Everyone has at least one friend that’s a little too upset when a new comic book movie comes out. “This movie sucks! They did this and that wrong with the characters! It’s a total rip off of issues ### to ###!” are common phrases that this friend says as soon as they walk out of the theaters. But so what? It’s just a movie after all. In the scheme of life, it’s not like it matters, right? So why do comic readers get so sensitive?
The answer is simple: these character are ourselves. We are surrounded by these characters in our youth. These heroes are our childhood. We hear stories of how they’ve triumphed over evils far worse than we could ever imagine, just so us common civilians can sleep in peace. It’s inspiring and magical, similar to hearing tales of Santa coming down our chimneys every Christmas Eve.
But, what makes comic heroes differ from Santa is the ability to relate. Every comic book character is made for a purpose–every one represents an idea. Superman is the hope that we can all strive to better ourselves for the good of mankind. The X-Men show that our differences give us strength, even when society tells us otherwise. Even the crazier ones have something to say. They become our inspiration. If they can make it, so can we.
What’s important to remember is how comic acceptance is a fairly recent phenomenon. Many comic readers kept their favorite pastime hidden as they were growing up. So even though it’s become more acceptable to read comics, there may still be a part of them that feels protective from past experiences. These characters are important, so sharing them is a personal and private matter.
When someone finds something incredible in their lives, there’s an urgency to share that greatness with others.With the current popularity in comic book movies, comic readers everywhere are hoping for their heroes to get a shot on the big screen. These movies are a chance for fans to show their heroes with others, but when the movie flops, our hopes to impress disappear. It’s like trying to show off your place to a date only to discover that your roommate has trashed it. Not only does it set a poor example for who the characters are, but who the readers are as well. The movie portrayal might not show what inspired the readers. They may even feel worried that this unfair version of their heroes will make you question their own worth. After all, there must be something wrong with with a devout fan of a lame idea.
So the next time your comic friend is upset over a movie, remember that these characters are important to them. Instead of writing them off as crazy, ask yourself: what is truly making them upset? Many times these films are used to set up a much larger franchise, and the failure of a single movie could mark the end of it all. The failure of Green Lantern was a huge blow against the chance of seeing a Justice League movie. Most of the time, this is what comic fans are really thinking about, and getting through to these concerns can open up a true discussion rather than a one sided rant.
If you are interested in going the extra mile, try reading one of these comics. Like any other movie based on the book, comics tell a great story which the movie version falls tragically short of. Who knows? You could end up becoming an over-sensitive fan yourself!