According to Sunday’s edition of The Independent, In Alan Moore’s latest chapter of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Harry Potter appears as the Antichrist, killing someone with a bolt of lighting from his flaccid penis. Yes, you read that correctly. Absurd, hysterical, and likely to make millions around the world burst into tears at the sight of their favorite anti-heroe’s junk. While some may say this is tasteless, anyone who knows Moore will understand this as satire, and a commentary on the current trend in publishing to take great stories and turn them into massive cash cows. The writer of The Independent article, Laura Sneddon, got an exclusive first look at the book, and she wrote a damn good piece about it.
As you can imagine, there are some obvious copyright and moral issues when it comes to using characters created by others (as Moore is no stranger to himself). Somehow, Moore was able to sidestep this by never calling Harry Potter, “Harry Potter” in the book. The Independent article states, “At no point does Moore use the words “Harry” or “Potter”, but a magical train hidden between platforms at King’s Cross station, leading to a magical school where there are flashbacks of psychotic adolescent rage and whimpering children pleading for their life, all strewn with molten corpses, does rather suggest a link to the Boy Who Lived. A hidden scar and a mentor named Riddle, though possessed as he is by the real villain, completes the picture.”
Most importantly is the reason why Moore does stuff like this: “The headlines almost write themselves – “Alan Moore says Harry Potter is the Antichrist!” – yet they miss the point. When the Antichrist is met, overgrown and high on anti-psychotics, raging at the education system that let him down and sounding peculiarly like Harry Enfield’s teenage Kevin, he is surely no stand-in for one particular character but of the current obsession for replacing stories with money-generating franchises. Today, film rights are bought before publication, comics are written as storyboards, and teenage celebrities are given memoirs.”
It’s a tough move by Moore, a ballsy one. But Moore has always been steadfast in his approach to writing, and he never compromises his own artistic ideas to appease the public. Whether you think he’s a mad man or genius, you have to admire him for taking risks and constantly bringing novelty, shocks, and controversy to the comic book world.