Hollywoods attempt to turn his comics into cinematic hero fests; Moores been known to give creators the cold shoulder when it comes to adapting his work. Hes perpetually unsatisfied with film adaptations and even went so far as to request his name be disconnected with HBOs recent Watchmen iteration.

Watchmen showrunner Damon Lindelof said, half-jokingly, he believed Moore had put a curse on him . (Moore occasionally practices witchcraft.)

But Moores final thoughts on superheros may just give Lindelof a little hope. I would also remark that save for a smattering of non-white characters (and non-white creators) these books and these iconic characters are still very much white supremacist dreams of the master race, he continued. In fact, I think that a good argument can be made for D.W. Griffiths Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all those capes and masks.

Lindelof has said before in interviews he intended to use Watchmen to explore white nationalism in America. His equation of masked superheroes and cloaked Klansman fits nicely with Moores analysis, and as much as Moore refuses to accept Lindelofs adaptation, thematically, the two approaches probably arent too different after all.

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November 2019