Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Pro...What Is The Matter With Fanboy Rage?

I'll get to my thoughts about The Pro, the one-shot comic by Garth Ennis and Amanda Conner that was released a couple years ago about a prostitute who gained superpowers, a little later.

First, I wish to discuss what strikes me as irritating about the last page of this issue. On the last page of The Pro, which is a pretty virulent anti-superhero comic, the author speaks directly to the reader.

It states, "Her kid grew up. Not a bad idea, when you think about it."

Which is, essentially, a direct insult to the superhero reader.

So the sense of fanboy rage?


This issue was praised like crazy. Everyone loved this comic, with practically no mention of the fact that the comic ended with a direct insult.

Meanwhile, you make Hal Jordan a villain, and it is like you stabbed people's kids!

What is the matter with fanboy rage?

I am not asking people to get pissed off when someone mocks them. I think it is a mark of a cool, mature person when you can get mocked without getting pissed off.

There is a difference, though, between "not getting pissed off" and saying "thank you sir, may I have another?" which is the feeling I get from stuff like The Pro.

It's one thing if you AGREE with the sentiments in The Pro. Then that's different. But I know there are plenty of people who obviously disagree with Ennis....and nothing. They just take it.

What is the matter with fanboy rage?

Kill Ant-Man, and people want to stick knives in your throat (direct quote that I had to delete from the Avengers forum on CBR).

Direct insult?


Remember the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Star Wars bit?



But it also spent 5-8 minutes just mocking Star Wars fans.

And who seems to publicize it the most?


What is the matter with fanboy rage?

Introduce mitochlorians?

They'll rip you to shreds.

Mock them to their face?

They're proud as hell.

What is the matter with fanboy rage?

As for the Pro, it was a slight comic, but well told.

Not a lot of deep satire, but the main character, the cussing prostitute, is constructed strong enough that she is a fine centerpiece for the surrounding satire.

Conner's art achieves the purposes, and, just like the writing, is stronger on the main character than any surrounding characters.

In any event, it's a well made comic, and if you hate superheroes, you should love it even more.


Blogger Joe Rice said...

You answer your own question, Brian.

Fanboy rage is busy making threats about writers who kill superheroes. Or make them act "wrong."

Deep down inside, fanboys (superhero, Star Wars, whatever) are usually aware enough to know that they're out of synch with reality. People don't throw a fit about "The Pro" because it's right.

I enjoy a good superhero yarn as much as the next guy, but they are pretty inherently childish. It's just, there's nothing wrong with childishness, if it is recognized and not obsessive.

1/19/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I just finished Wanted. Talk about insulting fanboys, as well as pretty much anyone who doesn't grab a gun, blow strangers' heads off, inherit millions of dollars from their scumbag fathers, and rape indiscriminately. In response to wondering where the rage is, I will no longer be buying anything with the name "Mark Millar" on it, and that includes The Ultimates, which I kind of like. Millar wrote Swamp Thing long ago, which is a great comic. I guess he decided to be a rock star instead of a good writer. He insults me for reading comics instead of being a super-villain? Fine. I'll stop reading his comics.

This turned into a bit of a rant, didn't it? I didn't get angry at the end of The Pro, nor do I care when writers kill of characters. Kill Hal Jordan again!!!!

1/19/2005 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Speaking of being insulted, I just read the final issue of Wanted, and I have decided never again to read anything with the name "Mark Millar" on it. It's insulting not only to fanboys, but anyone who doesn't stop doing what they're doing and go off and slaughter innocent strangers, inherit millions of dollars from their scumbag fathers, and rape and pillage and get their hair cut to look like Eminem. Millar used to be a good writer -- his run on Swamp Thing is excellent -- but he apparently wants to be a rock star and shit all over the people who buy his stuff. You think people who read your comics are losers, Millar? Fine -- I'll stop being a loser and stop reading your comics.

This turned into a nice little rant, didn't it? I don't know why there isn't more rage. Maybe we can take a joke. I liked The Pro, and I also don't care if a writer kills of a fictional character. In fact, let's kil Hal Jordan again!

1/19/2005 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Joe said
"Deep down inside, fanboys (superhero, Star Wars, whatever) are usually aware enough to know that they're out of synch with reality. People don't throw a fit about "The Pro" because it's right.

I enjoy a good superhero yarn as much as the next guy, but they are pretty inherently childish. It's just, there's nothing wrong with childishness, if it is recognized and not obsessive."

See, I disagree with this, because you follow up saying "The Pro is right" by saying there's nothing wrong with childishness if it is recognized and not obsessive."

The end of the Pro specifically says that there IS something wrong with it!

The end of the Pro states that reading superhero comics is something "not good."

And since I know, Joe, that you disagree with that, and since I know plenty of other people such as yourself disagree with that, I must admit to being surprised at how few people took exception to the ending of the Pro.

With that being said, I do not expect you (or anyone) to become enraged.

None of my comments were meant to exhort people to BECOME enraged. I was merely noting the the odd distortion of when fans choose to get enraged. They get enraged when a character is written poorly, but not when a writer insults them directly. It strikes me as strange behavior.

1/20/2005 02:11:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Heh...Greg, which one do you want to keep?

I sorta like the idea of keeping both of them, just to look at the subtle differences between the two pieces.

In any event, Greg, like I mentioned to Joe, I am honestly not asking for people to become more enraged. That's why I didn't ask "Where's the rage?"

I was just noting how odd it was as to WHEN people get really angry about comics.

In either event, your reaction to Wanted is what I would type a perfectly reasonable example of "rage." Even if one disagreed with your views, it is understandable why one would take Millar's writing as personally insulting.

1/20/2005 02:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Ennis was pulling the piss on superheroes in Hitman, it was pretty good. But I've seen it.
He's rapidly turning into the guy who wants to show you his cock every time he gets drunk.
Put it away Garth. It's not exciting. It's not new. It's not clever. We're sick of seeing it.
I don't have any rage about his comments at the end of The Pro because they're not exciting, novel or interesting enough for me to be angered by them.
He's Gary Groth as 'good ole boy', apologizing for his childhood and burning his Hallowe'en pictures with him in his Spider-Man outfit while busily fellating Marvel or DC for treats.
How's that Punisher gig, then Garth?
Seriously, guy dumps shit on superhero comics and writes Mack Bolan fanfic for a living, I don't think I really need to pay that much attention.
Hitman was a great series.
Helter Skelter, a Judge Dredd storyarc he did for 2000AD is one of my favourites.
Preacher started out with a lot of promise.
True Faith was pretty fuckin' sweet.
But seriously, he's just riffing on the same tired old shit that got him noticed by the big two, and it's nothing that wasn't done better, funnier and with a damn sight more savagery in any Marshall Law story arc you wanna name.

Put it away, Garth. We've seen it.

How's that?


1/20/2005 05:27:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

I don't see the direct contradiction that you do, Brian.

Ennis is telling superhero fans they need to grow the hell up. Well, they do. I don't think even Ennis, though, would say that you can't ever enjoy childish things AFTER you grow up. It's just that centering your reading habits on stories originally meant for children is stifling. Ennis is no more an absolutist than I am, of this I'm certain. I see it more as "Stop worrying about why Hal Jordan's hair went grey and actually make something of your life with that energy." That doesn't stop you from enjoying a good costumed caper, like The Pro, the recent Punisher run, or any of the "Greats" in this week's review.

1/20/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Far as I'm concerned, reading a Garth Ennis comic would insult myself enough, so I never read The Pro. As a previous responder said, I've seen the one trick Ennis has, and wasn't impressed with it. And as another responder said, Mark Millar is all lined up to take over the throne from Ennis.

Dave Lartigue

1/20/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Ed Cunard said...

I think the reason fans get fired up over, say, Hal Jordan and not something like The Pro or Wanted is because those books don't have their characters. That's the one thing I've never really understood about any fandom - the level of entitlement and ownership some of the more strident devotees possess.

1/20/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

If, by "fanboy rampage," you mean, "obsessive, disproportionate anger directed at fictional events and the writers who perpetrate them," then fanboy rampage is already wrong. So the title answers itself. What you seem to be asking is, "Why is your emotional imbalance inconsistent?"

Besides, how many obsessive superhero fans would read a superhero parody written by someone known to disdain the genre?

1/20/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger thetechnocrat said...

I liked the ending. I thought it was a slap to face of the hero that never ages crap. How many times are we going to see a grown up child from the future, a child be killed or ushered away? I like new generations of super folk.

This comic reminded me of my first look at a Marshal Law comic. Rude, crude, funny & excessively violent. Gotta love that.

1/20/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Yeah, good point, Ed. Most people that would be really offended by that ending wouldn't be reading the book anyway. 1. It wasn't made my Marvel or DC. 2. Mean Ol' Garth Ennis made Spider-man look stupid! (Preacher, what's Preacher, that's not a superhero!) 3. They're really stupid.

1/20/2005 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger thetechnocrat said...

Thanks Joe, belated happy birthday to ya. I missed posting it as I was preparing to go away for a bit.

1/20/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...


1/20/2005 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

All right, I suck. I went back to the site something like ten minutes later and didn't see my comment, so I had to re-type it. Strange. But when I'm insulted, damnit, I need to share it with the world!!!

1/20/2005 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger thetechnocrat said...

Not the face, NOT THE FACE!!!

Argh! Thanks Joe, I'm gonna need stitches again.

1/20/2005 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Well, next year I hope you remember.

1/20/2005 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

You guys suck.

Your responses are too rational and intelligent (well, until the birthday stuff...hehe).

Hmmm....well, we'll see how people handle my Fallen Angel entry...

1/20/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Jack Klugman said...

I was a bit torn on Wanted. On one hand, there was a large frat-boy tone to the story (Shit-head made me want to vomit inside of my socks while still wearing them). On the other hand, the ending to the plot itself was a straight-forward way of saying, quite literally, "fuck you" to the readers for ever sympathizing with such a morally disgusting protagonist.

Still not enough to make me buy it though. So Mark Millar either needs to quit writing, or do something at least half as entertaining as Red Son.

1/20/2005 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

I thought the same thing as Ed and Joe about the audiences of the Pro and Avengers not overlapping. I can't really see the guy that wants to avenge Ant Man by shiving Bendis picking up any of Ennis' books.

One thing that did strike me ass odd about the reaction to the book is that when it came out, the guys at the Fourth Rail were falling all over themselves praising it for tearing apart the superhero genre... and the rest of their reviews were of superhero books. Okay, that's not surprising, considering the market and all, but it was weird reading their gushing reviews of the book alongside positive reviews of the latest X-Men comics.

1/20/2005 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

That is a good point, Brad.

You am smart.

1/21/2005 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Apodaca said...

The Pro was bo-ring. You could see every joke coming from, like, 800 miles away.

Oh yeah, geeks are lame, or something...

1/26/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Red Son" sucked.

Why does no one understand this?

Also "9th level intelligences" or "12th level intelligences" or whatever the fuck they are do not make me pee my pants from sheer awe whenever they are mentioned every five seconds in the DCU. People should stop relying on shit like that, it no worky. Millar takes shortcuts to nowhere.

And his books will not get you laid.

2/17/2005 10:37:00 AM  
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