A strange thing happened at the movie theater the other night; I realized I’ve accidentally become a Marvel fan.
I’ve been a life-long DC Comics fan. I got my first Superman and Justice League comics in the first grade and have never looked back. I have dipped my toe in the Marvel universe from time to time, I mean, who doesn’t love Spider-Man? But I never really cared about the larger universe and what was going on.
When the first Iron Man movie came out ten years ago I remember wondering if anybody actually cared about Iron Man as a character. I know I had not thought of him in a couple of decades at least. But this was a time that we were not inundated with superhero movies, so I supported the movie with my dollars and I was not disappointed.
With each subsequent addition to the MCU, I have shown up with my dollars and time, all the while saying that I’m not a Marvel fan. I have to admit that looking back over the last ten years brings back fond memories of these stories. While sitting in the theater with my family Saturday night, I laughed and monitored my blood pressure as the tension ramped up until that final scene where I was audibly yelling at the screen with the rest of the packed audience.
My first reaction was anger and outrage. I stewed on it a couple of days and then I found myself looking through Amazon to find the back issues that might give some context and to ease my fears. That’s when I realized I cared.
This goes to prove that if you tell engaging stories and make people care about your characters while making the audience feel like they have something invested–and possibly something to lose– in those characters, then that audience will follow you into territory they never thought they would.
PS I still love DC Comics and the DC movies, but I have made room in my heart for both.