‘I fashioned a prison that you could not leave’
The Gothic imperative in The Castle of Otranto and ‘For the Man Who Has Everything’
in Alan Moore and the Gothic Tradition
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As a foundational work in the genre, The Castle of Otranto provides a template for the first generation of Gothic novels. It lays the groundwork of a tradition that 'For the Man Who Has Everything' mines to adapt Superman into a character that is as susceptible to emotional duress and desire as to Kryptonite. Alan Moore's adaptation of Gothic devices in 'For the Man' facilitates an uncanny explication of the psychological content normally repressed by Superman, but allowed free play within his state of physical imprisonment. The author argues that Alan Moore adapts the conventions of the Gothic genre as exemplified and inaugurated by Otranto to produce a Superman who is slightly removed from his own ideal presence as an imaginative superhero, thus unsettling his readers. Moore uses the Gothic as not only a rich resource for adaptation, but also a parallel genre to comic books.


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