Superhero Baggage

From the moment spandex clad heroes starting living on printed pages people have been flocking to newsstands. We have all been drawn to the idea of humans being more than the average person and have given these characters a special place in our lives. But is this mild obsession hurting the medium by driving away new readers and restricting the creativity of the creators?

Having grown up merging their lives and the superheroes, readers have a sense of ownership of their favorite characters. They have memorized facts, read the original issues, and possibly dress like them for Halloween. Now, I would like to go on record saying there is nothing wrong with these acts, I too own a Green Lantern shirt. But with all the lead up to the new releases of long standing comics from DC happening right now, I saw a common theme start to emerge from within this group of fans. And that is that change is bad. When the new 52 were announced some fans took this almost as an attack on their childhood. Fans flocked to message boards to let their disapproval and predictions of failure be known to all.

These super-fans need to realize that they are not the only people reading these books. New generations of comic readers are coming along that may not know Smallville wasn’t always located Kansas. Comics need to be an evolving creature, and already are whether it is realized or not. Likewise, new creators are bringing fresh ideas to the drawing board.  A creator wouldn’t be hired to take over a book if the company wasn’t sure they had their best interest in mind for the property. New ideas and readers are necessary to keep the medium alive and sustaining for the years to come.

Being a fan and letting your voice, for the positive or negative, be heard is great, but readers can start taking it too personal.  We are all citizens in this multi-verse of comics and should be more accepting of new readers and the changes that are yet to come.

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