Anyone who’s even remotely interested in comics has likely heard about the major impact Alan Moore has had on the industry. Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Killing Joke, and more. But his talent wasn’t limited to epic works. He also wrote a number of smaller works. Even some of these are well known. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow is a great example. However, there are many more Alan Moore stories out there that most people might not be aware of. Here are five of the best Alan Moore stories most people have likely never heard about.
#5 For The Man Who Has Everything
For The Man Who Has Everything is an interesting story written in that special time during DC’s history when Wonder Woman still had that weird invisible jet and Batman called Robin “chum.” When the story begins, its Superman’s birthday. Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman are just arriving at the fortress of solitude to celebrate. There’s just one problem, Superman has a big flower attached to his chest.
Turns out the one of Superman’s old enemies had come back for revenge and somehow managed to force a parasitic plant to attach itself to Superman. The plant taps into the brain of its victims and sparks hallucinations from their greatest desires. They’re trapped in a dream made from their own idea of a perfect world. This sets up, in typical Alan Moore style, a difficult choice where Superman must either drift away in a world of his dearest desires or figure out this new world isn’t real and try to escape.
#4 In Blackest Night
In Blackest Night is an interesting little tale that really shouldn’t be. No villains. No explosions. No difficult moral decisions. No Earth shattering danger. It’s just a story about the Green Lantern Katma Tui traveling to section of the universe to recruit a new Green Lantern. The problem is this section of the universe is devoid of stars and, therefore, completely devoid of light.
Tui’s ring eventually leads her to a suitable candidate, but being in an environment absent of light, the candidate has no idea what green is. It’s not just the fact he’s never seen green before, he’s even unfamiliar with the concept of green. A peculiar predicament. I mean how would you try explaining colors to someone who has no idea what colors are to begin with?
#3 Secret Origins Starring the Phantom Stranger
For those of you who don’t know, The Phantom Stranger was an interesting character who made his first appearance back in 1952 and lasted up until the last couple of years. His stories usually revolved around battling strange occult forces and was occasionally written under the Veritgo imprint. So he was closer to Constantine than Superman in style. Despite being such a long running character, The Phantom Stranger had one very unusual trait that separated him from most other superheroes: a lack of origin.
Maybe a complete lack of origin isn’t quite true. Just like the Joker, his backstory is ambiguous. It didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, so instead of having a definitive origin, he had several.
He’s been noted as being caught in a time loop, to being the legendary wondering Jew, to a man from Biblical times spared by an angel. The last story of his origin takes a note from the angel element. Moore paints the Phantom Stranger as a fallen angel who isn’t quite fallen. Needless to say, Moore creates a very interesting story and dives into the morality surrounding the action of taking as opposed to staying your hand and all the consequences that would follow.
I was a little hesitant to place another Green Lantern story on this list, but I felt this was too interesting a story to pass up. Tears stars Abin Sur during his fateful crash, but the story really centers on the one event in his life that would eventually doom him.
Abin Sur is the Green Lantern who would go on to die from injuries sustained in a spaceship crash and would pass on his ring to Hal Jordan.
Abin Sur dropped onto the forbidden planet which housed the remnants of the evil Empire of Tears to save some innocent lives. While there, he encountered the Qull of the Five Inversions, who allowed Abin Sur to ask three questions. One of the questions answered how he’ll die. What Qull says sticks with Abin Sur. Those same words eventually lead him to take actions that left him dying on a planet and Hal Jordon a Green Lantern.
#1 The Big Chill
If you pass on every other comic I’ve listed so far, this is one I suggest you think twice about. The story focuses on an aged Majestic who leads a small group who’ve taken refuge in a drifting citadel known only as The Place. The last survivors in the universe.
It’s the ending days of existence. Majestic and a few others decide to venture off into the expanse. Everything continues t die and his companions fall behind. Finally, Majestic encounters a powerful entity that even he cannot defeat. At the risk of spoiling too much, I’ll stop right there. I’ll also add that the ending to The Big Chill is the most beautiful and thought provoking I’ve ever seen.
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