Today is the 66th birthday of Alan Moore. So what better way to celebrate than to unearth an interview from three years ago where Moore, the co-creator of Watchmen and writer behind Batman: The Killing Joke, criticized the public fascination with superheroes with such vitriol that it makes Martin Scorsese's remark about the Marvel movies not being "cinema" look light-hearted.
"I think the impact of superheroes on popular culture is both tremendously embarrassing and not a little worrying," Moore said. "While these characters were originally perfectly suited to stimulating the imaginations of their twelve or thirteen year-old audience, today’s franchised übermenschen, aimed at a supposedly adult audience, seem to be serving some kind of different function, and fulfilling different needs."
Moore tries to psychoanalyze the audience that has become enthralled by superhero movies. "Primarily, mass-market superhero movies seem to be abetting an audience who do not wish to relinquish their grip on (a) their relatively reassuring childhoods, or (b) the relatively reassuring 20th century," he said. "The continuing popularity of these movies to me suggests some kind of deliberate, self-imposed state of emotional arrest, combined with a numbing condition of cultural stasis that can be witnessed in comics, movies, popular music and, indeed, right across the cultural spectrum."
One Twitter user astutely points out that his critique is similar to the themes that he explores, especially in Watchmen, where superheroes aren't seen in the same light as today's society.
Since Moore is more intertwined with the world of comics than Scorsese, people seem more willing to hear what he has to say, and even agree with him in some instances.