Alan Moore is the second one of the three hired to revive DC’s old titles. Alan Moore was hired to revive the Swamp Thing, and revive the swamp thing he certainly did. With a run that many including some friends of mine have cited as their favourite work by Moore. Unfortunately, I have not actually read Saga of the Swamp Thing and as such I’m not going to talk anymore about it. I’m also not going to talk about Watchmen, From Hell or the equally acclaimed V for Vendetta as I don’t want to continuously right the same article. (That and my Watchmen analysis will be coming soon).
What I will do, however, is talk more about Alan Moore style as a writer. One of the key things with Alan Moore’s work is it is nearly always a criticism or deconstruction of something or someone. V for Vendetta was a jab at Thatcherism, Watchmen deconstructed common themes and tropes behind superhero comics and The Killing Joke did away with the notion that Batman was a straight up hero, and instead opted to explore whether he was actually just as insane as the Joker.
These sort of ideas are slightly more commonplace now, with writers deconstructing tropes and the medium has become far more post-modern on the whole, however Alan Moore was doing this far earlier than most. The tone of Moore’s work is usually pessimistic or nihilistic, with great suffering always seeming to loom over the heads of the characters.
The pessimism isn’t always a good thing however, as sometimes that combined with the often very political subject matter, Moore’s work can come across as preachy, and pessimism is not always the most realistic view of the world. That being said I still think Moore is one of the greatest writers who ever lived. His understanding of characters is so great that he’s even managed to make proper use of Superman, and used him to tell a deeply touching and shocking final instalment to the silver age Superman that paid respects to the characters long history.
His work is legitimately fantastic and he helped pave the way for a lot of other writers, and that is something that whether you like his work, him as a person or not, should be respected.
V for Vendetta
The League of Extraordinary Gentleman
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?