He may be known as the creative genius behind seminal comic book works such as Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, and Top Ten, but some of Alan Moore’s greatest achievements have been his contributions to DC Comics’ universe of its greatest heroes. From Batman to Superman to everyone in between, Moore flawlessly deconstructed and combined the super hero paradigm with his incomparable writing style and keen societal observation, creating a final product that was brilliant, poignant, and—ultimately—strange. Some stories were weirder than others but here are Alan Moore’s five strangest DC Comics stories guaranteed to raise an eyebrow!
5) “For the Man Who Has Everything” (Superman Annual #11, 1985)
For most writers, crafting a novel plot for the omnipotent Superman is a Herculean task indeed... unless you’re Alan Moore. In this particular story, a birthday for the Man of Steel goes sour when longtime nemesis Mongul crashes the shindig and attaches a lethal Black Mercy plant to his chest, slowly sapping his energy. The weird part? The plant shows its victim their heart’s desire before death. For Superman, what he wanted most was a normal life back on Krypton as a geologist with a wife and kids. Yep, all he was missing was the white picket fence and golden retriever. Is it awful to be thankful Krypton exploded with things going for Superman the way they did?
4) “The Jungle Line” (DC Comics Presents #85, 1985)
When scientists discover and get their hands on a species of space fungus, Superman instantly recognizes it as bloodmorel and ends up becoming infected. Due to his failing health, losing control of his abilities, and experiencing horrifically psychedelic hallucinations, Superman does the one logical thing: head to the southern United States to die and not tell anybody. It’s kind of like what a housecat does when it's on its last legs, except Superman isn’t small enough to wedge himself between the refrigerator and dishwasher in Lois Lane’s apartment.
3) “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” (Green Lantern #188, 1985)
The one thing that put this small backup story within the pages of Green Lantern #188 on the map is that it introduced three new members of the Green Lantern Corp. The first was Mogo, the living planet that became an honorary Green Lantern (kind of makes you wish the planets in our solar system were that cool, no?). The other two, although mentioned in passing, are probably the most bizarre by far! Leezle Pon is a sentient and intelligent smallpox virus that would get everyone in the room sick if it ever attended a meeting. The other is Dkrtzy Rrrr, an abstract mathematical progression only the Guardians of Oa can see. This proves that nearly anything—even a lukewarm Denny’s Grand Slam—can become a Green Lantern.
2) “A Man’s World” (Omega Men #26, 1985)
Although this backup story didn’t contain any appearances from the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and such, “A Man’s World” is a truly bizarre tale worthy of a look. Taking place on the planet Culacao, the native and tribal Culacaons—all entirely male—engage in a ritual centered around stabbing the purple, bulbous membranes of giant snails with wooden spears that results in the birth of newborn Culacaons within the dead animal’s shell. Still not weird enough? How about after the birth the snail splits in two to start this process all over again? Baffling and somewhat suggestive, this is 100% pure Alan Moore, folks!
1) “Mortal Clay” (Batman Annual #11, 1987)
When it comes to love there’s someone out there for everybody—and that even extends to super villains with a gloppy, clay-like constitution. For poor Preston Payne—a.k.a. Clayface—his nasty habit of reducing people to protoplasm with his acidic touch means no hugs, kisses, or cuddles. What is one to do? Hook up with a mannequin entirely devoid of actual flesh and live a life of marital bliss in a Gotham City department store during closing hours. Man made of clay loves mannequin. Mannequin loves man made of clay. It’s the greatest love story ever told!
Read more of these stories and more in DC Universe by Alan Moore.