Alan Moore, the creator of ‘Watchmen,’ has warned that adults’ ‘infantile’ love of superhero films might lead to fascism.

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Regina King in “Watchmen,” a charged, inventive adaptation of the beloved comic, premiering Sunday on HBO.Credit…Mark Hill/HBO

Over the last several decades, comic books have progressed from a fringe interest to Hollywood’s most valuable intellectual property. Alan Moore, who wrote seminal comics such as “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Batman: The Killing Joke,” has been present at every stage of that history.

Moore was a key figure in the aesthetic legitimization of comic books, but he isn’t satisfied with how the industry has evolved. Moore expressed his concerns about our culture’s increasing fascination with superheroes in a new interview with The Guardian.

“I indicated around 2011 that I thought it had serious and disturbing implications for the future if millions of people were queuing to see ‘Batman’ movies,” Moore explained. “Because that kind of infantilization – that yearning for simpler times, simpler realities – is frequently a forerunner to fascism.”


“Hundreds of thousands of people lined up to watch characters and circumstances developed 50 years ago to entertain 12-year-old boys—and it was always boys,” he added. I didn’t think superheroes were appropriate for adults. I believe this was a misconception caused by what happened in the 1980s, when items like ‘Watchmen’ first appeared, for which I must accept some responsibility, though it was not deliberate. There were a lot of headlines that said, ‘Comics Have Grown Up.'”

Moore is widely credited with transforming comic books into an art form for adults, but he isn’t certain that’s what they are.

“I prefer to believe that comics have not matured,” he replied. “There were a couple of titles that were a little more mature than folks were used to seeing.” However, the majority of comic book titles remained virtually unchanged. Growing up, it wasn’t comic books. I believe it was more comics colliding with the emotional age of the audience on the opposite side.”

While Moore is happy of his work in comic books, his dislike for all that surrounds them inspired him to branch out into other types of writing.

“I will always love and adore the comics medium but the comics industry and all of the stuff attached to it just became unbearable.”

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