When fanboys pout

by | Apr 15, 2009 | Commentary | 4 comments

I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled Daredevil posting to offer a complaint. Ironically, I’m complaining about people complaining. I know that makes me a hypocrite, but bear with me.

The topic for this entry started brewing in the back of my mind, when I read a post on one of the CBR blogs about a week ago. The post in question was about the X-Men Origins: Wolverine leak that made the movie, or an incomplete version of it, available for download online. What struck me were all the negative comments below the post, most not really debating the morality or legitimacy of illegal downloading but whether or not the movie was any good. The vast majority of commentors had not seen the movie, but they seemed to agree: “It will suck.”

It certainly wasn’t the first time I had seen this sort of overwhelming negativity online, most comic book message boards seem full of it. For every joyfully enthusiastic fan, there seem to be two more who get a kick out of bitching and moaning, almost regardless of the topic or the point of complaint. If so many fans keep getting disappointed over and over again by what they perceive as a lack of quality and ideas, then why do they keep up the habit? It can’t be that they’re hoping to be pleasantly surprised, because half the time they seem to anticipate the inevitable let-down.

Generally, I’ve found that most of the positive quality content about comics comes from blogs where lazy two word reviews along the lines of “It sucked” simply will not be sufficient to sustain any readership for any amount of time. Bloggers are expected to at least be able to form and communicate fully realized ideas about the content they’re reviewing, something the more bitter fans probably can’t even work up the energy to do.

Not everything out there is good, and my own opinions on what I like and dislike are as firm as everybody else’s. I think Kevin Smith’s run on Daredevil is wildly overrated, I think Brand New Day was a misstep (though I generally think that Joey Q is pretty good at his job), and I think the end to Secret Invasion was a contrived mess. But those are opinions and not a symptom of a sweeping and negative attitude to life and comics. And I will even admit to sometimes enjoying seeing an issue torn to shreds – when it’s well-deserved – but I at least expect it to be done with a tongue-in-cheek approach.

I’m sad to see Brubaker and Lark leave Daredevil, but I’m expecting Andy Diggle to do a good job. I’m keeping an open mind, and that’s a policy that’s worked well for me for as long as I can remember. And as far as the Wolverine movie goes, I think I’ll wait to see it before I make up my mind.


  1. Kirk Warren

    It’s easier to complain or ridicule something. People also like to vent anonomously online when they feel disappointed over something. It’s very rare for someoen to feel the urge to go look for a review or blog post or topic on something they liked and make a comment like, “This was good. That is all.”.

    They just don’t feel they need to make some random comment about something being good or enjoying it. At least, not to the degree that people feel the need to bash something they found faults with.

  2. Christine

    You’re totally right about people just wanting to went about things they don’t like. When I wrote that post I had just listened to a coworker complain about the same random crap for the umpteenth time so I guess I needed to went.

    Reading a really scathing review of something that’s really not all it should be can be, and often is, really fun. If it’s funny and well-written. I think what I’m really reacting against are people who are just lazy. That and the fact that so many of them remind me of a girl I used to know in high school who would start every single class with “Oh my God, this is sooooo lame.” She ticked me off too. I just prefer to hang around with “glass half full” kind of people.

  3. Christine

    Ah, that should be “vent.” Posting from my iPhone. 🙂

  4. Duane Thomas

    For a moment there I thought you were Winda Wester.


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