This Is What Gives Geeks A Bad Name
I run a Facebook and Google + page called Geeking Out With Geekboy King. I use the page to share blog posts, the occasional bit of pop culture news, and mostly pictures and memes about geek stuff that I like. Recently, I shared a drawing of a hot girl wearing a Superman t-shirt. The only comment I received on the pic was "Stop feminizing and rebranding classic characters." Now this was not a picture of Superman as a girl, it was a girl wearing a Superman shirt. I pointed this out to the commenter. I also pointed out that there has been a character named Supergirl for many years.
But the comment really bugged me, due to implications that I've been seeing for a while now. There are certain people out there who seem upset anytime something from geek culture goes mainstream. They throw a hissy fit if people start to like it. And this is especially true if the people who like it are girls. There are so many "fake geek girl" and "fake gamer girl" memes out there. And really, if the girls aren't really into superheroes or video games, what would be the point of faking it? For decades they have not been into that sort of thing by and large, and it did not make them less desirable for the male of the species.
This all ties in to a type of geek rage that gives all of us a bad name. Personally I like it that people are into superheroes now. It means I get lots of cool comic book movies to watch. Do you really think they would be making multi-million dollar Avengers movies if the only ones going to see them were the small audience who have read the comics? The movies also help to boost readership for the books, ensuring that the books don't get cancelled. As far as I can see it's a win-win. So what if you're talking to someone and they just got into Thor after the movies, even though you've loved the character for 12 years now. At one point in your life, you hadn't read a Thor comic either. If you really love the comics and the characters, instead of bashing someone for only liking them because of the movies, encourage them to read some of your favorite storylines from the books. Nurture the fandom, don't try to strangle it.
The other thing I see a lot is people freaking out because of changes made in the movies. Iron Man 3 particularly comes to mind. Is it a perfect movie? No. But it is not deserving of the hate that gets oured on it because of the Mandarin twist. I think if we're being honest with ourselves we can admit that some of the characters and stories in comics are kind of dumb. A bad Asian stereotype who wields magic would not fit in the techy world that Iron Man inhabits in the movies. They also freak when a plot point is changed. But here's the thing. Those books that you are upset they didn't copy panel for panel? They still exist. We can still read them. I have read them, and I don't necessarily want to just see the same story rehashed on the screen. One of the reasons I liked Iron Man 3 is that it was able to surprise me. I really didn't see the twist coming. Far too often in comic book movies I see the next 3 plot points coming because I've read the books they are based on. It was nice to not know what was going to happen beforehand for a change.
Of course, I think this is the root of the problem for these people. They have built their identity around knowing everything about the things they love. They don't like being taken by surprise. They want to know everything before it happens, because it validates for them that in this one area they are smarter than everyone else. But hewing too closely can make them boring or ridiculous. For instance, I thought Star Trek Into Darkness was both boring and ridiculous due to it's trying to copy and put a spin on The Wrath of Khan.
Bottom line is, if you really love these things, instead of being a dick and driving people away, encourage others to like them too. This will bring about more of the stuff you like, because a larger audience equals more product. And yeah, it's likely that a lot of it will be bad. But every now and again they will make something great in spite of themselves. We live in an age where multiple comic book movies get released every year, and they stick closer to the source material than they ever have. Having lived through the Dolph Lundgren He-Man movie and the Richard Pryor Superman movie, I say lighten up and enjoy what we are getting. I guarantee it will not last forever.
Now I know many of you have built up a good case of rage against me now for writing this. So if you have made it this far without your head exploding, this is your chance to let fly your slings and arrows in the comments.