A battle among the fans that has been raging on for years and it is the stark difference between respectful and radical fans. The most obvious manifestation of said radical fans would be the individuals who enjoy Marvel or DC Comics. These Radical fans often choose one side and defend that company to the bitter end. The attitude between the two companies has been one of a friendly competition, which is what it should be, but there is an issue and a divide within the comic fan community. This issue may seem petty and it is, but some people take their love for their respective favorite companies way too far. The hostility is bubbling to the forefront as we are about to enter into a time where both DC and Marvel have interconnected franchises on the big screen. The fanbases are growing and the love for the material is getting more and more passionate and that can lead to some unfortunate consequences.
Rivalry & Hostility
As comic book movie fans we tend to have it lucky as of recently. Getting the opportunity to watch our favorite heroes leap off the pages and onto the big screen is a joy. Marvel has been very successful since 2008 making their films interconnected and as of recently DC is about to jump right into doing a very similar thing with their characters. We are lucky to have all of this happening, but the issues are arising. There is an incessant need among comic fans to choose a side. DC or Marvel. There can be only one. This in itself is fine, but the issues arise when they begin to throw insults back and forth. There is an important difference between friendly competition, which for the most part the two companies practice, and radical fanaticism. If you’ve ever been to a comment section on any website about superheroes then you most likely have seen fans of either side going head to head. There are many instances where it’s a civil debate, but some people take it so seriously that they will give out death threats. They can get so angry and passionate that they can’t see anything other than their extreme devotion and can actually cause some serious hurt.
Passion & Aggression
In my experiences as a fan and avid follower of both DC and Marvel properties I have run into individuals that take their love way too seriously. They are so invested in the one company they choose that they will actively go out of their way to attack or antagonize people who don’t agree. I’ve run into a scenario where if you begin to bring up valid points of criticism in a conversation that the other person retreats to name calling and bullying tactics. I’ve heard and seen many instances of situations devolving into nothing but personal attacks and insults and quite frankly it is fucking ridiculous. This ridiculousness reaches far beyond just fans getting blasted by other fans. The people responsible for making films, television, and comic properties are at the mercy of fans who will criticize anything and everything to the point where they insult the creators personally. Their passion clouds all rational judgement and it can be scary for the victims of said fanatics. The most similar area where I find this happening is in sports. Often sports fans can get out of control with their devotion to their teams that they see anyone else as their enemy. Sometimes even riots and acts of violence have broken out after a game. Now, comic fans have not gotten to this point, which is great, but their devotion can be almost as intense.
Truce & Changes
The point that I am trying to get at is that it is completely fine to prefer one company over another. It is even fine to hate one company, but the disdain for the company or a difference of opinion shouldn’t be used as an excuse to verbally slander or attack someone personally. It is easy to get lost in your passion, but it is important to remember that to make yourself and your respective favorite company or characters look great you must treat people with the respect that they deserve as individuals. The ideals that superheroes stand for is all about protecting the weak and the innocent and doing what is right. It would be a great thing if the fans of said comic characters acted in the ways that superheroes are supposed to be. I am asking for people to strive to be this way. Be humble, be respectful, and find joy in the fact that others also enjoy comics in a similar way to you. I know this is a near impossible feat for some people, but I feel that if at least some try, then the community of fans would benefit greatly.