Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Everybody Wants To Be Alan Moore

Sure, Moore wrote Watchmen. And Marvelman. Or Miracleman, depending on when you first got to read it. And they're fine stories. They aren't the problem -- although I suppose Marvelman could be dropped into the problematic category. But since it wasn't part of a shared universe venture from an operating publisher when he got hold of it, I'll exempt it from a "this character was so dead" point of view.

No, the problem was Swamp Thing, specifically the story, "The Anatomy Lesson", wherein we discover that everything that we knew about Swamp Thing was wrong. It was a good story. It breathed life into a failing character. It was throwing up a "Hail Mary" pass and watching the receiver pull it down in the end zone to win the game.

You know how many times those "Hail Mary" passes fail to work in football? Almost all the time. Guess how often they work in comic books. About the same percentage of the time.

But because this trick worked once for Alan Moore -- twice if you count Marvelman -- every so often some writer and editor decide that they should try it again, because what's there to lose? Or just because it'll be cool.

As a result, we get idiocies like Carlin's Metal Men or Morrison's savaging of the Chief in Doom Patrol. Or the mess that Moore and Bruning made of Adam Strange.

See, mostly this trick doesn't even work for Alan Moore.

So why would even a talented comic writer think it's going to work for him?
Tags: comics, musings

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