Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
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The prompt for this week is anything to do with fandoms, and my initial idea was to do a “top 10 fandoms I’m in” kind of list, but then I realised something: I’m not that involved in that many fandoms. Because my brain is both wonderful and awful, I tend to cycle through obsessions like clockwork, but if there’s one thing I always come back to, it’s DC (Batman to be very specific, but i like all of the characters shhh). Obviously no fandom is entirely perfect so instead of just spewing praise all over the DC fandom, I’m going to be a little critical and say what I both like and don’t like, because it is possible to be critical about things that you love.
As much as I really don’t want to admit it, but we DC fans tend to be the butt of the joke sometimes. Even though DC does better in comic sales because they got their shit together, the world and his wife is a Marvel fan. Does that suck? Honestly, yeah it does. Partly because DC is barely given even a sliver of a chance before getting shot down, and partly because I’m petty. Because of this, I’ve taken to calling my DC fam the salt squad because things get a bit salty at times. I will admit, I take just a wee bit of joy in seeing Marvel being read for filth because it shows that they’re not entirely untouchable. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Marvel, I’m just a little tired of it being treated as being absolutely perfect and doing no wrong. That’s the saltiness in me talking.
This could probably go for the Marvel fandom too, but I don’t know diddly-squat about what goes on with them so I can only say what goes on on my side, but there is constant discussion going on in the DC fandom whether it’s about which writer’s run was the best, or how we all don’t want Joss Whedon to direct Batgirl (well, me and a lot of other people don’t). Even though I don’t usually jump into them online, I do like to have discussions face to face with other people I know who like DC, or people who don’t and are willing to listen to me babble about something they probably don’t care about.
I will admit that I am not the most active person in any fandom due to an irrational fear of looking stupid and also one time when I chose the completely wrong words to describe a WOC character that I wasn’t a fan of. But that aside I find that DC fans are often very welcoming and helpful towards people who are new to the comics, or even those who fell away from the comics and want to get back into them. A lot of people are very willing to give recommendations or their interpretations of characters, which is one thing that I personally love to see, especially when it comes to characters who have been in print for almost eighty years.
The Small Amount of DCEU Lovers
This group here is the true salt squad and I love them so much. The DCEU isn’t all that popular, which I consider to be very unfortunate because I think it gets judged way too harshly by people who only want one particular brand of superhero movies *cough*MarvelCinematicUniverse*cough*, but the people who do either like the movies or, like me, love them are a wonderful combination of chill and salty. We know that there are problems with these movies, and that there is no such thing as a “perfect” movie, but we also have a tendency to call them “masterpieces” and praise Zack Snyder (who I also think gets a bad rap) as being a god or call him our father, but it’s all in good fun. Plus, we stay in our lane, which is always a good thing. Well, we stay in our lane most of the time.
The Amount of Material to Read
I started reading comics in 2008 and there’s still a lot of books that I haven’t read, either because they haven’t been reprinted or I haven’t gotten around to them yet, and that’s one of the things I love about not just Western comics in general, but DC in particular. Considering that the company was founded in 1934, it’s very hard to run out of things to read because even if you somehow manage to go through everything that’s available for one character, you can get started on another pretty quickly. It’s a huge drain on my bank account, but I don’t mind all that much because it could take a lifetime for me to read every single book about one particular character.
Too much salt can be a bad thing, and in my salt squad it gets to be a little too much at times. I myself sometimes enjoy a good MCU drag, but some people take their saltiness a little too far and cross a line. Saying that people are idiots or whatever for liking a movie series is not something I’ll ever be okay with. Just because some jerks do it to us doesn’t mean that we should do the same. I hate the old “on your left” jokes that should have been left in 2014 or whenever that movie came out, but come on.
Obviously this is bound to happen in any fanbase, but some people in the DC fandom can’t seem to tell the difference between discussing something and just arguing about it. Expressing your opinion is fine and well, but arguing with people over drawings and calling them names because they don’t like your favourite writer or artist will never be okay.
This happens in literally every fandom, but I feel like it’s much more prevalent in comics fandoms or even the more “major” fandoms (like Trekkies, Star Wars fans, LOtR fans, and such). Unfortunately, there are a few jerks who feel like they are the absolute authority on everything to do with DC because of how long they’ve been reading the comics or how many different books they read and it’s tedious to witness. Obviously the vast majority of comics fans are great but there’s always the bad eggs who bring everyone else down. Don’t be that person.
Okay, I love Batman as much as the next person, maybe a little bit more. Batman is my favourite fictional character ever and is the reason why I got into DC in the first place. But, if there’s one thing that really gets on my nerves both in the fandom and out of it, is how worshipped Batman is by everyone. I mean, the whole idea that Batman could beat up any single person or hero or non-human entity just because he’s Batman? Come on. No he couldn’t. Take away all of his gadgets and give him no time to prepare for a fight at all and he’s just a really good martial artist. This is a guy who has had his ass handed to him by Superman, Wonder Woman, Bane, Deathstroke, Shiva, Jason Todd, and a few other people who I’m too lazy to list. No hero is entirely perfect, not even Superman, and in all honestly, I wish other people would start applying that mantra to Batman, because the whole “he’s the best hero ever because he’s a regular dude like me” thing grates on me so badly. And besides, Batman is as far from a “regular dude” as possible.
Having a lot of material to read is a blessing and a curse. Like I’d said, DC started publishing way back in 1934 so they have published a lot of books featuring a lot of characters for over eighty years now. The problem with that is that it can be incredibly daunting to want to get into because there have been ongoing storylines happening since either the 70s or 80s when they started doing big crossover events and even rebooting the universe a couple of times. I imagine it’s the same with Marvel too, but I don’t read anything by them so I can only make assumptions. Usually the best thing you can do with characters who have been published for over fifty years is just pick a book and start reading it and see where you go from there, and try not to worry too much about it. It’s gotten easier in recent years, though, since DC now number their TPBs instead of just letting new readers figure it out for themselves. Thanks for thinking about the newbies, DC.
What do you love and hate about a fandom you’re in?