Legendary comics creator Alan Moore, responsible for writing classics like V for Vendetta, Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke, is retiring from comics. Though he still has a few projects in the works, he says in a new interview with the Guardian that he will by and large be finished with the industry soon.
However, Moore didn't announce his retirement without stirring up some controversy one last time. In the same Guardian interview, Moore lamented over mainstream comic book culture, with DC's Batman being the subject of Moore's wrath.
"I am sure there is probably a very good reason for the hundreds of thousands of adults who are flocking to see the latest adventures of Batman, but I for one am a little in the dark for what that reason is," Moore says. "The superhero movies — characters that were invented by Jack Kirby in the 1960s or earlier — I have great love for those characters as they were to me when I was a 13-year-old boy. They were brilliantly designed and created characters. But they were for 50 years ago. I think this century needs, deserves, its own culture. It deserves artists that are actually going to attempt to say things that are relevant to the times we are actually living in. That's a longwinded way of me saying I am really, really sick of Batman."
It seems to be that Moore wishes for comic creators to forge new characters and new mythologies for the modern age, rather than always returning to tried-and-true characters like Batman and Superman. Moore does have a point, though there are plenty of counterpoints to be made as well. The creator-focused nature of comics ensures that no two runs on a character are the same. Scott Snyder's now-legendary run on Batman, for example, is far different from the current one under writer Tom King. Both authors instill new ideas, new themes and have their own take on the Batman mythos, and in both cases, there is plenty that keeps the characters relevant to modern times.
Thankfully, Moore isn't retiring from comics because he's tired of Batman. It's more because he feels like he has already accomplished so much and that his work can only go downhill.
"I think I have done enough for comics," he tells the Guardian. "I've done all that I can. I think if I were to continue to work in comics, inevitably the ideas would suffer, inevitably you'd start to see me retread old ground and I think both you and I probably deserve something better than that."