Everyone knows what they think about the North and South of England – the clichés abound. But what about that big, anonymous stretch of land in between: the Midlands? Despite being home to a vast swathe of the English population, it’s a region that has neither identity nor purpose. Or that’s how it can sometimes seem, anyway. But as the following list reveals, quietly, without fanfare, the Midlands has long been the source of almost everything that is good about English – and, indeed, world – culture and history.
Americans may have created Superman and Batman, but it was a Midlander who reinvented the superhero genre for the post-Cold War era. Alan Moore’s Watchmen even made Time magazine’s top 100 novels of all time in 2005 – the only graphic novel to do so. Despite his success, Moore continues to live in his native Northampton. When he was invited to appear in The Simpsons in 2007, a producer had to fly from LA to the Midlands to record his part. Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan, Silk Spectre – secretly, behind those masks and disguises, they’re all Midlanders.