Alumni

Beneath the mask and spandex Reviewing, revising, and re-appropriating the superhero myth in Alan Moore's "Watchmen"

View Full Record
Description: Devised in the late 1930s, the modern comic book medium strained to prove itself as a viable art form for nearly half a century before Alan Moore's Watchmen (1987) was published. The text executes a Harold Bloomian misreading of the history of American comic books. Moore destroys the traditional superhero myth through parody of its simplistic morality and irrational limitations. The Golden Age superheroes are perversions of purity. The Silver Age characters isolate themselves from reality. Heroes, according to Moore, betray heroism, and villains similarly deceive their villainy. Although comics creative output waned in the real world due to anti-comics sentiment, Moore alters history so that the medium flourished. Killing the writer and reader of the comic book in the Watchmen narrative, he provides all comics readers with a rebirth through his text. With a correction of the past, the author thus influences future superhero narratives, which must participate in this discourse. Through criticism of its own failures, comics' power is evidenced.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work