Watchmen Creator Alan Moore Says Superhero Movies Can Be a “Precursor to Fascism”

While explaining there's been an "infantilization" of superhero-loving adults toward "simpler times, simpler realities"

alan moore superhero movies fascism

Watchmen creator Alan Moore has famously been vocal about his distaste for superhero movies, and in a new interview with The Guardian, he said the “infantilization” of adults who love them can often act as “a precursor to fascism.”

“I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see Batman movies,” Moore recalled. “Because that kind of infantilization — that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities — that can very often be a precursor to fascism.” As proof, Moore pointed out that many of the biggest films were superhero movies when Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States in 2016 and “when we ourselves took a bit of a strange detour in our politics.”

Despite being credited for creating more adult-oriented comics like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, Moore expressed concern that “hundreds of thousands of adults [are] lining up to see characters and situations that had been created to entertain the 12-year-old boys — and it was always boys — of 50 years ago.”

“I didn’t really think that superheroes were adult fare,” Moore said. “I think that this was a misunderstanding born of what happened in the 1980s — to which I must put my hand up to a considerable share of the blame, though it was not intentional — when things like Watchmen were first appearing. There were an awful lot of headlines saying ‘Comics Have Grown Up.'”

He added, “I tend to think that, no, comics hadn’t grown up. There were a few titles that were more adult than people were used to. But the majority of comics titles were pretty much the same as they’d ever been. It wasn’t comics growing up. I think it was more comics meeting the emotional age of the audience coming the other way.”

Moore’s latest comments are consistent with statements he’s made in the past. In a 2017 interview that resurfaced in November 2019, he called superhero culture “tremendously embarrassing” and added that the popularity of movies suggested a “self-imposed state of emotional arrest.” In 2019, Moore told The Guardian that the term “graphic novel” was created to “validate [adults’] continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal.”

Read the full interview at The Guardian, in which he also promises he’s “definitely done with comics” after putting out his first collection of short stories.


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