If you’re heading to the movies on an upcoming Friday night you might be greeted by a crowd of duelling fandoms. This is due in part to the recent upsurge in comic book-based movie productions and, as a result, there are some things you might want to understand before taking your comic book-enthused friend on in a discussion about this multiverse.
Firstly, why now? Are these movies being brought into production simply because we are able to do bigger and better things with graphics-based software, or are the eight-year-olds from the first generation of Spiderman movies ready for an adult dose of their favourite films? Is the child inside of you that grew up in a Batman cape ready to take their Batman cape-wearing tween sibling to indulge in the same movie franchise that ignited their own imagination? Or is this generation looking for a two-hour escape from dreary day-to-day tasks?
According to Mark Hughes, screenwriter and film critic at Forbes, this might be because of the desire to put faith in something bigger than yourself, for example Spiderman or Superman, which rules the childish allure of a superhero movie.
Next up, we must understand the rift between the opposing fandoms. Comparing the two is like comparing red grapes to green grapes: both are grapes, but each is someone’s favourite for a different reason. The same can be said for the opposing comic book giants. Marvel Comics has been around for 70 years, and during that time their roster of characters has been progressively increasing and evolving, and their fan base has been growing alongside this. It seems pretty daunting to pick up a comic after seeing a movie and dive right into fully-fledged fan status.
Ultimately, understanding each of the fandoms means understanding that no one can be better than the other. Each offers their reader a different sense of belonging and each comic book enthusiast finds home in a different corner of the multiverse – be it DC or Marvel. The production of the movies may encourage an argument, but it does pay testament that our storytelling capacity is ever-changing, that no one is too old or too cool for a good superhero adventure.
Image: Jonathan Copeland & Samuel Sherwood