So Alan Moore, Harry Potter, and the Antichrist Walk Into a Bar and Start Reading Before Watchmen



Let’s start with the actual news part of this story, shall we? The latest installment of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary GentlemenCentury: 2009 — comes out this week, and it turns out the bad guy is pretty much Harry Potter… but also the Antichrist. From the Independent:

Though the words “Harry Potter” are never mentioned, the allusions are unmistakable. One section features a magical train hidden between platforms at King’s Cross station which leads to a magical school. The Antichrist character has a hidden scar and a mentor named Riddle. (Lord Voldemort, born Tom Riddle, is Harry Potter’s arch enemy in the Potter series.) Characters resembling both Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger also appear and, at one point, the Potter character kills someone with a lightning bolt from his flaccid penis.

Oh, Alan Moore, you scamp!

The story threads history and fiction together, taking readers through different periods in British history – 1910, 1969 and finally 2009. The final instalment will see the three main characters, Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain and Orlando attempt to face down the Antichrist.

And that’s the news. The most recent LoEG chapter posits a Harry Potter-like character as the Antichrist. That’s it. I find that a fascinating idea — I’ve also very much been enjoying The Unwritten comic series, which posits a Harry Potter-like character as the savior of reality, so, no disrespect or anything — and I very much look forward to reading it.
Of course, since this is Alan Moore, somehow the controversy has shifted completely into more arguing about Before Watchmen, as if Moore using a Harry Potter-like character as a villain is at all equivalent to DC pimping out more Watchmen stories. They’re not. As usual, Sean T. Collins puts it best:

[These would be the same thing] if and only if Moore released this issue as “BEFORE HARRY POTTER,” starring all the actual Harry Potter characters rather than parody versions of them, using the Harry Potter trade dress, through Harry Potter’s publisher, exploiting a loophole in a contract he arranged with Rowling, over Rowling’s explicit and unequivocal objections, following a two-decade string of mistreatment and broken promises.

I obviously agree. Still, hopefully people will still see what spawned this round of Before Watchmen arguing, and pick up what sounds like the craziest, ballsiest comic of 2012. And if you don’t want to talk about that, maybe we could talk about this: Only Alan Moore could write a comic about Harry Potter essentially being the Antichrist and end up causing a controversy about something else entirely. (Via Robot 6)

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Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.