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Sandbox / Broken Base Comic Books

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Though universes, timelines, and continuities are often torn asunder in the world of comic books, the most violent of upheavals are often amongst the fanbase.

Comics with their own pages

  • The Super Hero comic book medium as a whole is divided as to whether the Dark Age was a good thing that brought maturity to the medium, or if it's all just Wangst and the Silver Age lighthearted goofiness was better. The theme of the Modern Age seems to be the conflict between the two groups, both of which are fighting for control of the asylum.
    • And more broadly, the epic wars over whether superhero comics should be suitable for a child audience or not. Every time something more-than-usually sexual or Gorn-ariffic happens in a superhero comic, some internet smart-arse will create an image macro of the panel(s) with the caption "Hey Kids, Comics!", after which people will point out that superhero comics haven't had a real "child" audience for decades, after which the original poster will say that he knows that, it's just stupid to take a children's genre and make it Darker and Edgier instead of growing out of it like a sane person, etc...
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    • This also binging on the broader issues of how many people want silly fun good guys beat up bad guys versus serious heavy written stories. It seems to get most net agnst over the adaptions though. Looking at them is like a roadmap of companies trying their hand at both to see how it changes from year to year. And the issue's bases seem to have one of the most interesting majority/minority divide. Where it seems among the general population, the majority is for silly fun, but among the more devoted people who consider themselves comic fans, they want the serious. And when it comes to outside projects, it leaves an important question, is it better to market to the larger general population or the smaller more devoted one? (Warning suggesting it's the larger population ticks a lot of people off to go on elitist tangents many a places on the web. Bring it up at your own peril)
  • Let's not forget the split between DC and Marvel fans. Then, there's the people into indie comics...
  • Ask any comic board whether the V for Vendetta movie was a good or bad adaptation, and then duck.
  • Spider-Man: Brand New Day. Virtually everything about it is either the greatest thing ever, or a bastardization of all that is good with Spidey.
    • One More Day that has the more universal loathing towards it. Some fans have dumped their hatred on that series alone and decided to judge Brand New Day on its own merits rather than by what led up to it. Of course, there are still fans who say "No! Peter and MJ for life." Then there are some that resent the This Loser Is You aspects of the new "Everyman" version of Peter.
      • Fandom is split in several factions over various aspects, e.g. many said they would have been okay with Peter and MJ breaking up if it had been done in a "realistic" way, such as a divorce, instead of altering continuity so the marriage never existed. Others note that the post-OMD Spider-Man fails to fulfill some very important aims stated by Quesada to justify the operation - Spidey did not become younger, but actually a little older due to the break between OMD and BND and since "everything but the marriage" still happened, seeing him fall in love can never be the fresh experience it was in the 1960s and 1970s - and that he disappointed the hopes of those fans who after OMD prematurely rejoiced that the Spider-Totem and Sins Past story arcs were now erased from canon.
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    • While One More Day is universally loathed, there appears to be a Broken Base in reference to the two people most associated: Joe Quesada and J. Michael Straczynski. Was JMS disassociating himself from One More Day a noble effort to protest a bad retcon or was it petulant because he couldn't use it to completely rewrite all of Marvel's history? Quesada gets most of the flack for this, but there seems to be evidence that he actually prevented JMS from making it WORSE. The direction JMS is now taking Wonder Woman in isn't helping his case.
      • This "break" was largely the result of the very public disagreement between JMS and JQ after the publication of the final part of One More Day and to a large extent served to divert attention from the (lack of) quality of the story itself. Straczynski's comments were of course seized on, with people pointing out that the final version of OMD was so bad that JMS, the writer, had seriously considered preventing his name from being attached to it. For those who would have preferred either the marriage to have been left alone or a clean break with a total reboot, the difference between JMS's and JQ's scenario about their wider effects on Marvel's continuity was not big enough to matter (at least in JMS's version, Sins Past would have been erased from reality). Joe Quesada's case also was not helped by the fact that he had already made a bad story worse when in Sins Past, he caused Norman Osborn, not Peter, to be the father of Gwen's twin children, and that the wrangling over OMD - which caused a major delay of its publication schedule - showed that despite having spent years on preparing One More Day and Brand New Day, Quesada and co. had not bothered to think out what changes they wanted to achieve and how they wanted to do it (the latter would only be done three years later with One Moment In Time, as for the former, anything that happened since 1987 is still up to writers' whims so long as they say they think it's not essential, including e.g. Mary Jane's pregnancy during the Clone Saga).
  • The death and replacement of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Comics definitely polarized the fanbase between those who like newcomer Miles Morales and those who want him gone and Peter back.
  • The Mighty Thor (aka Marvel's Thor) fan base is as broken as you can get. Half the fan base is divided into those who care only about 'good showings' and having Thor win every. Single. Fight (and they won't accept otherwise), while the other half just wants to enjoy the comics in peace. And don't forget those who hate Beta Ray Bill or absolutely love him, and love the new costume or hate it...
  • X-Men:
    • Wolverine. Either he's the biggest, toughest badass on the team, or a spotlight-stealing Marty Stu.
      • His clone/daughter X-23 gets this as well. To some she's just a boring and lifeless Wolverine clone at the meta level. To others she's a deep and complex character with a unique personality all her own.
    • Gambit is another polarizing character from the X-Men: He's either the charming mischief-maker and the man perfect for Rogue or a callous Casanova that's an insulting stereotype of Cajuns, and Rogue is better off with someone else. He also gets called a Marty Stu. Furthermore, there is still a divide between Gambit fans who see him and Rogue as soulmates versus those fans who see the Antarctica plotline as the absolute end of any possible relationship.
    • Cyclops, especially post-Avengers vs. X-Men. The base is even broken in-universe, with some (like Cap and SHIELD) considering him a terrorist, but others hailing him as a hero (significantly, even characters outside the mutant community have been seen sporting "Cyclops Was Right" paraphernalia). The same divisions carry over into the fanbase as well, though both camps generally agree that almost everyone in AvX was badly characterized, the X-Men were given the shaft to prop up the Avengers, and that the whole thing only worked by playing keep-away with the Idiot Ball.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • The Wonder Woman fandom (and to a lesser degree, the Justice League fandom) is rather divided over Diana killing Max Lord before the events of Infinite Crisis. One faction thinks it was a perfectly acceptable storyline plot twist (as Max Lord's mind control over Superman could only be broken with his death) while others considered it both a pointless example of grim-darkness.
    • Wondy's fandom defines Broken Base. There is absolutely nothing we can't make an epic battle between good and evil. Secret ID, or no secret ID? Pre-Crisis or post-Crisis? Like a love interest, or loathe him? (Though never 'her,' there was surprisingly little argument over Io.) Love the costume, or despise it? Yea or nay on the invisible plane? What should her personality be like? Violent warrior or loving pacifist? And what about her frigging heels?
    • Also, her Rogues Gallery. Every so often, there'll be a lot of complaining from one group of fans about how Wonder Woman doesn't have any interesting enemies, unlike Batman or Superman. So, the creators attempt to make some new enemies for her. Another group of fans will then start whining about how the new enemies suck, and why don't they do more with the old ones? Rinse, wash, repeat. This one also overlaps with the Unpleasable Fanbase, since there seems to be a third group who absolutely loathes all of Wonder Woman's classic enemies yet just as strongly resist any of the new ones.
  • Fans of Martian Manhunter and fans of Cyborg have endlessly debated over who deserves to be a founding member of the Justice Leagueof America since the New 52 reboot. Manhunter fans argue that J'onn was a founding member, one of the JLA's longest running members and was considered the heart and soul of the league. Cyborg fans argue that J'onn is overpowered or too similar to Superman and that Cyborg brings racial diversity to the team. Claims of racism a plenty will soon follow.
  • Sweet fluffy Lord, Iron Man fandom. Post Civil War, it's divided between people who think he is virtually irredeemable and will cry "Irondick!" at any opportunity, and those who think he was just the victim of bad writing or that he was justified , and every fumbled attempt to get him back on track afterwards. On scans_daily, it got so bad that you couldn't make a post with Tony Stark in it without a two-page kerfuffle in the comments.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes. These days, the big online fight is between They Changed It, Now It Sucks! fans (and some with more specific reasons) of the original Legion only, particularly the 80s Legion, and fans who accept that there can be more than one version. The first group often claims their fandom is more valid, that their series allowed greater involvement and engagement by fans. No dispute is so vicious as the one between "A Continuity Reboot is never a good option, because it breaks reader investment" and "Rebooting is a legitimate way to replace a dysfunctional series." Legion fandom also frequently argue (in no particular order) whether or not optimism or even utopianism are essential to its future, what the role of Superboy was/is/should be (ranging from "The Legion offers a future setting for Superboy adventures" to "Superboy/man steals the spotlight whenever he appears"), whether the Legion are more interesting as teenagers or adults, and don't get them started on whether "Five Years Later" was any good. Another common dispute goes something like, "Most of the threeboot Legionnaires are unsympathetic!" "Did you actually read the series?" "They are heroes, just with different motivations." "But those reasons aren't what I like about the Legion."
  • Green Lantern. God help you if you try and discuss who is the best Green Lantern; the fight between fans rallying behind their preferred Lantern is one of the most persistent in fandom. This is parly due to DC ticking off Hal Jordan and old-school Corps fans by getting rid of them when introducing Kyle Rayner as the new GL. Another topic to avoid is why the less well-known John Stewart (a supporting character in the comic books) was made the central Green Lantern in the Justice League cartoons. Charges of racism fly like crazy from all sides of that argument. Word of God has it that show used John Stewart because he was less known and thus they would have more freedom characterizing him as they needed without legions of fans jumping down their throats. Making the Justice League more ethnically diverse was deemed "an additional benefit". Furthermore, he fits the team better as Jordan's personality would have overlapped too much with Flash and Rayner would be too similar to Hawkgirl.
  • Batgirl: Fans are split over their preference for Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, or her Darker and Edgier replacement Cassandra Cain, or her Lighter and Softer replacement Stephanie Brown. Further complicated by the fact that Barbara Gordon fans are split between those supporting her uncrippling and those wishing it happened again. There is always been an Unpleasable Fanbase since Cassandra Cain first took the mantle, and now that 3 fairly popular and quite different characters have had the role, it gets worse, even though all 3 have had successful times under other monikers. Which meant that if DC had simply provided all 3 with a consistent role, they could probably avoid such difficulties, but replacements cause the replaced to be Put on a Bus and ignored.
  • Avengers fans and Brian Michael Bendis fans have basically made Avengers fandom a literal nightmare of a landmine field. Partly because the Bendis fans think Bendis' run is great simply because it's being written by Bendis, while some longtime Avengers fans are horrified at what they see as Bendis "raping" the franchise. There are also Avengers fans that like Bendis though.
    • This is just a tip of the iceberg. There are Avengers fans who think last good Avengers run was by Geoff Johns or Kurt Busiek or even Roger Stern. There are fans who like how the brand expanded on multiple titles and even made some of best Avengers books (Mighty Avengers vol.2) and those that hate it and claim that the awful books that barerly have anything to do with Avengers (Avengers Arena, Avengers Undercover being commonly used as an example) taint the reputation of entire line. There are fans of Uncanny Avengers and fans of two books by Jonathan Hickman, who constantly argue which is true Avengers series currently going. There are fans who welcome Marvel Cinematic Universe influences and new blood in the fandom and fans who hate how everything has to be like in MCU, no matter how little sense it makes. Avengers fandom is one giant landmine.
  • Deadpool. Post-Fabian, either "back to his roots zany-violent awesome," or "homicidal maniac that ignores all character development from Cable & Deadpool." Of course one has to point out that he was a homicidal maniac in Fabian's run too and he has never been that heroic.
  • Back to Spider-Man: Most of the J. Michael Straczynski run has this kind of issues. Especially the Sins Past story arc, which reveals that Gwen Stacy slept with Norman Osborn, divided fans between those who sees it as "profanation", those who say its good character development, those who don't care, and those who, because of never-ending arguments in fandom, started to hate Gwen Stacy.
    • And there is his first story where it was suggested that Peter's powers could come not from radiation, but from magic. Some people say that it ruins Stan Lee's great origin, some says it's far better that Lee's origin, and some say what Spider-Man himself said about it - "I don't care".
      • Oh, and few believe, that what JMS was trying to say is that Peter's powers are not important and we love him for his sense of responsibility.
  • Go to a comics forum. Make a comment about anything Grant Morrison has written since JLA (apart from All-Star Superman). Hell, make a comment about something Grant Morrison might get the opportunity to write. Then sit back and watch the flame war between those who loathe him unreservedly and those who're convinced he's the second coming.
    • Speaking of Grant Morrison, his run on New X-Men is probably the most polarizing series for X-Men fans. Some fans claim that it was a fantastic series that changed the status quo of the X-Men instead of constantly retreading old plots and the same old character conflicts. The other half didn't like, in particular, the way that Cyclops and Jean Grey's relationship was broken up in favour of Cyclops and Emma Frost, Magneto being depicted as a cackling genocidal villain, and both Jean and Magneto getting killed off (although the negative reactions led to both Magneto's genocidal actions and his death being rapidly retconned into another character having impersonated him and been killed).
  • She-Hulk suffers from a ridiculous case of this, given the relatively small size of her following. It all revolves around the different approaches that have been taken to the character. Opinion divides between those that favor the original Savage incarnation, the 4th wall breaking Sensational equivalent conceived by Byrne, the wacky Dan Slott version and the more serious and action orientated PAD version - not to mention the people that consider her transformation to be fetish fuel and generally, there is to be no quarter given when it comes to this... And the naming of Lyra (the daughter of Thundra and the Hulk) as the new Savage She-Hulk created a mass case of knotted panties.
    • Recently Red She Hulk aka Betty Ross is also becoming more and more one with her recent prominence to some fans of the original.
  • When The Flash: Rebirth mini-series was announced, with the news it was bringing back Barry Allen, the Flash fanbase suffered a split down the center between Allen and Wally West almost identical to Green Lantern's Jordan/Rayner divide. At least this time people could see it coming.
    • The Barry-Wally fanbase split has only gotten worse. The New 52 reboot has seemingly erased all stories involving Wally as both Flash and Kid Flash, and he's yet to be mentioned anywhere in the new timeline. As a result, the two camps have grown particularly rabid toward each other.
  • The X-Men fanbase. Its continuity has been ruined since 2004 according to some fans (AND Chris Claremont), or the dawning of a much-needed new era with large-scale change for others. Some have flocked over to Claremont's X-Men Forever, proclaiming it the only source of consistency, while others would rather see Matt Fraction screw up the franchise than read Claremont's self-indulgent canon.
    • Fans have been divided over which era was the best time for the X-Men. Was it the 1980s where the X-Men started developing as the characters they are known as today and contained some of the best story lines such as The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and God Loves, Man Kills? Was it the 1990s when the X-Men's popularity started to soar with the introduction of the X-Men animated series and the fact that their 1990s comic book relaunch was the number one selling comic book of all time? Or was it from the early 2000s through 2008 where the X-Men became teachers and taught a new generation of mutants to fight for mutant kind? The fans can't seem to decide.
    • There was also a divide in the fan base about which X-Men series was better during the early to mid 2000s, Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men or Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men. Was Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men more memorable since it changed the status quo of the X-Men and introduced new and intriguing storylines or was Joss Whedon's run more memorable for staying faithful to the original mythos of the X-Men and having great character development among the characters?
    • Many fans have seem to have taken to the recent split in the Schism X-Men event more seriously than the characters that actually chose sides in regards to claiming loyalty for one side over the other.
  • The Gray/Palmiotti run on Power Girl. In particular, the more light-hearted and humorous tone their stories featured in favor of DC's usual fare. One half of the fandom will tell you it was a great throwback to the Silver Age that finally gave Power Girl a fun and relatable personality, while the other half will tell you it did nothing but cement her status as a one-note character who will never amount to anything other than being the butt of endless boob jokes.
  • Y: The Last Man got this right after the last few issues. Then there's the seething resentment of Yorick's sister and girlfriend.
  • As with the games, both Sonic the Hedgehog comics. The various changes from the games and Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) are a majorly divisive in the Archie's comic, and Sonic the Comic fans seem more broken over the unofficially official Sonic the Comic – Online!.
  • The New 52 relaunch already received backlash months before it had occurred. Although many complaints are due to costume changes and the like. There was even a protest planned by the more upset fans during the 2011 Comic-Con. This looks to be a rather large iceberg aiming for the DC Titanic.
    • And yet, Justice League #1 went a seventh printing. Either DC has managed to entice only new fans (unlikely), or most of the people complaining about it still bought the comic. Go figure.
    • And it's still going on. The newest point of contention is the Earth-2 related books: Is the Justice Society of America forever ruined? Why is DC shoving the Trinity into yet another book? Why is the costume for Jay Garrick so bad? Why did they get rid of Power Girl's notorious boob-window? Why does Earth-2 seem much more grimdark than the already grimdark main DCU earth? And of course, why aren't the Justice Society the same as they used to be?
      • Once the books actually premiered, only the Trinity issue really resolved itself due to Never Trust a Trailer - despite being the focus of the series' hype, the three were killed off in the first issue.
    • Superman and Wonder Woman as a couple, especially from the Clois fans.
    • And of course, the Executive Meddling is still going strong. Some fans are upset that the comics appear to be even more editorial driven than before the reboot.
    • And then we have what they did to Captain Marvel, now called Shazam, and further retconning Cheerful Child Billy Batson into a jaded cynical teenager who flat out tells to The Wizard that there is no one truly good in the world, though he has shown good in him where it counts.
      • What makes this one hurt even worse is that, a year later, DC goes so far as to obliterate the Blue Lantern Corps, the Lantern team fueled by hope. This is made even more rage-worthy when, in an interview with Didio, it was said that "comics aren't good unless they're dark and dreary".
  • Any time a comic book is adapted to another medium (be it a TV show, movie, video game, or anything else), you can expect more than a healthy dose of this. Typically, one side will despise the adaptation for straying too far from the source material while the other side will praise the creators of the adaptation for not tying their own hands by trying to stick too closely to the source material.
  • There's the rampant Fanservice character debate as well. One portion, composed most obviously of feminist female fans but also including many males who support feminism or just feel patronised by OTT fanservice, hate the fact that superhero comics are often stuffed with Male Gaze and fanservicey Stripperiffic character designs for female characters, and deem this sexist. Then there are the fans who will argue that male characters are also sexualized or at least physically idealised (if less so than their female pals) and insist that the sexism is completely in their heads. Then, a third group, which includes even people like Gail Simone, that feel that there is sexism in comics, but that cheesecake is a fairly minor aspect of that (instead focusing on the Disposable Women and poor handling of female characters by editorial staff). Some of the first faction argue that fanservice and sexual characters/scenarios aren't universally inappropriate - the real Squick and apparent misogyny comes from fanservice in emotionally inappropriate situations, where superheroines are posed sexily during an action scene, or while being helplessly menaced or outright tortured.
  • Among fans of the Cult Classic New X-Men, debates over which of the two diametrically-opposed runs, DeFilippis/Weir or Kyle/Yost, was superior can get... heated. Was DeFilippis/Weir shallow, wangsty, and lacking any real conflict? Was Kyle/Yost a mindless gorefest? Both sides will probably agree with you if you say Guggenheim's Young X-Men stank to high Heaven, though.
  • Teen Titans has its own large splintered fanbase, due to the many years of publication and writers' different takes on the team, as well as the group becoming infamous for DC using them as cannon fodder in recent years:
    • Were the original Silver Age Titans too nonsensical and nothing but a "Junior Justice League"? Were they still a viable team even with those points? With some, you'll see acknowledgments of the first era (even grudgingly), due to the friendship of the original five Titans and the fact that it existed to give inspiration to later incarnations. With other fans, they're more in the camp of wishing that Wolfman and Perez's '80s Titans were the original team with no need for a campy predecessor.
    • Marv Wolfman's choices in the New Teen Titans are mostly lauded, although another common opinion is the criticism for the title being too melodramatic and wordy. The later portions of the run provided a much larger broken base due to Raven turning evil (for a second time) and committing Mind Rape on former teammates, Cyborg being thrown into a coma and spending most issues as a silent automaton, the introductions of Danny Chase and the Team Titans, and the general darker and chaotic tone.
      • Terry Long is either considered a character that provided a civilian's point of view to superheroes in marrying Donna, or useless, creepy, and a possible self-insert by Wolfman. Danny Chase encounters similar conflicting opinions from fans, along with most of the '90s team members (in particular Pantha, Baby Wildebeest, Minion, and the Teamers).
    • Geoff Johns' run has opinions that range from it helping revitalize the Titans and restore some characters for the modern era, to those that think it simply rode on the popularity of the Wolfman/Perez run by simply using a few members but overlooking their history and having them sidelined in favor of the former Young Justice characters. In the reverse, other fans preferred that the younger members would be the only team members and wished that the other Titans would leave. The increase in gore and darkness in the book also divided fans, along with personality changes in the cast (some that were explained, some that were left a mystery). When it came to relationships, Johns pairing up Beast Boy and Raven caused a huge uproar.
    • In some corners of the fandom, there are intense arguments over whether the original Terra really was that sociopathic and evil, or if she was just the Designated Villain and if Raven is in fact more criminal and horrible of a character for never being punished for some of her own actions (Mind-controlling Wally West into loving her, attempting to come between Nightwing and Starfire, going evil twice and committing several atrocities the second time around, etc. ). These arguments don't end too well, and usually hinge on which character is the favorite of the fan that adds to the debate.
  • Superior Spider-Man. Doc Ock stole Peter's body. And lo, the fandom exploded. One portion thinks that this is a great shake up and Ock's murderous Anti-Hero is a better Spider-Man than Peter's idealistic Thou Shalt Not Kill heroics. A fair bit of Draco in Leather Pants is involved, largely because is no longer a fat loser with glasses and stupid hairstyle. Almost everyone else thinks that this is a defilement of all that is pure and good in Spider-Man, produces a thoroughly unlikeable Villain Sue / Villain Protagonist who claims that he's a hero despite having recently tried to kill 99.75% of the population of Earth, and, oh yes, attempts Rape By Fraud on fan favourite Mary Jane Watson.
    • Another thing that bothers people is no one has noticed that this is not Spider-Man despite his rampantly OOC behaviour and the MU's massive experience with telepathy.
      • And he was in a room with Rachel Summers, one of the most powerful psychics in the Marvel Universe.
    • It has so far led to death threats aimed at Slott, mocking comparisons to Knightfall, One More Day and The Clone Saga. Slott's less than temperate response, Trolling Creator tendencies and his main defence of criticism being quoting sales at his detractors as well as trawling message boards and getting the mods on the Marvel boards to defend him/support him has led to him becoming the fandom's number one hate figure, on a par with Joe Quesada.
  • Talk about any kind of relationships in either Marvel or DC and see the flame wars flare up about which pairing was better for that character, whether it's Cyclops/Emma Frost vs. Cyclops/Jean Grey or Superman/Lois Lane vs. Superman/Wonder Woman.
  • An In-Universe example occurs with John Cena in WWE Superstars, where half the city thinks Cena is a good guy screwed by the system, and the other half believes he's a Fallen Hero.
  • The Avatar: The Last Airbender fanbase are notorious with this for the post-finale graphic novels The Promise and The Search.
    • Some fans have quite a dislike with the former, as there is some controversial plotlines: Zuko and Mai break up, Sokka and Suki's relationship are in limbo and Zuko telling Aang to kill him if he becomes evil again.
    • Some fans have quite a dislike with the latter, as Toph is absent for the majority of the novel trilogy, the final scene of Part 1 which Zuko reads the latter that his father may not be his real father, Noriko revealing to be Ursa in Part 3 and the most controversial of them all: Azula running away near the end after having another breakdown when her mother doesn't recognise her at all as she was Noriko at the time, when fans wanted Azula to redeem herself, like her brother.
  • The Transformers: Dark Cybertron has Megatron pull a Heel–Face Turn and become the star of The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. Fans are split over this, some see it as an interesting and unique approach to the character with lots of story potential, others feel that it's against character and flies in the face of all the evil things he's done. Others don't want to get invested because they feel Status Quo Is God will take effect and he'll go back to being evil in spite of what the author said. Finally, there's all the comparisons to Transformers Prime TVM Beast Hunters Predacons Rising where something similar happened, and those that feel it's handled better in the comics.
  • The most consistent point of contention amongst Transformers fans in the IDW comics is the use of Adaptational Villainy. The least controversial examples are Prowl from The Transformers: All Hail Megatron and Overlord from The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, as their revisions into an antiheroic chess master and utter Sociopath respectively have served to make the characters both interesting and memorable (though some liked Overlord better as a Noble Demon). The base has more noticeable fractures regarding Star Saber from The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, who went from a heroic Autobot leader to a monstrous Knight Templar, some feel it ruins such a great character to have them at this level of depravity others feel original Star Saber was too much of an Optimus Prime knockoff and welcome the change. Finally there's Rattrap, who went from a heroic Jerk with a Heart of Gold to a selfish backstabbing Starscream to Starscream himself. Fans either think he's redeemable and can be turned around, or an insult to the original and a smug little troll.
  • An old example to put things about nature of this trope in perspective - if you read letters section in 80's Strange Tales (book shared by Doctor Strange and Cloak & Dagger) you'll notice that those regarding Doctor Strange either complain about Darker and Edgier nature of his stories or praise them for their Black-and-Gray Morality and Stephen's own personal struggle. These days all that happened except Kaluu's Heel–Face Turn has been one way or another undone and series itself is regarded as one of more heart-wretching parts of Doctor's history but still a recommended reading.
  • There is often a debate between fans regarding how deaths should be handled in comics, especially with DC and Marvel. Some of the fans say that deaths should be permanent since resurrecting a character constantly just makes the deaths pointless and takes away the more grounded aspect of the comics. Other fans say that the character should stay dead at least five years or more and that some deaths shouldn't be permanent, especially regarding popular characters like Batman or Wolverine.
  • The Runaways fandom has been breaking up into increasingly smaller factions ever since Brian K. Vaughan left the series.
    • Some believe it should have ended with Vaughan's departure, while others accept, to varying degrees, Joss Whedon's arc, the third series, and the crossovers with Young Avengers. In recent years, another faction has emerged that believes that the whole series should have ended with the original run.
    • Avengers Arena and Avengers Undercover divided the fanbase into those who were glad to see Nico and Chase appear in a new series, and those who were absolutely appalled by the notion of Nico losing an arm and Chase becoming an antihero.
    • In the wake of news that Noelle Stevenson is planning to reboot the Runaways with an almost entirely new lineup, while alternate-universe versions of Nico and Karolina are slated to appear in A-Force, fans are divided over whether to support these new series in the hopes that that support will lead to the team being restored or boycott the new series to protest the drastic changes being made to the team.
  • My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic:
    • The Tirek issue; some like how it shows his personal life, mentor, and family, while others feel it's too rushed and doesn't reveal much. Not helping is the prior issue's Tough Act to Follow status.
    • The Sirens issue over being lighter and more joke-heavy than the first two issues. Some enjoyed the humor, others criticize it for diluting the series' Darker and Edgier draw.
  • The ending of Convergence #8 has sparked a lot of debate among fans. Some say that the original multiverse is back and infinite now, while others see the art as depicting the New 52 multiverse as an evolved version of the old one. DC has not been clear in this regard, with author Jeff King stating that everything ever published is now in continuity and out there somewhere, while Dan Didio seems to view the ending differently than King, but won't be too precise, preferring to let fans debate. At this point, it's going to take further published stories to clarify the situation.
  • Archie Comics:
    • "Betty or Veronica?" is a classic example, usually combined with Ship-to-Ship Combat. The series has been using the broken base to its advantage for years.
    • Jughead's sexuality. A common Alternate Character Interpretation has been that he's either gay or asexual. Supporters have their reasons for believing so, such as his general dislike for romance, while people against it hate it for being against the canon. Jughead canonically being asexual in the reboot has added fuel to the fire: Great and inclusive or unneeded and pandering?
    • The Darker and Edgier adaptations such as Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Archie vs. Predator, Afterlife with Archie, and especially Riverdale. They go against the stereotypical clean and wholesome image the franchise has built over the years, which is a part of the appeal but is also disconcerting for some fans. Are they good or trying too hard to be dark deconstructions?
    • Is Archie Comics (2015) a good reboot or not?
  • There's a broken base between superhero comics in general versus every other type of comic. Superhero comics are the most popular type of comic in North America, to the point where many people think "comic book" instantly refers to superheroes. Many superhero fans find other genres niche, a waste, or just boring. On the other hand many fans of other genres hate how it's difficult for non-cape comics to become popular or think superhero comics are immature and full of poor writing. There is a frequent overlap between fans though, and many believe comics as a medium shouldn't be limited to superheroes.
  • The Kid Hero character: Yay or nay? Sidekicks in particular get this treatment due to the Darker and Edgier depiction of many comics compared to the 40s and 50s. Are sidekicks fun, often self-insert, characters or are they relics that don't work in modern comics due to how dangerous being a hero is. It doesn't help that many tend to be killed off, though they're usually brought back eventually. Batman typically gets a free pass but even he isn't safe, as many dislikers of sidekicks either think Robin decreases his coolness or makes Batman seem like someone who endangers children while supporters love the dynamic and think Batman isn't Batman without Robin.
  • Should Shazam be aimed at the 'core' comic audience of adults, children, or be neutral (family friendly)? He is traditionally aimed at kids and was created as a borderline self-insert character but DC has swished between demographics for decades.
  • Campy Batman fans versus Darker and Edgier Batman fans. Some prefer Batman as melancholy and stoic while others like him as comedic and fun. This extends to what type of villains he fights and how their personalities are portrayed, such as whether his more outlandish foes are funny or just obnoxious and whether The Joker should be genuinely funny or not.
  • How Harley Quinn should be portrayed has become this due to the drift between newer fans (fans who like her because of the New 52, Batman: Arkham Series, or Injustice: Gods Among Us) and older fans (fans of Batman: The Animated Series). The problem is caused due to how she's portrayed in media inconsistently. Should Harley be The Ditz, a Genius Ditz, a Ditzy Genius, or is she Obfuscating Stupidity? Was she a genuine psychologist (or psychiatrist depending on who you ask) or was she only in it for the cash and couldn't make it through the schooling on her own? Then there's the costumes, in particular her newer one's that up the Fanservice. Some really enjoy the new designs and find them to be synonymous with her character, Harley's newer designs in particular have become a very popular cosplay choice; others find the changes unnecessary and another tactless way to pile on pointless sex-appeal.
  • Red Mist's Alas, Poor Villain moment in Kick-Ass Volume 3. Some feel it does humanize Chris somewhat, and he get's a Redemption Equals Death hammered in by the fact that even though he's sorry, Hit Girl dismisses his apology because of all the harm he's caused. Others feel it's a cringeworthy attempt to try to ring out sympathy for a truly hateful character, and tries to bank more on his film portrayal than the monster he's always been in the comics.
  • White Sand has caused some of this in Brandon Sanderson's fandon when it first came out, though not to the extent this tends to happen in other fandoms. Some, who's read the original draft for White Sand novel, find the graphic novel version inferior, while others call it So Okay, It's Average, whereas yet others praise it as an excellent story and a good Gateway Series into graphic novels in general.
  • Joker has caused this with how it decided to depict its version of its title character with some saying he's still in character, just toned down and others saying that Brian Azzarello intentionally making the Joker not funny to readers and/or even implied to be a pill popper was out of character—and that's without getting into the fact that Memetic Molester reputation aside, it's the only time it's explicit that the Joker raped someone and there's debate over that going too far and again, out of character. There's also some fans who hated the depiction of the normally-talkative Perky Female Minion Harley Quinn as a silent Dragon for the Joker.
  • The Flash: Rebirth caused one with a major plot point, namely the Cosmic Retcon that Professor Zoom went back in time to kill Nora Allen and frame her husband Henry for it just to screw with Barry with some enjoying the idea and others decrying it as an unnecessary darkening of Barry Allen and that there was nothing wrong with his original backstory of them still being alive when he became the Flash (though it was later established that they died shortly after Barry's own death in Crisis on Infinite Earths). The cruz of Flashpoint being Barry going back in time to undo the damage for Thawne did didn't help and caused another one as supporters are of the viewpoint that the existence of Crapsack World of Flashpoint was to teach Barry not to do that and detractors have pointed out that as that Barry saving his mother was undoing an alteration itself, so it shouldn't have been the thing that created the Flashpoint world.
  • Supergirl: The fanbase is polarized between fans of the original Supergirl Kara Zor-El and fans of the other Supergirls that DC spent eighteen years attempting to replace Kara with. Kara's fans feel she's the only Supergirl who actually makes sense, worked fine during twenty-six years until DC killed her off, and her death and failed attempts to replace her with short-lived substitutes led to a gigantic Continuity Snarl. Other Supergirls' fans think Matrix, Cir-El... are better characters and resent Kara's increased popularity and exposure since her return in 2004.


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