League of Reactionaries

Posted on August 17, 2011 by


by Alexander P. Brown

Too much of today’s news is dominated by the people who are lashing out in anger. Most of this anger is incomprehensible, most of it from stereotypically out-of-shape people with disposable incomes, a fundamentalist view of history, and a penchant for dressing in elaborate costumes in the middle of summer. Yeah, that subspecies of comic book geek known as the fanboy.

I’m gonna have to stop walking into comic book stores to get my back issues of New X-Men or Priest’s run on Black Panther, because I’m gonna look at every white dude in the store like he’s a forum trolling racist. It’s not that I don’t have white male comic book-loving friends who aren’t racist (that I know of) but damn, there are too many white dudes who cannot stand chicks and minorities in their 2-D world.

Thanks in part to geek prince, Donald Glover and his controversial-only-to-bigots campaign, Spider-Man is now a Afro-Hispanic…in the lesser of two persistently published continuities. The fictional universe, I must point out, that routinely kills off, maims, rapes, or otherwise fucks over half of the major characters when they decide to reboot the direction of a series. Think about what would happen if people decided to argue over the realism of the Confederacy being a front for slave-owning vampires, a la Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Your first and only thought should be, “It’s a fictional alternate reality, it doesn’t matter as long as the story doesn’t suck.”

That’s just the latest hubbub in a long line of recent intolerances from the fanboy community. Laurence Fishburne was recently announced as Superman’s boss Perry White, in the new Christopher Nolan/Zack Synder-helmed franchise movie reboot, Man of Steel. Of course, in the comics, White is, well, Caucasian, and since I doubt Fishburne will be doing whiteface for the role, bigots who give a damn about racial purity canon are aghast. I didn’t know fictional characters were supposed to stay the same race across the entire multiverse, but apparently this is the case.

Then of course, we have the now notorious Batgirl incident at San Diego Comic-Con International—for the uninitiated, the biggest media entertainment expo in the world and it centers on comic books. Now during the DCU panel, one honest fan inquired to the bigwigs in charge of DC’s newest relaunch venture over the lack of women in their starring creative teams. The fans, ever helpful to be obnoxious repeatedly called out the name of the one woman writer they knew DC had under contract, Gail Simone. (Gail Simone is an awesome writer by the way, and should not be equated as the DC bullpen version of Alan Keyes).

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the fanboys and their kneejerk reactions. Like the Tea Party,  they are being confronted with a world that happens to change on them too quickly for them to keep up. Naturally their instinct is to preserve the world as they know it in any way possible, even if that means trying to destroy the global economy or kneejerk forum blasting the decision to temporarily kill a fictional character who has died at least three times before. But seriously, to both groups of the conservative minded, you don’t have to grow up, but you do have to stop being so serious about it—you take the fun out of it for the rest of us.

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