When Martin Scorsese dared to dare a less than glowing opinion of Marvel's ubiquitous superhero films, something in the collective consciousness snapped. Suddenly, with the high drama of a cinematic universe where beautiful people in tights beat each other to save the universe, a great battle began to rage across the internet. Can Scorsese, as one of the world's most acclaimed filmmakers, have a valid point to make about the state of the mainstream film? Or is he just some old joke who doesn't like CGI punches and must, by offering an opinion, ruin it for anyone who likes this type?
Weeks into the fight, we haven't gotten any closer to the answer that would give us the much-awaited ceasefire. Even after Scorsese wrote a reasonable, well-crafted draft about his opinion, Marvel stars studio executives and Disney executives the flames stoked with a Avengers-style group defense of their beloved, money-printed turf. Obviously, a stronger weapon was needed by the opposition ̵
As Esquire covered in an article published earlier today a 2016 interview between Moore and Brazilian author Raphael Sassaki recently came up thanks to Alan Moore World  fan-site. In it, Moore is asked about his thoughts on how superheroes have had an "impact … in our culture" and why he believes "people [are] are fascinated by alternative realities."
Moore does not waste words. "I think the impact of superheroes on popular culture is both extremely embarrassing and not a little disturbing," he begins. "While these characters were initially perfectly suited to stimulate the imagination of their twelve or thirteen-year-old audience, today's franchised übermenschen, aimed at a supposedly adult audience, seems to serve some kind of different functions and meet different needs."  The answer continues:
Primarily, supermarket films on the mass market seem to meet an audience that does not want to forgo (a) their relatively soothing childhood, or (b) the relatively soothing 20th century. The continuing popularity of these films to me suggests some kind of deliberate, self-imposed state of emotional arrest, combined with a stunning state of cultural stasis that can be witnessed in series, movies, popular music and really across the cultural spectrum. The superheroes themselves – largely written and designed by creators who have never stood up for their own rights against the companies that employ them, much less the rights of a Jack Kirby or Jerry Siegel or Joe Schuster – seem to be largely used as cowardly compensators, perhaps a bit like the gun on the bedside table.
Not willing to quit without expressing his full opinion, Moore concludes his response by saying that "save for a smattering of non-white characters (and non-white creators) these books and these iconic characters are still very much white supremacist dreams of the champion race. "As a finale, he adds:" I actually think a good argument can be made for DW Griffith's Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all these gowns and masks. ”
While we are curious about how Bob Iger or Kevin Feige would respond to any of these observations, it is difficult to imagine an equally powerful counterpoint coming from them anytime soon.
For the moment, content yourself with reading the rest of the interview and prepare to ruin your siblings and grandson's gratitude by explaining to them exactly how their Iron Man toy is just a KKK action figure in disguise.
[via Esquire ]
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