What's With "Comic Fans" These Days?

I'm a Superman fanboy. I'm proud to say that I will defend Superman and anything to do with him (besides his new 52 main title comic book, Superman). But I'm not just some guy who saw Man of Steel and decided I was a Superman fan. Like most of us Superman fans, I've been a fan since I could say "Holy cow my Superman pajamas have a cape".

Me at the age of 4

Several years ago, the worst thing that could've happened to comic books, happened to comic books. The Spiderman films. For kids and "fans", they were an open door to a new world and the most entertaining thing they had seen to date. But to the Marvel big wigs, they were nothing but dollar signs.

Suddenly, we saw something terrifying. A group of teen age Spiderman fanboys who had NEVER picked up a comic book in their entire lives. These kids would argue the movie's mythology as if it was actual mythology. And since these movies were so popular, no one argued the true mythology of Spiderman. Those who did were dismissed by "No dude, he's right." A phrase uttered by fanboy lackeys to give the illusion that they too knew all about Spiderman.

Then it all started to simply crumble. Iron Man. Iron Man is so wildly popular, I believe if Tony Stark's name appeared on a presidential ballot, he would win by over 40%. Now, the false comic book fans were multiplying at an exponential rate. Iron Man fans who had only seen the movie would engage in full blown keyboard wars, arguing that Iron Man could beat Superman with "...one of those sticky rocket thingys that he uses to blow up tanks."

But no mythological being has had a false fan following quite like the Batman. Batman begins was a quiet enough movie. Most of my friends waited to see it until it came on TV. (It was on FX just about every day back then). Only a few demon minions were spawned from this. Then the Dark Knight came out. The Dark Knight is arguably the greatest hero film of all time (I wont call it a super hero film or a comic book film because it simply isn't that).

And now we have the argument of the Batman factor. Batman was born for the big screen. In a time when people feel a constant fear of the future, they identified with Batman. But unlike Green Lantern, who conquers his fear, Batman uses his fear and aims it at his enemies. This gives people a comfort in themselves. They don't have to be better than the people they hate. Simply not being that person makes them better than that person.

We feel that as long as we (Batman) are not the Joker (the people and things we hate) and we don't do as bad of things as the Joker does, we are better. Which makes us the hero. Batman fanboys will argue against this until they have to finally admit "Okay okay, Batman kind of walks the line."

And that's when I applaud! They have finally gotten the point of Batman and are ready to read a comic book.

Now, it's cool to hide from things you're scared of and bully the people who bully others (Spiderman). So Superman, the representation of ultimate good, is dwindling in reputation. It isn't cool to be cool anymore. The US President himself wants those with less to bully those who have more, even if they aren't the Lex Luthor type. So having all of the greatest powers is a bad thing. "Superman is OP". Superman is the 1% now. People think Superman shouldn't have all of his powers.

Man of Steel came out in the middle of June this year. It was the best Superman movie and the best comic book film since the original one in the eighties. Despite the false fanboys screaming "He killed all those people and Zod!!! MY Superman doesn't kill!!!" it still got rave reviews from sights like this one. Had those false fanboys actually picked up a comic book before the new 52, they would see that Superman has killed several times including the time he killed the original Zod in their first encounter.

Had those false fanboys seen the movie and actually payed attention, they would have known that there was absolutely no other way for Superman to handle the situation. He had to stop the world engine in the Indian Ocean. Had he tried to sever the connection by destroying the ship in Metropolis, he would have been attacked by Zod's entire attack force which would have with out a doubt destroyed Metropolis completely which is absolutely not logical in any way.

Now there's talk of more DC movies. And I can't help but be slightly nervous. If the Avengers movie manufactured THAT many false fanboys, what's the JLA movie going to do?

So now I ask you, how can you handle these false fanboys? If you've ever tried to argue with them it's like trying to tell someone who's spent all their lives under a rock with only a flash light about the sun. "No I'm telling you! There's a bigger, hotter version of that that you don't have to hold outside! It floats!" You sound like a fool, and they and all their friends, are the smart ones.

So what the heck is with "comic book" fans these days?

41 Comments
42 Comments
Edited by Reignmaker

Interesting post. It's clear you put some thought into this. And welcome to the Vine.

I have to say that I disagree with the way you view comic readership. You make reading comics sound like a right of passage as you disdainfully look at the poor ignorant fools who got excited about a movie. It's not what got me into comics, but I imagine it's what getting most of today's fans into comics. They're not fake fans because they view the character differently than you do. That's what makes many of these characters so timeless - they can be viewed and enjoyed in many different contexts and mediums. Some people like Adam West Batman. To others, Frank Miller's 80's Batman is the true Batman. The fan of one doesn't "get it" anymore than the other.

One last thing, you might want to put a spoiler block on that Man of Steel plot point you mentioned. I haven't seen the film yet. I'll be seeing it in a couple more weeks when it finally reaches my small home town. I've pretty much surmised what happens with all the "OMG can you believe Superman did that?!" comments, but not everyone is in a position to see a movie in the first three weeks it comes out.

Posted by Trollheim

This blog brought my cancer out of remission.

You're arguing how you're better than them because your parents introduced you to the character rather than being exposed to the character as part of a blockbuster experience? Jesus christ dude.

Then you mix in an attack on the president into a rant about comics... do you see why people think of a comic book readers as friendless losers out of touch with reality?

God damn.

Posted by SavageDragon

Personally I don't think it matters if a "fan" of the character hasn't read the comics before. I loved Spiderman TAS in the 90's and got a lot of my knowledge of spiderman from there before I read Mcfarlane and DeMateis stuff. I get where your coming from about fake fanboys but in the end, who cares. I read comics for fun and love the medium and want to share my comics and knowledge with anyone who's interested. But I'm not angry at those who only want to see the films and think they are experts. It doesn't bug me that much.

Edited by Squalleon

First welcome to the vine!

As for your post,well everyone has to start from somewhere.
Personally i first learned about superman from the cartoons but i don't feel less of a fan because i wasn't initiated from the comics.

Even though i disagree in many points,i admire your dedication to sit and write such a long article.

Posted by Michael_Moran

I enjoyed your rant

Edited by XImpossibruX

Spiderman is a bully? He cracks jokes because hes terrified of the people he fights. He doesn't want to have to go up against people who will kill him, but he knows he has to stop them to protect civilians and the people he cares about.

He's a teenager who HAS FEAR, something Superman doesn't have. Spiderman isn't invincible, and doesn't have amazing powers who can beat anyone, but still fights for what is right, which in turn is why I like Spiderman better then Superman.

And what is wrong for superheroes to have death as a motivation?

And I disagree with a load of other points.

Posted by Battle_Forum_Junkie

@bud_el: First off: Welcome to Comic Vine.

I understand where you're coming from but I disagree.

To say that people that have been introduced to comics though movies are "false fans" is wrong.

A large amount of the comic-community was introduced to comics though TV shows like Batman: TAS and the old X-men shows.

Are you saying they are "false fans" as well?

Everyone has to start somewhere. Movies are introducing a large amount of people to comics just like the old TV shows did. The ones who want to get serious about will learn in time, but don't let those who aren't get under your skin.

Posted by Wolverine08

I got into comics last year because of the Avengers movie. Am I any less of a comic fan than you?

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Edited by JLDoom

@battle_forum_junkie said:

@bud_el: First off: Welcome to Comic Vine.

I understand where you're coming from but I disagree.

To say that people that have been introduced to comics though movies are "false fans" is wrong.

A large amount of the comic-community was introduced to comics though TV shows like Batman: TAS and the old X-men shows.

Are you saying they are "false fans" as well?

Everyone has to start somewhere. Movies are introducing a large amount of people to comics just like the old TV shows did. The ones who want to get serious about will learn in time, but don't let those who aren't get under your skin.

Well said! I completely agree!

Posted by KnightRise

The irony of the fact that you identify as a fanboy...like that's a good thing.

Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

@battle_forum_junkie: got it exactly right. I was introduced to all the DC characters through the animated shows, and got into the comics much later. You can be a fan of a comic book character without being a fan of comic books.

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Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

Welcome to Comic Vine, though, and I respect that you put this much thought and effort into your article.

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Posted by StrangeMan

@bud_el: First off: Welcome to Comic Vine.

I understand where you're coming from but I disagree.

To say that people that have been introduced to comics though movies are "false fans" is wrong.

A large amount of the comic-community was introduced to comics though TV shows like Batman: TAS and the old X-men shows.

Are you saying they are "false fans" as well?

Everyone has to start somewhere. Movies are introducing a large amount of people to comics just like the old TV shows did. The ones who want to get serious about will learn in time, but don't let those who aren't get under your skin.

I think he was reffering to those who've only seen movies and cartoons, but refuse to actually read the material from the medium which their favorite characters came from, comic books. I was also introduced to almost all of my favorite characters by outside media, the difference is I read comics afterwards.

Still, I disagree with this post, I totally see where you're coming from and respect your point of view, being that I often feel the same way, but the sad truth is that, nowadays, we kinda need the movies to keep the comic book medium alive, I don't know if you've noticed but sales now aren't the same as they were 20 years ago, comics were in much needed exposure and luckily now the superhero genre is probably the hottest movie genre, they are major blockbusters with insanely high production values that sell like crazy, so at least we can be grateful the franchises are treated with much more care (surely there's a X-Men Origins and a Jonah Hex here and there, but overall most are good). These movies get people interested in comic books, maybe not in comic books themselves (though they do help, sales around movies tend to prove that), but in their properties, which increase the value of the companies IPs (the Batman franchise wouldn't be so valuable and profitable to DC if it wasn't for all the movies and cartoons and pijamas, especially the pijamas). Still, us as comic book fans should take the responsibility to not lower ourselves to the level of those lesser humans who are merely average viewers (hell, the average viewer finds Adam Sandler funny, watch the latest screenjunkies video, it's depressing as hell), but rather try to raise them to our level by trying to interest them in comics, sure the majority are a bunch of stubborn sunsobitches who think they know X character just by watching a 2 hour long movie that comprises 0.3% of what that character is, but you just gotta ignore those that are not worth your time and still try to interest someone into reading a comic book, because there's always one person who still wants more after watching a movie or a cartoon, I know because I was one of those, and in the current state of the comic book medium every new reader counts.

Edited by Wolverine08

Terrible first post. Insulting other comic fans because of how they got their love for comics? Just sad.

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Posted by joshmightbe

My hate isn't for new readers but the industry that stopped caring about the people who were there for them when there were no billion dollar blockbusters, you know the kids who got made fun of for liking comics before the Blade movies and spent their allowance keeping Marvel from going bankrupt so they could make it to where they are now and gave our support to DC when their parent company was treating them like a joke and never gave up on our passion for comics despite everyong calling us losers for it, then those movies came out and Marvel and DC couldn't wait to turn their backs on us and spit on everything we loved about comics in order to please the vague concept of new readership. So don't hate the new kids for liking comics hate the corporate goons who dropped the old fans like a hot rock as soon as it became cool to like super heroes again.

Edited by LimpoyzLoan

Why does having to read a comic the right of passage for being a fan? It's not like when I was born I had to read some comics to get introduced to the characters. The stories probably would have made no sense to me, or were just too edgy for me to read. I was introduced to Superman when I was a kid through the first Reeve movie, does that make me a false fan? If those kids at the lunch tagle who watched Man of Steel liked it and are praising it, you should be cheering them on, not treating them with disdain! We needed the younger audience to get into Superman now that Batman is all the rage, so why are you complaining? Over time if they want to get more into the mythos, they eventually will. It doesn't make them false fans or outliers in the realm of comic media, it just means they were introduced through a successful multi-million dollar movie. People are starting to treat comics as something more than a geeky waste of time, so should we really be complaining?

Posted by martyyy15

@bud_el:

Welcome to comic vine man. And I got into comics from reading blackest night on a youtube channel. Then I read more Green lantern there and loved it. And thus I decided to get GL comics and Aquaman. I think people can get into comics from the movies, its when they are arogant jerks about it is when the problem starts. People should be able to enjoy comics and each person starts out on them diferently....Btw I'd sooo vote for Tony STark for president!! OR LEx Luthor!!!

Posted by TheFool

I totally get your point. I used to be mildly incensed when people would talk to me with unflinching authority that Spider-man's webbing has always been organic (no, I'm not talking about people who jumped into the books during The Other confusion). I had much the same reaction to the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, until I found out that Douglas Adams has had a hand in every adaptation of Hitchhiker's and that they're all different.

Not counting Marvel films handled by other studios (because third party studio bungling could be its own thread), I'm okay with people starting their admiration or being fans solely of films from the Big Two. One, having to chew through fifty plus years of comic history is daunting. Don't think we can blame anyone for that. And two, DC and Marvel now both have total control of their film studios (mostly). So if such a thing as a false fan exists, the Big Two are largely responsible for that, generally speaking.

They've committed to some degree to these film versions of their properties being how the widest range of potential fans perceive their character. Clearly, just due to the scope of an individual film, the people adapting the stories are going to pick and choose what they think works from the source material and what doesn't. And if that's all they want non-fanboy moviegoers to know about their heroes, the "false fans" can hardly be held accountable for letting the movie informing their opinions. Plus, the whole of comic canon isn't always so great. I mean, I'm thoroughly okay if these new fans can't recall Cap's cleavage-heavy Nomad days.

Also, I can't even afford to get all the Marvel books I want, not to mention every other studio my budget forces me to neglect (sorry, Valiant). Imagine trying to stay current five decades after the fact.

Consider these false fans a test of patience and an opportunity to drop some mad knowledge on them. But all that's just my opinion.

And welcome to Comicvine.

Edited by Decoy Elite

I hate the concept of "true fans".

If you enjoy something, then you're a fan of it. You shouldn't have to prove your worth as a fan.

Posted by Skyfire

It should be up to us as comic book fans to try an encourage theses movie fans to try out their new favourite character's source material rather than look down at them for not wanting to read them.

Otherwise we just come off as elitist snobs.

Edited by i_like_swords

While I agree with some of what's in here, I have to disagree on a few things.

  1. Not everyone who gets into comics through the movies is a loathsome teenage fanboy who has no idea what they're talking about. I loved the Spider-Man trilogy when I was what.. between the ages of 7-11 at least.. still do. It was my first exposure to a comic character. Honestly, I had no idea he had comics. I knew nothing about comics. I was merely a silent fan. Eventually as time goes on I gather bits and pieces of information and my knowledge grows, and bam, Avengers comes out, I love it, and decide to start buying comics. So, how did I, who matched your description of how a "fake fan" gets into comics, turn out in the end? I don't think I turned out half-bad. I'm your average 15 year old boy who loves comics, likes a wide variety of heroes, and is willing to listen to reason in any debate. I'll put my hands up and say if a character is stronger than mine or whatever. Not everyone who comes from the movies is a "fake fan."
  2. The concept of a "fake fan" doesn't make sense to me. I don't think you need to prove how knowledgable you are on something to say you're a fan of it. I mean personally, when I want to get into something, I do a lot of homework on the subject and learn all there is to know, but some people aren't like that. Some people don't care about Spider-Mans strength limit, or what the name of Iron Mans various weapons are. They enjoy the little stuff. The main stuff. Leave them be. Comic book characters aren't exclusive to comic book readers, because now they are in movies. So let movie goers enjoy their movie characters, even if they happen to be comic characters. If they decide to pick up a comic, they might just learn something, but it doesn't affect you or me either way. Focus on yourself, not other people.
  3. On the topic of fanboys who will argue things like "Iron Man vs Superman" in favor of Superman, it's as simple as this: explain your argument to them. If they realize where they went wrong, great. If they argue with you ignorantly and don't listen to you, move on. Who cares, right?
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Posted by Gambit474

It's not how people get introduced to these characters that's the problem..It's when people start talking about these characters and acting like they think they know something about them from only watching the films and not having read any of the comics. Nothing ruffles my feathers more then seeing non comic book reading ghost rider lovers try to say which of his films were the worst or that the first was better when anyone who's read the comics knew that they both blew..the 1st just blew harder. I find the bigger problem to be when it's in character battles or if they try to say what's best or worse for a character

Anyone can be a fan..However have the decency to bother reading the character's comics before you try to talk about them and act as if you know something.

Posted by joshmightbe

I feel I must point out that currently the Marvel Cinematic Universe is treating Marvel characters with much more respect than the actual comics are now days

Posted by NorrinBoltagonPrime21

Superman loses to Thor and Silver Surfer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hahahahaha!

Posted by Catsnlynne

I was introduced to the comic world first by watching cartoons (Super Hero Squad was my first one) and then watching super hero movies. From there I went to reading Marvel and DC comic books from my library and then actually buying comic books. I don't pretend to know everything about my favorites because I know there are way more people who know a lot more than I do. Does this make me a false fan? I don't think it does.

Edited by Havenless

@bud_el:

I guess some people aren't as easily amused.

You know what's worse than people who hate on things? People who hate on those people. This post just makes you worse than them.

Posted by ImagineMan16

My hate isn't for new readers but the industry that stopped caring about the people who were there for them when there were no billion dollar blockbusters, you know the kids who got made fun of for liking comics before the Blade movies and spent their allowance keeping Marvel from going bankrupt so they could make it to where they are now and gave our support to DC when their parent company was treating them like a joke and never gave up on our passion for comics despite everyong calling us losers for it, then those movies came out and Marvel and DC couldn't wait to turn their backs on us and spit on everything we loved about comics in order to please the vague concept of new readership. So don't hate the new kids for liking comics hate the corporate goons who dropped the old fans like a hot rock as soon as it became cool to like super heroes again.

Thank you for this post. You just encapsulated the entirety of the industry's biggest problem in the scope of one paragraph.

Posted by joshmightbe

I should point out that I was introduced to comics through the old Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk show

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

Welcome to Comic Vine! Now, while you made some good points in this post, I have to disagree with a few of these points.

Personally, I was introduced into the X-Men universe when I first saw the 90s cartoon series and the same with Spiderman the Animated Series and Batman the Animated Series being my first exposure to these characters. Then a few years back, I saw a motion comic on Joss Whedon's run on "Astonishing X-Men" and that was when I decided to start reading the X-Men comics. So, I didn't really read any of the Marvel or DC comics until after I got out of college, despite the fact that I've known these characters since the 90s, but it was only through the exposure of the movies and cartoons that I was able to know about these characters.

I'm assuming that many fans had their exposures with these characters through TV and movies because television and movies are the most accessible medium for the general audience and I wouldn't call them "false fans" just because they got exposed to these characters through TV and movies. For me personally, as long as you enjoy these characters, whether its through the comics or through the movies, then that's what really important. I do agree however that the fans who seen the movies and are convinced that the movies is the true source material for these characters despite the fact that these characters were based off of comic books and would viciously state this to anyone can be problematic for anyone. I would say the best way to avoid this is to ignore them if you can't really explain that these characters are portrayed a bit differently from the comics.

Posted by danhimself

so let me get this straight....because I don't believe that Superman should have killed Zod in the movie that makes me a "false fan"....ok....I don't like you now

Posted by Decoy Elite

so let me get this straight....because I don't believe that Superman should have killed Zod in the movie that makes me a "false fan"....ok....I don't like you now

Obviously because you don't agree with the OP you are not a real fan. Obviously any real fan would have seen the movie 20 times and made sure to pirate the DVD early. Obviously.

Edited by JulieDC

I hate it when someone calls someone else a false fan for having a different opinion. A fan is a fan regardless of medium in which they choose to enjoy the character.

Not to mention, people's criticisms of these movies do have some legitimacy whether you like it or not. Don't just say you like the movie or hate it as if that is enough proof, explain your stance without insulting others for their opinion.

Posted by danhimself

@danhimself said:

so let me get this straight....because I don't believe that Superman should have killed Zod in the movie that makes me a "false fan"....ok....I don't like you now

Obviously because you don't agree with the OP you are not a real fan. Obviously any real fan would have seen the movie 20 times and made sure to pirate the DVD early. Obviously.

yeah that's been my biggest problem with MoS so far...it's not that he kills Zod or that he pretty much levels Metropolis...I was over that the next day....it's all the people who are running around calling people "false fans" or just straight out insulting the people who were bothered by that stuff....it's just a movie...I mean Superman was ruined by the New 52 way before the movie came out so it's not like it can get any worse lol

Edited by BumpyBoo

I hate the concept of "true fans".

If you enjoy something, then you're a fan of it. You shouldn't have to prove your worth as a fan.

Really strongly agree with this. Absolutely :)

Edited by OmniBeast

@bud_el: Damn, good post man. A lot of thought into it. See I know how you feel, I always hated fanatics who watch a Marvel or DC movie and act like they know every single thing about the hero, but it struck me. Are the movies even meant for the comic readers? I feel like Marvel and DC cinemas are more just to expand their heroes. Not the comics just the idea of their heroes. Possibly get some new comic readers but I doubt it. I think they do it solely for revenue and because comic heroes and their stories make awesome action movies. I don't believe anyone should be offended or annoyed with these false fans. They live in the movie universe... so let them.

Edited by Hanson724

@bud_el: Lighten up. Comics are supposed to be fun

@decoy_elite: I hate the concept of "true fans".

If you enjoy something, then you're a fan of it. You shouldn't have to prove your worth as a fan.

Absolutely agree.

Btw I do hate how my ipad won't let me post to multiple people at the same time.

.

Posted by turoksonofstone

Terrible first post. Insulting other comic fans because of how they got their love for comics? Just sad.

My hate isn't for new readers but the industry that stopped caring about the people who were there for them when there were no billion dollar blockbusters, you know the kids who got made fun of for liking comics before the Blade movies and spent their allowance keeping Marvel from going bankrupt so they could make it to where they are now and gave our support to DC when their parent company was treating them like a joke and never gave up on our passion for comics despite everyong calling us losers for it, then those movies came out and Marvel and DC couldn't wait to turn their backs on us and spit on everything we loved about comics in order to please the vague concept of new readership. So don't hate the new kids for liking comics hate the corporate goons who dropped the old fans like a hot rock as soon as it became cool to like super heroes again.

These.

Edited by Phaedrusgr

While I do sometimes find annoying some people who think they know these super heroes, simply cause they watched a movie, I can't say I agree with you. These movies belong to the cinematic universe and in a way they have their own continuity. If someone really likes them, he's automatically a fan of super-hero movies, he's not obliged to read comic books. We do it for fun, right? And what's this?

"bully the people who bully others (Spiderman)"??????????????? Care to explain?

Posted by ccraft

I think the real question would be "what's wrong with me thinking I have a better opinion than everyone else?"

Most of your reasoning in this post is utterly ridiculous, you'r no better than anyone else just because you grew up with the character.

Posted by trebean

I think he means that some people who've seen some form of media of the character THEN sticks only to that media or close media of the character THEN tries to be some kind of "super fan" of said character that brings out points from what only he has seen and ignores or dismisses all other points of the character that he hasn't seen yet are a terrible kind. (Once got in a debate with a guy about Thor and Silver Surfer, can't believe I wasted an hour and a half seeing how all his knowledge about SS and Thor was in the FF movie and the Thor movie and the cartoons, which from my repeated insistence that the cartoon, comics, and movies all vary from each other, still won't shut up.)

I don't mind comicbook fans who don't really read the comics and only watches the TV shows or films, I'm friends with a lot of those kinds and they often force their ignorance on me (Which is annoying, which is probably what the OP was saying), though I always correct them and lend them some trades so they could better understand the character.

To me it doesn't have anything to do with growing up with a character at all, you just have to understand the character and the stories and not just jumping into some bandwagon (Or Batwagon for Bat-Fans), but still jumping in bandwagons is a kinda good thing, I jumped in the DP bandwagon back then and now, I still have no proper knowledge and understanding of Deadpool (But who does?) but it allowed me to expand my super hero knowledge (Never knew what the hell X-Force was back then, and thank god people taught me how to avoid Liefield comics, I came close to buying one)

Posted by Gambit474

so let me get this straight....because I don't believe that Superman should have killed Zod in the movie that makes me a "false fan"....ok....I don't like you now

I don't see why anyone even feels like Superman shouldn't have done that..Had he not then Zod would've killed that defenseless family. Would that have been better? It was a lot better then the usual send him back to the Phantom Zone