The British author Alan Moore, who has written some of the most famous comic books of all-time has slammed the popularity of superhero movies and suggested that they may have contributed to rise of Donald Trump and Britain leaving the European Union.
In a scathing interview given to Deadline to promote his new movie The Show, the 66-year-old from Northampton, lambasted movies like The Avengers and Justice League which he claimed ‘infantilised the population’ and distracted from the ‘complexities of the modern world.’
I haven’t seen a superhero movie since the first Tim Burton ‘Batman’ film. hey have blighted cinema and also blighted culture to a degree. Several years ago I said I thought it was a really worrying sign, that hundreds of thousands of adults were queueing up to see characters that were created 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-old boys. That seemed to speak to some kind of longing to escape from the complexities of the modern world and go back to a nostalgic, remembered childhood. That seemed dangerous; it was infantilizing the population.
Moore, whose celebrated works include Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentleman and From Hell, worked on many Marvel and DC comics, including Batman: The Killing Joke, which is regarded as one of the best Batman ever. However, he feels that the popularity of the genre has now gone beyond its original means.
When I entered the comics industry, the big attraction was that this was a medium that was vulgar. It had been created to entertain working-class people, particularly children. The way that the industry has changed, it’s ‘graphic novels’ now. It’s entirely priced for an audience of middle-class people. I have nothing against middle-class people, but it wasn’t meant to be a medium for middle-aged hobbyists. It was meant to be a medium for people who haven’t got much money.
His most scathing takedown of the multi-billion dollar blockbuster franchises, which have spawned some of the most financially successful movies ever, have contributed to the likes of Donald Trump being elected as president and Brexit, both of which occurred in 2016 when superhero movies dominated the global box office.
This may be entirely coincidence, but in 2016 when the American people elected a National Socialist satsuma and the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, six of the top 12 highest-grossing films were superhero movies. Not to say that one causes the other, but I think they’re both symptoms of the same thing — a denial of reality and an urge for simplistic and sensational solutions.
Incidentally, those movies were: Captain America: Civil War, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Suicide Squad and Doctor Strange (We know that Rogue One isn’t technically a superhero film but we think Moore was including it in his six as otherwise, the next film was X-Men: Apocalypse, which came in at seventeenth for that year).
Moore’s comments have proved typically divisive with people passionately agreeing and disagreeing with him.
Moore, who retired from writing in 2018, has been a long-standing critic of superhero movies especially those based on his creations. Although the coronavirus pandemic has prevented many major superhero movies from being released in 2020, the likes of Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow are still likely to be huge hits when they are eventually released. That being said, there is no denying that there is a distinct correlation between their rise in popularity and the current climate of politics that we see.