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Fandom Rivalry / Comic Books

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  • Perhaps the second most enduring example is Marvel Comics vs. DC Comics. Debates on who has the better characters, who has the more well-rounded characters, which treats the talent better, and of course, the inevitable movie successes can get bloodied, and annoying for people who don't care about this sort of thing.
    • Robert Downey Jr., the star of Iron Man, even publicly smacktalked The Dark Knight.
    • Particularly ironic given that Marvel and DC have done several crossovers.
    • Both sides' parent companies effectively made this rivalry an extension of another one mentioned below (namely, Disney vs. Warner Bros.)
  • Batman fans vs. Superman fans.
    • Later on, this has been expanded into Batman fans vs. fans of other DC superheroes.
  • Hulk fans vs. Thor fans
  • Not as pronounced as it once was but Wolverine fans and Spider-Man fans used to have large grudges against one another.
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  • Wolverine fans and The Punisher fans also have one, fueled by that one time their respective writers used to regularly exchange jabs at the other.
  • Teen Titans vs Young Justice. This one began when DC decided to restore the classic Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans - and did so by taking the current Teen Titans and Young Justice books and merging them together. The transition was, shall we say, less than seamless. Young Justice fans were upset because their Lighter and Softer book had been canceled, with favorite cast members Put on a Bus, and some of the survivors being written as far different characters. Teen Titans fans were upset because they had also lost favorite cast members (and two of them were killed), and now their book had been taken over by what they considered to be a Spotlight-Stealing Squad, the YJ4. Being upset over the same thing, but for different reasons, a rivalry sparked. Sometimes more fuel gets tossed on the old fire, such as the animated adaptions trading tones, or the New 52 having no sign of the original Kid Flash or Wonder Girl.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths divided the DC Comics fandom between fans and haters of the Pre-Crisis multiverse, mostly depending on whether you began reading comics before or after the crossover. Discussions between these two groups could become pretty nasty at times.
    • It's important to also note that most readers (although there are exceptions) are fans of the Pre Crisis and the Post-Crisis universe. However, fans of the Post-Crisis universe are divided over those who think pre-Crisis comics were just as enjoyable as Post-Crisis ones, versus those who think everything Pre-Crisis was immature, shallow kiddie stuff.
    • This dispute is now further complicated by the New 52 reboot, which means that the DC Fan Dumb is now divided into three camps: Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis/Pre-New 52, and Post-New 52.
  • Within the Marvel fandom, there is a divide between fans that only read X-Men comics, and the fans that read everything else but the X-Men.
  • Green Lantern: Hal Jordan fans vs. Kyle Rayner fans, with outlying John Stewart and Guy Gardner factions. This was largely thanks to the fact that Kyle was introduced in a Retool that utterly destroyed everything that came before, complete with having Hal undergo a Face–Heel Turn.
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  • The Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase has two comics pitted against each other. The American Archie comics and the British Fleetway one.
  • Avengers fans vs. fans of Brian Michael Bendis, when Bendis started writing Avengers books. Some longtime fans took issue with Bendis' perceived lack of respect for the franchise. Fan objections didn't seem to hurt sales much, though — when Bendis left the franchise in 2012, he had written the Avengers for 8 years and approximately 232 issues.
  • Avengers fans vs. X-Men fans, particularly from the latter side, who widely see Marvel as neglecting the X-Men in favor of the Avengers due to only having the film rights for the latter team and many of its characters. In 2012, there was actually an Avengers vs. X-Men mega-crossover.
    • This has spilled over into the film franchises as well. There's been many a debate over which franchise has the better movies, with many from the Marvel Cinematic Universe side wanting Fox to lose their rights in order to absorb the X-Men into the MCU. Not helping matters was the legal gray area concerning the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, two characters synonymous with both franchises. This led to loads of debates over which franchise "deserves" the twins more. Quicksilver in particular has been cast for both Avengers: Age of Ultron and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The fact that the MCU Quicksilver was Killed Off for Real at the end of his debut film, (though many speculate it may just be a Comic Book Death) is often seen as Disney's way of saying they didn't need Quicksilver.
  • Avengers Arena vs. Runaways, Avengers Academy, and Sentinel fans (despite Arena featuring characters from all of those comics). Basically, Arena is a Contested Sequel to those comics with the Audience-Alienating Premise of the The Hunger Games/Battle Royale meets the youth of the Marvel verse. Fans of the characters mostly hate Arena and its Kill the C listers premise, along with its fans who don't seem to care about characters from critical darling books being wasted in a Follow the Leader book, while fans of Arena for the most part just want to enjoy the story without being bogged down by continuity or having to listen to Academy and Runaways fans complain about the deaths.
    • Thanks to X-23 being in the series and their Friendly Fandoms status with Runaways and Academy fans, fans of New X-Men don't hold many warm feelings for Avengers Arena either. Notable that is seems to reach on both sides of their Broken Base — fans of Weir & DeFilipis' run hate Arena for the same reasons they hate Kyle & Yost's run, while fans of Kyle & Yost's run see Arena as shallow attempt at replicating its success that's Completely Missing the Point.
    • And then there are fans of Deathmatch - Boom! Studios series with similar premise of superheroes fighting each other to death, that had been announced sometime after Arena, leading to many accusations of stealing the idea. Which was unlikely, because Deathmatch appeared way to quickly after Arena, and writer Paul Jenkins said the sole reason he went to do Deathmatch at Boom! was that he thought neither Marvel or DC would let him publish a book like this under their banner. Fans of Deathmatch, when faced with accusations of "stealing" from Arena either point out they don't really have that much in common or embrace it and say that yes, Deathmatch does the same thing as Avengers Arena. Only better.
    • Despite being written by the same creator, even some fans of Cable & X-Force hate Arena.
  • Fans of post-Annihilation Cosmic Marvel and fans of Jonathan Hickman can get quite vocal against each other. It generally boils down to whether you like Hickman's stories enough to pass on the fact he quickly undid everything Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning established for many characters and teams, that didn't fit his vision.
  • There is a clear division between Marvel fans who prefer The '60s Marvel and those who prefer The '70s and beyond. Stan Lee was the driving force during the sixties with his distinctive writing style. He wrote most if not all of the comics during the early years. There is also the debate over how much Lee actually wrote. The 70s had a new glut of writers such as Marv Wolfman, Bill Mantlo, Chris Claremont, and Steve Gerber, all of whom dispensed with Lee's over the top, hip, chummy style. To many advocates of 70s Marvel, Lee's co-creations seem flat and one dimensional. To many advocates of 60s Marvel, the 70s introduced too many violent antiheroes.
  • Fans of Maximum Ride: The Manga versus fans of Max Ride: First Flight, over which one is the better adaptation of the source material.
  • X-Men fans vs Inhumans fans. Originally the two didn't mind each other, but after a massive marketing push by Marvel billing the Inhumans as "the next big thing!", the two seemingly can't stand each other. This stems from the Inhumans going from their own unique thing to being Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for the entire mutant race, which many felt was because of Marvel not owning the film rights to the X-Men.
    • There's also fighting over the writer of the main Inhuman, and later Uncanny Inhumans series, Charles Soule. With the announcement that Brian Michael Bendis would be leaving the X-books, and the lack of any announcement on who would follow him, or even if a new X-book will exist, many X-fans want Charles Soule on the X-books. This is due to him already being a fan favorite writer and the fact that he penned Death of Wolverine. This hope got thrashed by the All-New, All-Different Marvel announcements (X-Books are by various writers but Jeff Lemire got two and is the main X-writer, while Charles Soule still writes the main Inhumans book, and is even getting another one: All-New Inhumans), but Soule would eventually write Astonishing X-Men once he left the Inhumans books (though by this point, neither fandom particularly wanted him).
    • For that matter, "classic" Inhumans fans and "modern" Inhumans fans, mostly coming from the older fans who think the new breed destroyed the concept in the name of pandering to a nonexistent fanbase, and the newer ones who think the old Inhumans were an embarrassing relic that nobody really cared about.
    • The aforementioned marketing push explicitly put Inhumans at odds against Mutants, complete with an Inhumans vs. X-Men event. This was a major factor in putting the fandoms at odds.
  • Deathmate and its Creator Killer status for Valiant Comics engendered an eternal loathing between fans of it and Image Comics, whose Schedule Slip doomed the event. Not helping this is that very few of Image's books from that era were as well-regarded as Valiant's, so on top of being responsible, they were also the group that many would have preferred gone. Even if the Image of today is nothing like the one that turned Deathmate into a failure, "It Should Have Been You" is a powerful feeling.
  • Superman:
    • Pre-Crisis Superman fans vs Post-Crisis Superman fans. Many advocates of the Pre-Crisis Superman think their hero was turned into a whiny wimp, his world became darker and duller and his backstory more convoluted; and they hate the way many iconic characters and large chunks of the mythos were removed because some creative types didn't care for Supergirl, Superboy, Krypto, Kryptonian lore or the Legion of Super-Heroes. Many advocates of the Post-Crisis Superman dismiss the classic stories and characters prior to 1985 as kiddie, dumb stuff.
    • Pre-Flashpoint Superman fans vs New 52 Superman fans. Many fans of pre-Flashpoint Supes hate that the New 52 Superman is an angry, violent Superman who dates Wonder Woman and wears an armored costume. Fans of the New 52 Superman think the old Superman is a cheesy boy scout whose relationship with Lois Lane was played out and that his costume was embarrassing. The comics eventually sided with the pre-Flashpoint fans, revealing that New 52 Superman (and Lois) was only half a character, and merging them with the married Lois and Clark who survived the previous universe. As of Action Comics #1,000, even the trunks are back!
    • With Supergirl, there are the Kara Zor-El fans vs Linda Danvers fans. The first - and considerably larger - group isn't particularly interested in a Supergirl that isn't Superman's Kryptonian cousin (although they usually respect Linda). The second group refuses to consider that other Supergirls may be good and worthwhile characters and bash Kara at every turn. (And everyone hates Cir-El.)
    • Superman vs Shazam. Historically Clark Kent and Billy Batson have a rivalry dating back to the beginning of superhero comics that culminated in DC successfully suing and later buying out Fawcett comics because Billy Batson was more popular. This animosity still lingers with Superman fans dismissing Shazam as an inferior knockoff while Shazam fans claim that Superman fans are jealous because of Shazam's success. Furthermore, Shazam has always been overshadowed by Superman in the DC comics universe and only gained a moment in the popular discourse when Shazam's movie received higher praise than Superman's movies.
  • Fans of Marvel's Carol Danvers find themselves battling out with DC fans and even other Marvel fans.
    • More recently, the acrimony between fans of DC's Captain Marvel (a.k.a. Shazam) and those of Marvel's Captain Marvels, specifically Carol Danvers in the role, has been increasing - largely because of Carol's Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Subsequently, some Shazam fans feel that their character, Billy Batson, is more worthy of the name Captain Marvel, arguing that Billy has been in the comics longer than Carol. It doesn't help that DC gave in and let Marvel use the Captain Marvel name exclusively while changing the much older character's name to Shazam, and that he himself has a movie out the same year as Carol's.
    • Captain Marvel vs Wonder Woman. The two characters have been positioned as the flagship heroines of Marvel and DC, which lead to arguments over which superheroine is more likely to win a fight or has a more interesting personality. Then there are the feminist discussion that crop up given how Carol was later revamped into more of a Tomboy whereas Diana has mostly stayed as a Girly Girl.
    • Interestingly, Marvel fans also have a contentious relationship with Carol Danvers. Ever since she took the mantle of Captain Marvel in 2012, Marvel Comics has been trying their darndest to position Carol as Marvel universe's greatest female superhero at the expense of more famous Marvel heroines like Jean Grey, Storm, and the Invisible Woman whose movie rights weren't part of the MCU until 2019. All this has rubbed X-Men and Fantastic Four fans the wrong way since their characters are veteran mainstays and icons of female representation in comics.
  • The fans of particular Robins can get pretty intense with fans of a different Robin, though it's not uncommon to find people who like multiple Robins (though it's rarer to find fans of all).
    • This is particularly true between Dick Grayson fans and Jason Todd fans, since the characters are polar opposites, with one being the favorite son and a Nice Guy, while the other is the unfavorite and an anti-hero. Dick fans see Jason as a badly written "edgy" character while Jason fans see Dick as too nice and spoiled by Bruce.
    • Similarly, Tim Drake fans and Damian Wayne fans tend to not get along, since Tim sought out the role himself and earned it, while Damian essentially gets it through inheritance and has done some very questionable actions as Robin. It doesn't help that Tim was fired to make way for Damian. You will very rarely find Tim fans who like Damian.
    • Jason fans and Damian fans also tend to not get along, due to perceived favoritism for Damian from the Bat-family in-universe and editors out of universe, while Damian fans see Damian as Jason "done right". The two also frequently give each other no holds barred beatdowns, which doesn't help matters.
  • For The Flash, it's Barry Allen fans vs. Wally West fans. There are some Barry fans who never accepted his death and will always see him as the one true Flash, and dislike Wally's dickish attitude when he started out (older Flash fans may be fine with Wally but still tend to think of him as Kid Flash while Barry is the real Flash). Wally fans were fine with Barry at first (aside from those who found him boring), but after his return and the resulting demotion of Wally, they started hating him. Both sides tend to feel pretty positively about Jay Garrick, who is the Cool Old Guy and Honorary Granddad to all speedsters.


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