Where Are All the New Superhero Comic Book Ideas?
Mania has a great interview up with comics writer Alan Moore, which discusses his work on books like “Marvelman” and “Watchmen,” and quickly becomes an indictment of the lack of new ideas in modern superhero comics:
I was noticing that DC seems to have based one of its latest crossovers [Blackest Night] in Green Lantern based on a couple of eight-page stories that I did 25 or 30 years ago. I would have thought that would seem kind of desperate and humiliating, When I have said in interviews that it doesn’t look like the American comic book industry has had an idea of its own in the past 20 or 30 years, I was just being mean. I didn’t expect the companies concerned to more or less say, “Yeah, he’s right. Let’s see if we can find another one of his stories from 30 years ago to turn into some spectacular saga.” It’s tragic. The comics that I read as a kid that inspired me were full of ideas. They didn’t need some upstart from England to come over there and tell them how to do comics. They’d got plenty of ideas of their own. But these days, I increasingly get a sense of the comics industry going through my trashcan like raccoons in the dead of the night.
I think Moore poses an interesting question. What are the great superhero characters have been created in, say, the last 10 to 20 years?
When everyone was analyzing the Disney buyout of Marvel, and the stable of characters that they getting in the deal, I was struck by how few of them had been created in my lifetime. And even beyond characters, there is a tremendous amount of plot recycling that takes place in comics — and in fairness, lots of other media like television and films. But while nostalgia and the reinventing of old ideas certainly have their place, where are the new characters that will inspire the next generation, and give them something to reinvent?
What do you think? What genuinely new characters from the last 10 to 20 years jump out at you? Are there as few as Moore suggests?