Alan Moore on Superheroes


Actually, there’s a lot more to this interview with Alan Moore than just his view on superheroes–it’s largely about The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969, which should be released next month–but I really enjoyed this bit on the problem with today’s superheroes.

“I do have a feeling, particularly in this last decade, that some of the appeal of superheroes that originated in America — who has done them better, with a few exceptions, than the rest of the world — has become symbolic of American impunity. You have to start wondering how brave somebody who comes from Krypton and is invulnerable to all harm, or someone who has an adamantium skeleton, can actually be. I know ordinary people who put far more than that on the line every day, and don’t expect to be called heroes. [Laughs]

So is it heroes that we’re really talking about? Or is it invulnerable bullies from a culture of impunity, which also shows signs of being on the wane? That was a very big part of the first decade of the 21st century, from which I think we’re only just emerging and getting perspective on what it meant for us.”

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →