Five episodes in, Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen series on HBO remains one of the more inventive comic book adaptations — not to mention adaptations at large — in recent memory. As great as the Lost and The Leftovers alum’s work with the show’s phenomenal writing staff has been, though, it would be impossible to neglect the influence of the original comic’s creators, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Which presents a unique situation, for while Gibbons is involved with the series, Moore is decidedly not. After all, this is the guy who supposedly placed a hex on Lindelof.
As well known as Moore’s feelings about the Watchmen series are (let alone any adaptation of his work), it’s his recently unearthed interview from 2017 that began making waves early Monday. That’s because, when he was asked about “the impact of popular heroes comic books in our culture,” Moore unequivocally pooh-pooed the idea of superheroes and comic books altogether.
— Kyle (@kylepinion) November 18, 2019
“I think the impact of superheroes on popular culture is both tremendously embarrassing and not a little worrying,” he explained. “While these characters were originally perfectly suited to stimulating the imaginations of their twelve or thirteen-year-old audience, today’s franchised übermenschen, aimed at a supposedly adult audience, seem to be serving some kind of different function, and fulfilling different needs.”
Since Moore’s now-dated comments about the current commercial domination of superhero narratives predate the ongoing debate triggered by director Martin Scorsese, the latter doesn’t come up explicitly in the interview. Even so, plenty of Twitter users responding to the unearthed interview were more than happy to make the connection for him — as well as the platform’s typical variety of reactionary jabs and jokes.
Come for the usual arguments about superheroes by original Watchmen writer Alan Moore, stay for his jaw dropping take on cinema history & superheroes. https://t.co/kH0SkYXBb9
— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) November 18, 2019
Oh man if you got mad about what Scorsese had to say about comic book movies wait until you see what Alan Moore thinks https://t.co/tpZ0ZRzPWD
— Ian Boudreau (@iboudreau) November 18, 2019
Martin Scorsese: I'm going to say something to annoy the superhero fans.
Alan Moore: Hold my beer, mate. https://t.co/FszmlL3j51
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) November 18, 2019
I love Alan Moore but I'm not sure he's read a comic since 1989. https://t.co/bIH6VRqK2Z
— GAIL SIMONE (@GailSimone) November 18, 2019
All of this made for plenty of fun, of course, though it was one user’s tweet comparing Moore to the musician Morrissey that truly won the trending discussion.
Alan Moore is truly the Morrissey of comic books.
— Damian (@DWiesbach) November 18, 2019