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Comics legend Alan Moore has officially retired

by Eric Frederiksen | July 19, 2019July 19, 2019 10:30 am EDT

Alan Moore, creator of comics like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as well as author of some fan favorite runs of existing books, is retiring from comics.

With the release of the last issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore is putting the pen down as promised. He told The Guardian back in 2016 that he intended to retire after this final run of Gentlemen finished. With the final issue on shelves, Moore is putting the pen down.

Moore’s works helped transform comics, and made him one of the most adapted writers in the medium, with perhaps only Mark Millar surpassing him for individually adapted works (no one can beat Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for the most adapted characters, though, and it’s likely no one ever will). Moore saw movie adaptations produced for Watchmen, V for Vendetta, From Hell, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Constantine, as well as a recently-released animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke. Moore has gone on record to say he hated most of them.

In the world of comics, though, Moore’s Watchmen helped shift the public opinion of comics as being kids stuff to being something adults could enjoy, while his work on Miracleman has inspired enough grimdark reimaginings that he’s apologized for it. His run on Saga of the Swamp Thing is considered among the character’s best stories, and the now-cancelled Swamp Thing TV series has pulled inspiration from his run for some parts of its story. Batman: The Killing Joke was for a long time considered one of the best Batman tales, though some aspects of the story have come under fire in recent years.

Moore has shifted away from the superhero side of comics in recent decades, though, focusing on original stories. He’s been critical of the industry, even saying back in 1986 that if Batman and Rorschach (a character meant to be a criticism of Batman) were to crossover, it would be “horrendous.” DC is in the process of integrating the Watchmen into the DC universe as we speak. He seems more bullish about the activist group Anonymous’ adoption of his use of Guy Fawkes masks as a symbol of anarchy and revolution as influenced by V for Vendetta.

While Moore has retired, his works live on. A Watchmen TV series is in the works at HBO under the watchful eye of Damon Lindelof (Lost), and his character John Constantine is a cast regular on Legends of Tomorrow, played by Matt Ryan, who continued to play the character after the cancellation of the NBC television series Constantine.


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