This post is years too late. There’s no need to talk about it anymore since the nerds/geeks have risen and there’s no way to shove Iron Man back into the niche world that he escaped from. But the following is a conversation I have with my friends every time a new comic book blockbuster comes out, so here I am, wasting your time.
As someone who constantly harps on losing arbitrary divisions between people, it may be surprising that I’m not on the comic book movie bandwagon. Not only do I not care for the movies much, I don’t like how popular they are and I wish they would stop making them.
Superheroes, to me, were an idealized world. One in which, justice was all that mattered. It’s like justice porn. A nerd could become a superhero. The death of your parents could motivate you to greatness. Bullies always got their comeuppance. Good would (almost) always win (eventually). It was a private world that helped me forget high school existed. I had a similar love of movies but they were different in that those generally were grounded in reality. No one flies around and saves the day in most indie flicks. Liking Batman meant you needed to learn at least part of his 70+ years of history. How many Robin’s are there? What happened to the second one had a major impact on Bruce’s life. Who are Ra’s al Ghul and his daughter? Their relationship was fascinating and complex (including a secret son!) that couldn’t be properly explored in a movie. There was an effort required to enjoy superheroes. The work that went into being a superhero fan is gone.
Now the world of superheroes is associated with billions of dollars (which is fine, that’s how the world works) and the people who helped make my life miserable. And the latter is what bothers me. The people who made fun of me wear superhero t-shirts. It may seem like I’m rejecting a way to relate to the people who thought I was a loser, but I’m not. We don’t actually have a new way to relate, superheroes are just cool now and I’m still not cool. Today, the sort of kids who were mean to me ironically have a Captain America symbol on the front of their shirts as they douche up the place. Just last month I was eating at a lovely restaurant with a few friends. A large, strong looking, man was enjoying some drinks at the bar wearing an Avengers shirt, watching some sort of sporting event. He was a bit loud, to the point of being obnoxious, but it was forgivable until he started yelling and throwing glasses. I’m an elitist asshole, fine, but I don’t want people like that to like what I like.
I’ll add that I think it’s great that these movies might be helping the sale of comics.
* I wrote this a few weeks ago and never posted it because I don’t think I explained myself well enough to be as judgmental as I am. I don’t know, I guess I’m hoping you’re all much more clever than I am and understand what I mean even when I fail to say it. If someone wants to call me on it, that’s fair, I’ll try to explain myself better to you. Apologies for errors, yet again, I don’t want to read it again to try to fix it, haha.