It’s always a treat when Alan Moore pops up for a rare interview because you know you’re in for a cranky ride as the Watchmen creator hates on the comic book industry that he inadvertently helped revive and transform in the ’80s. As Batman fans know, Moore’s The Killing Joke and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns are the two most definitive stories that moved the character past his campy past and into the dark, brooding vigilante punch-fest that he is today. However, for decades, Moore has famously disavowed his work on The Killing Joke and regrets its impact on the comic industry. In his newest interview with Deadline, he takes it one step further by expressing his disgust that his work inspired Joker.
“I’ve been told the Joker film wouldn’t exist without my Joker story (1988’s Batman: The Killing Joke), but three months after I’d written that I was disowning it, it was far too violent,” Moore said. “It was Batman for christ’s sake, it’s a guy dressed as a bat. Increasingly I think the best version of Batman was Adam West, which didn’t take it at all seriously.”
Of course, this is par for the course for Moore, who has been a vocal critic of the boom in superhero films in recent years, even going so far as to blame them for “infantilizing” the population and paving the way for Trump in the U.S. and Brexit in the U.K. Not to mention, Moore has a long-simmering and justifiable grudge against both Marvel and DC Comics’ treatment of writers and artists, which has prevented him from not watching any superhero films except for Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989.
Oh christ no I don’t watch any of them. All of these characters have been stolen from their original creators, all of them. They have a long line of ghosts standing behind them. In the case of Marvel films, Jack Kirby [the Marvel artist and writer]. I have no interest in superheroes, they were a thing that was invented in the late 1930s for children, and they are perfectly good as children’s entertainment. But if you try to make them for the adult world then I think it becomes kind of grotesque.
Moore’s hatred of Hollywood adaptations of his work is so legendary, that Damon Lindelof was convinced he was cursed by Moore while working on HBO’s Watchmen thanks to feeling “miserable” during the whole production. But if there truly is a curse, it seems contained to Lindelof’s mood and not the series, which scored eleven Emmy wins.
Or maybe that’s just what super wizard Alan Moore wants us to think…