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Author of the week: Alan Moore
When he wrote <em>Wachman,</em> Moore intended to shatter the myth of the all-American superhero, but the comic ended up creating a new myth.
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he author behind the hit superhero film Watchmen doesn’t plan to see it, said Adam Rogers in Wired.com. Most stories about “caped crusaders,” Alan Moore says, are little more than adolescent wish-fulfillment—even when you dress them up with big-name actors or by calling them “graphic novels.” Moore’s grittily realistic 1987 comic, about a supergroup helpless in the face of nuclear apocalypse, was meant to shatter the myth of the all-American superhero. Ironically, he says, it ended up introducing a new myth: the superpowered psychotic who wreaks revenge on a cruel society. “With Watchmen,” he says, “we were talking very much about the potential abuses of this kind of masked vigilante justice. But that was not meant approvingly.”

Moore says writers and directors have imitated his ­comic’s lurid violence while leaving out its moral nuance, said Andrew Firestone in Salon.com. “They will show greater violence because they know that actually that’s what a lot of the audience wants, for prurient reasons,” he says. What’s lost is “the emotional depth and complexity of the characters.” Moore doesn’t read comic books anymore, and rarely writes them, either. His current projects aim for an air of lightness and adventure, like the comic books he loved in his youth. “It was never my intention to start a trend for darkness,” he says. “I’m not a particularly dark individual. I have my moments, it’s true, but I do have a sense of humor.”

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