Superheroes are a monster driving force in today’s society, in both a business and social perspective. In a world where there’s never a shortage of entertainment involving everyone’s favorite heroes, it’s hard to not agree that there’s never been a better time to be an enthusiast of all things comic books.
I spend a considerable amount of time on my Twitter feed sifting through threads and quote tweets of people arguing over opinions on why their favorite franchises are superior. I find myself asking why I come across this behavior more often than genuine love for these franchises. When we live in a time where we are literally surrounded by more comic book based material than we ever have been in the past, why are we so divided on which company, movie, hero is better?
I’ve said this before, and still believe wholeheartedly, that everybody has their own story on why certain superheroes resonate with them more than others. While I feel that this is a huge reason why superheroes are so important today more than ever, this idea can be a double-edged sword. When someone is so dedicated to something so relatable and pure as a comic book character, that passion can sometimes lead to an uproar. Being a very vocal person, I’ve had to refrain myself from lashing out at people that bash on my favorite characters or franchises. And I get it, when somebody takes a stab at something that impacted you or given you a place to go away from the world, it stings. It leaves you hurt that a person, who probably loves comics as well, would say things so negative about another superhero. That’s why I wanted to address the simple fact and put it into simple terms, in the hopes of building upon how many individuals view these figures. There isn’t any one better hero, franchise, or even movie that is above the other.
When dipping into comics, there are two major options that you can choose to read, watch, or even play: Marvel Comics and DC Comics. After choosing what comic franchise attracts you, you’re often pulled into this constant war between fanbases, arguing all the time about why Marvel is better or why DC is better. This is especially true when it comes to the film side of the comic media. There are never-ending toxic battles on social media on the DCEU and MCU franchises. I seriously think it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost like arguing over whose pantheon of gods is superior. On one hand, you’ve got Marvel’s characters that stand out as being genuinely enjoyable characters to follow up on, while still making things interesting, meaningful, and somewhat realistic. On the other, you have DC’s span of figures who pose as being gods among men, where the only really realistic heroes are ones like Green Arrow and Batman. Guess what, while these casts of superheroes differ in style and harmony, they exist on the same plane of material that EVERY SINGLE comic book character originates from: comic books.
My point is that no matter what heroic graphic novel you gravitate to the most, all comic characters are equal in origin. They also have the same intentions for the readers—to entertain and to mean something to a specific person for a vast number of reasons. So when you really look at it, superheroes aren’t really two different pantheons of empowered beings that differ like night and day. Rather, they’re two sides of the same coin. One side just might be more appealing to different people.
So while this seemingly stupid war between fans is roaring about, my hope is that whoever reads this takes away a different perspective, a more open-minded perspective on superheroes. There will be those who use their “opinions” that are rooted in desires for attention or toxicity among fans just to, figuratively, take a stab at something in the comic book realm for an angry reaction. There will be people who simply can’t say anything positive about the other side, no matter what information is presented to them. You can’t control what others say about your passions, but you can control what you do. So instead of quote tweeting that nasty comment you saw about your favorite superhero (which I have done so often before only to waste my time in unnecessary arguments), talk about why you love that hero. Talk about what resonates with you. Tell your story about how they’ve lifted you up, carried you through life, aided you in your sorrows, taken you to a place you can imagine without the world bashing down on your door. People may be able to argue all day about why something is wrong to them, but they can never dispute your true, genuine, sincere feelings that you may have about these characters. I might also suggest being able to see the other side of things, and respecting those other opinions that you may not agree with. Especially the ones that cause riots among the fans. As hard as it may seem, sometimes being silent on those matters is just the best and most respectful thing to do.
Go love your heroes. Go love every hero that’s floating around today. Because they exist for us. They exist for our imagination, no matter what universe they exist in. There’s never been a better time to be a comic book fan with all the movies, video games, new comic runs, and more. Hopefully by doing this, we can bring this war between fans closer to a love for all things comics.