In a move seemingly designed to rattle some cages at Warner Bros., renowned comic book author Alan Moore has reportedly set a Harry Potter lookalike as the Antichrist in his new comic, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 2009.
Deadline points us to an early review of Moore's upcoming graphic novel from British outlet The Independent, who has some interesting things to say about Moore's take on the world's most popular young wizard:
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.
Uh...excuse me? It seems pretty obvious that Moore is using Potter as a character, especially considering his use of other popular literary figures in the series. (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is full of them, in fact.) I'm sure a lot of people are going to get really pissed off about this, but Harry Potter is a full-blown cultural phenomenon and that means he's able to be used as parody. That's obviously Moore's intention: he could care less about the REAL Harry Potter, and he's not trying to create content that fits within J.K. Rowling's canon.
This entire thing strikes me as extremely ironic, considering the timing. Lately, Moore has been spewing vitriol at the new "Before Watchmen" graphic novels that takes his beloved characters and fill in backstories he only alluded to in his iconic story, and now he's doing a similar thing by taking a character that doesn't belong to him and using him to his own ends. Perhaps taking this beloved character and drastically altering him is Moore's way of dealing with the whole "Before Watchmen" thing, but either way, I consider what he's doing to be totally fine and within the law. We'll see if WB's lawyers agree, or if they take action to protect the Potter name.
What do you think about Moore's tactic? Is using Harry Potter fair play? Or is he being a hypocrite?