Alan Moore is known as one of the most famous and inventive comics writers of all time. His major works are often cited not just as the best comics, but as some of the best moments of storytelling in literature. In fact, Watchmen was one of the few comics listed on Time's 100 Best Novels in 2005.
Over the many years that he's been writing comics, Moore has produced multiple works that are rightly regarded as classics. In this list of ten essentials, I've tried to cover works that fit into the three periods of Moore's work as I see them.
In April, Batman and Flash will be crossing over for a four-part adventure called "The Button," where the Dark Knight and the Fastest Man Alive dive into the mystery of how the Comedian's bloodstained button from Watchmen wound up embedded in the stone walls of the Batcave.
In 2009, more than 20 years after it was originally published, DC Comics and Warner Bros. finally made a Watchmen movie adaptation happen. Under the direction of Zack Snyder, working off a scrip from David Hayter and Alex Tse, the cinematic version of Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbons' celebrated superhero saga was above all else, memorable. As was customary at the time, a tie-in video game was in the works, and Warner Bros. heard a number of pitches from various studios.
Though we ultimately got the unremarkable Watchmen: The End is Nigh, there was once a chance Bottle Rocket Entertainment could have handled the development of some slightly more ambitious Watchmen adventures. Until now, we never knew what could have been, but thanks to Unseen64, we now know a bit about what Bottle Rocket had planned, and how its ideas were ultimately abandoned thanks in no small part to Zack Snyder and DC hero, The Flash.
Does politics belong in comics? Can comics influence politics? And what impact do we expect the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States to have on the comic industry and on the stories it tells over the next four years?
ComicsAlliance contributors Elle Collins, Kieran Shiach, Tom Speelman, and Tara Marie join editor-in-chief Andrew Wheeler for a roundtable discussion about the relationship between politics and comics.
Is it Watchmen's fault that Captain America is a Nazi?
That's the strange question I found myself asking after the last month's developments in superhero comics. Thirty years after Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen made its debut, the characters are being integrated into the DC Universe as part of the current DC Rebirth publishing initiative, seemingly as totems of the sort of superhero grimnness that Rebirth hopes to move away from. Meanwhile, at Marvel, the publisher's most principled hero has been retconned as a secret agent of a far-right hate group, at a time when a vocal segment of the audience wants to see a lot more love than hate in the character's life.
Both developments are indicative of a tension at the heart of superhero comics. Thirty years after Watchmen, is it time to stop pointing out that heroes can have flaws, and time instead to acknowledge that heroes can have value?
Stories set in an alternate history or reality are built from a "point of divergence," a moment at which the fictional reality veers off from our own. Germany wins World War II, Kennedy survives the assassination attempt, etc. In Watchmen that point comes in 1938. Shortly after the publication of Action Comics #1, costumed heroes begin appearing in the real world, the "factual black and white of the headlines," as Hollis Mason puts it, and history changes course.
In our reality, comics books experienced their own point of divergence on June 5, 1986, with the debut of the first issue of Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins. Ever since then, the entire medium has been permanently altered by its startling vision and precise execution.
DC Comics’ big summer event one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth #1 goes on sale this week, and the internet is abuzz with news, reveals and spoilers concerning one of the biggest comics of the year. The one-shot by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, Gary Frank and Ivan Reis sees the return of familiar faces from inside and outside the DC Universe, and DC is already publicizing those revelations in the press, so we’ve rounded up the biggest developments from this blockbuster story from DC-approved sources like USA Today, IGN and CBR, for those readers who want the full rundown.
If you don't want to be spoiled for any of the events of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 before the book comes out on Wednesday, go learn about some other comics you could be reading instead. Spoilers for the future of the DC Universe follow.
Dave Gibbons, born on this day in 1949, has spent over forty-five years in the comics industry and crafted a career without equal. Known for his masterful layouts and exceptional character acting, Gibbons has been an ambassador for the UK comics scene around the world, and is truly a living legend in the industry.
Born today in 1953 in Northampton, England, Alan Moore grew up to be a giant. His impact on comics is so vital and apparent that even reporting on his accomplishments feels both daunting and profoundly unnecessary. Widely regarded as the best comics writer of all time, Moore's influence is without question; his presence an articulate line of demarcation carving up the medium into two decidedly different eras. Moore is a juggernaut, monolithic in both influence and intractability, with a true legacy even greater than his supposed one.
Somewhere, Alan Moore’s beard is tingling. Zack Snyder’s cinematic adaptation of the iconic Watchmen comics by Moore and Dave Gibbons divided fans, some sticking with assertions of the source material as “unfilmable,” others acknowledging the film’s effort. That conflict may end up sparked anew, now that Snyder has reportedly met with HBO for a Watchmen TV series.
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