Folks, I’m glad that you love The Walking Dead and I’m glad that you think that the references in Big Bang Theory are quaint. Seriously, I am excited that you and all your friends are running to theaters in droves to watch this renaissance of motion pictures based on Marvel Comics characters. In fact, I want you to call all of your friends and invite them to come along and see the new Captain America movie because your dollars are going to ensure that Marvel is going to be able to keep going deeper and deeper into its vault and I’m going to eventually see some things on the big screen that I’ve been dreaming about since I was a small child.
However, there is one thing that I never want any of you people who had semi-normal childhoods to ever forget: We were here first.
…and by we, I mean the throngs of comic book geeks and fanboys who really, emphatically love all of this source material.
We are the ones who get all of the inside jokes on Big Bang Theory. We are the ones who get all of the jokes on Comic Book Men. We are the ones making plans to buy tissue for all of you invested in this new Spider-Man franchise reboot, because we know the destiny which awaits Gwen Stacy (played my Emma Stone). We are the ones that live in a Walking Dead world where Rick only has one hand, Carl only has one eye, Glen is dead, and there is not, nor has there ever been a Darryl. We are the ones that have been waiting decades for a dark and brooding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, because that is what Eastman and Laird gave the world, in the beginning.
We know that Spider-Man is always hyphenated and that Batman never is…nor is Superman. We can tell the difference between all the Green Lanterns and we will always pick Hal Jordan over Kyle Rayner. We can tell you that Barry Allen stayed dead the longest of any superhero in recent memory. We can tell you what makes the metal in Captain America’s shield different than the metal in Wolverine’s claws and skeleton. We simply know more about these characters than you ever will and I will demonstrate with this one, absolutely absurd set of facts:
- We know that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story is perhaps the greatest homage in comic book history because the radioactive container which hit Matt Murdock in the head, giving him his powers as Daredevil, is the same one which rolled into the sewers and transformed the turtles.
- We know that Daredevil was taught by a Kung-Fu master named Stick and that the turtles were taught by a Kung-Fu rat named Splinter. Splinter=small Stick
- We know that Daredevil fights a ninja organization named The Hand, while the turtles fight a ninja organization named The Foot. See what they did there?
- We also know that all of that was predicated on Frank Miller’s classic run on Daredevil. Frank Miller=Big Frickin’ Comic Book Genius
We are the ones who have basements full of long boxes. We are the ones with the comic character posters on the walls of our homes…into our forties…seriously. (We might even have a fully restored Millennium Falcon Kenner Toy from 1979 hanging by fishing line over our television in the living room, right next to the shelf with the ceramic R2-D2 cookie jar and the 15-inch Chewbacca that we have kept on display…since childhood…because we love it.)
We are geeks or nerds or whatever you guys chose to call us while you were on your way to sports practice and we were on our way home to read. When we say that we love this stuff, we are actually referring to our unhealthy, lifelong obsession with the material.
Having said all of that, I would like to welcome all of you normal folks to the party. You’re a little late, but that’s okay. Also, I would like to leave you with this one piece of advice:
None of us geeks has a short answer for whether or not we like the new Marvel movies, but we can write a dissertation on whether or not we believe they are accurate and to what extent. Please expect that. There is something wrong with us.