‘Watchmen’ Writer Alan Moore Calls Superhero Culture ‘Embarrassing’
Turns out comic book writer Alan Moore had his own hot take on superhero movies years before Martin Scorsese, whose recent statements criticizing superhero movies have taken on a life of their own. Moore discussed the topic with Brazilian writer Raphael Sassaki for an interview back in 2016, but that interview has been fully available in English until today, which also happens to be Moore’s 66th birthday. The interview is now available to read online.
Known for V for Vendetta, From Hell, and Watchmen (which is now an HBO series), but increasingly critical of DC Comics in general in recent years, Moore’s point of view should come as no surprise. But his biting words on the nature of superheroes (and superhero movies) in the 21st century add a thought-provoking twist to the argument of whether or not they should be regarded as works of cinematic art:
"Primarily, mass-market superhero movies seem to be abetting an audience who do not wish to relinquish their grip on (a) their relatively reassuring childhoods, or (b) the relatively reassuring 20th century. The continuing popularity of these movies to me suggests some kind of deliberate, self-imposed state of emotional arrest, combined with an numbing condition of cultural stasis that can be witnessed in comics, movies, popular music and, indeed, right across the cultural spectrum."
Ouch. Unlike Scorsese, who regards Marvel movies as a sort of "theme park" entertainment, Moore believes superhero movies are bad for society. He scathingly remarks that the influence of superheroes in popular culture is "tremendously embarrassing and if not a little worrying". Maybe the debate over Marvel movies being regarded as "cinema" isn’t over yet after all.
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