Photo Credit: Nikki Tysoe / Flickr
Photo Credit: Nikki Tysoe / Flickr

For a creator whose work has often involved superheroes in the past, Alan Moore seems to be pretty opinionated on adults who enjoy the genre. In the 80s he was responsible for three of the most well known superhero tales of all time including ‘The Killing Joke‘, ‘Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow’, and one of the best selling graphic novels of all time with ‘Watchmen’.

I guess these days when he’s not too busy bashing the re-imaging of his own work he just wants to bash his fans. After years of attacking various aspects of the comic book industry there really aren’t too many other fresh targets these days. Books like ‘Secret Avengers’ have heroes doing black ops work for the government without their knowledge of what they are doing while in the ‘Thunderbolts’ the team is a mix of half heroes and half ex-villains who are killing terrorists and criminals.

It’s really surprising that he’s going this route on his views as well due to the fact that his darker and more mature takes on superheroes have helped reshape the landscape of comics into what they are today and have encouraged an older audience to read them. Apparently, that is his problem now which is that all of us are just too old to like work that should be targeted at 9-13 year olds. However, none of the work he’s mentioning actually solely targets that age range anymore to anyone who has even half paid attention to it.

Here’s what Moore had to say about comic book readers who happen to be quite older than his perceived target range:

“I haven’t read any superhero comics since I finished with Watchmen. I hate superheroes. I think they’re abominations. They don’t mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine- to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it’s nothing to do with them. It’s an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience.

So my fellow comic loving geeks that are out of college we’re apparently ’emotionally subnormal’ because we still like fiction that is aimed at our age group? Fiction that was pioneered by someone who now is spurning it all. I wonder if he’s including all of his work in this as well? He openly admits to having not read any comics since finishing ‘Watchmen’, so I’m not exactly sure what position he’s in to judge, but he’s judging anyway.

Of course you can’t just take everything he says at face value when he says:

“I don’t think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it’s a rather alarming sign if we’ve got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s.”

If the recent ‘The Avengers‘ film was filmed in the same style as the original comics from the 60’s (I’m not sure where he’s getting ‘The Avengers in the 50’s from) were written, that would be one thing. When you are dealing with fiction that is clearly aimed to entertain not just children but adults as well, either Moore hasn’t seen it or has truly lost the pulse of where the majority of pulp culture has gone over the past twenty years. I hope it’s the first of those two options as he has been so successful in helping create targeted specifically at myself and my subnormal friends since the 80s.

Oh, but wait. He actually doesn’t know what is in the comic these days because he

Moore might not be writing anything on superheroes but he has done volumes of the work in the past. The hypocrisy here is astounding. You have to wonder at the emotional soundness of someone who is apparently creating this work targeted at adults. Just something to think about.

What do you think folks? Are we all just a bunch of emotionally stunted adults who can’t grow up? Or has Moore lost his way in how superhero storytelling has evolved in a way where he was one of the major causes of the tales now being sold to a broader age range that includes adults?

Source: The Guardian