Why Alan Moore is Wrong about Superhero Films

Evan Fox


Alan Moore, writer of beloved graphic novels like Watchmen and V for Vendetta has recently proclaimed his distaste for superhero films such as “The Avengers.”

He told The Guardian:

“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 9 to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently…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.”

Moore considers superheroes to be a child-only concept, but what he does not seem to realize is the concept of superheroes has been around as long as stories could be told. Humanity’s ancient gods such as Zeus or Hercules and ancient heroes such as Achilles can all be considered analogs for comic book heroes, and they were even worshipped by man. Some superheroes are based on these legends.

Also, comic book stories have grown with the audience just as any other type of media would. They have matured and introduced a younger generation of heroes at certain points while the readers have gotten older and have had kids of their own.

“Harry Potter” is an excellent example of this effect. While the series is not about superheroes, the books and films became more mature as Harry and his companions grew, as did the readers. If Batman never grew older, if Superman fought the same, simple fights over and over, the industry would have failed.

Finally, current times in the film industry are a golden age for superhero fans. Long have we waited to be able to see the characters come to life. While the market may become over-crowded with comic book films in a few years, it is nice to be able to harken back to our 12-year-old selves for a couple hours and just enjoy a good story.