Comics Fans React Angrily To Batman’s Reboot… In 1987
Back before the dawn of the Internet, the only place for an angry fan to publicly complain about the comics they were reading was in the letter columns of those same comics. It’s a phenomenon we’ve talked about before, but today, iFanboy put a hilarious spin on it by highlighting one reader’s irate reaction to a comic that, almost 25 years later, is regarded as one of the best Batman stories of all time: Batman: Year One.
It’s pretty easy to snicker at this hater’s reaction from here in the 21st Century, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past few months here at ComicsAlliance, it’s that nothing provokes as much ire from fans as a massive change to a character that people already love. That’s why today, to put things in a little perspective, I’ve gone through my back issues to find a few more Angry Fans Reacting to Batman’s Reboot… in 1987!First up, the letter that iFanboy posted from Batman #408, in which David Mazzucchelli is taken to task for “atrocious” artwork. What really sells that one is the taunting “bet you won’t print this letter” gambit he drops in the post-script, something that every single person who wrote into a comic book used despite being proven wrong on a monthly basis.
From the same issue, the new take on Batman’s origin is revealed to be blasphemous. Clearly, the Frank Miller of 1987 was the wrong guy for the job:
In Batman #409, it was suggested that Batman: Year One was “so bad it’s good,” which is certainly a pretty unique complaint:
TREMBLE, MORTALS! BRACE YOURSELVES FOR “QUALITY CONTROL!!” THE DEMAND HAS BEEN ISSUED — MORE EXPOSITION!! SO SPEAKS — THE STARWOLF!
Even with the Starwolf swinging by from his Cosmic Wolfpack — which, as it turns out, was in Canada — the complaints about Year One paled in comparison to a missive that ran in Batman #411. This thing is a virtuoso composition of fan anger that only gets more hilarious when you hit the part where the guy who’s angry about Miller and Mazzucchelli not being true to the Golden Age stories and creators is “almost 19.”
That, my friends, is how you do it: Start by insulting the creators’ knowledge, move on to being indignant about the creators whose work weren’t acknowledged — and heck, throw in some who never worked on the character for good measure — rail against the trend-following and dumbing down of the stories for “Johnny-Come-Lately DARK KNIGHT nuts,” and cap it all off with shrieking allegations of hackery.
This letter is a thing of beauty. I think we can all learn a little something from it.