Legion of 3 Worlds #5

Legion of 3 Worlds #5

Jul 23

On the heels of our ruminating about Geoff Johns’s penchant for metafiction in big event comics, this week saw the release of Legion of 3 Worlds #5, a comic book in which Superboy Prime, who has always been shorthand for the DC fanboy (though Infinite Crisis made him a disgruntled fanboy railing against the current editorial direction of the publisher), is relegated back to Earth Prime, where he lives in his parents’ basement and makes angry posts on DC’s message boards.

If you are a comics fan who is active online, this doesn’t automatically mean that Geoff Johns is making fun of you.  Is some fun being had at the hands of some of the fanbase?  Clearly.  But Superboy Prime is not every fan, he is the fan that feels entitled to have the story go his way because he is paying to read it.  It is a position that this thread on Newsarama validates by throwing a tantrum about how dare the author mock me.

I understand being invested in the hobby.  I have friends who work in the comics industry.  I have been reading the things since I was a very little kid.  I have made friendships and hooked up with girls and had engaging conversations with complete strangers because of my comic book geekiness.  But I don’t have a damaging level of investment in entertainment – at least I think I don’t.  When I’m confronted with something that I don’t like, I tend to not consume more of it and then rail at the creators because I haven’t enjoyed myself.

If you are this fan, or some fan like him, the advice I give you is this: Whatever story it is that you’re trying to superimpose onto Superman or Stingray or Cyberforce, whatever truth you want to impart to yourself via these characters, tell that story on your own.  Make it your own thing and run with it, instead of waiting for someone else to do it for you and becoming petulant when they don’t.  It is the ephemera of our geekiness that is important, not the artifacts of it.

In summary: you’re doing it wrong.


  1. Matt

    awesome post! AMEN!

  2. Very nicely stated.

    People are complaining about Superboy-Prime being the obnoxious comics fan…but no one has commented on the loving portrayal of Polar Boy as the equally-enthusiastic-but-well-behaved comics fan.

    Geoff Johns is not ripping on all comics fans — heck, the man is obviously an uber-fan himself — just the obnoxious ones. And if the shoe fits….

  3. Jeff

    Thanks for the comment, Don. Very true about Polar Boy; I’m embarrassed to have not said anything about the distinction myself, because Brek is one of my favorite Legionnaires.

  4. First, I haven’t read the Legion book so I don’t have context for the specific reference. I *am* somewhat sympathetic to the argument that creators letting their beefs about fans get into text hurts storytelling.

    On the other hand the “fanboys wouldn’t bitch if these people would do their job the way I want them to!” tone of that Newsarama thread does not elicit a lot of sympathy.

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