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Friday, February 08, 2008

Fanclubs, Tabloids and Other Thoughts

SallyP's post mentioning Hal Jordan having a teenaged fan-club (which I second as being an awesome idea) got me thinking a few mostly unrelated thoughts.

1) If this is a universe where young girls put posters of superheroes on their walls like girls here do musicians and the like, which hero would be the preteen draw?

I mean, thinking specifically of the "pre-teen heartthrob types" I remember, they all tended to be rather non-threateningly pretty, not-quite-androgynous-but-not-remotely-"manly" types. You know, like the boy-bands or Leonardo DeCaprio, I have no idea what young girls are into nowadays. Anyway, that sort.

I mean, acknowledging of course that there's an element of cookie cutter boyscout-ness to most of the superheroes, I'm not really sure I can think of a whole lot of heroes that would suit that particular fanbase. Nightwing maybe? But he IS a Gothamite, and they're kind of intimidating. He may also be too overtly sexual. Hal is certainly out. Kyle MAYBE, but I dunno there.

Maybe Connor Hawke. He's cute, young, only barely not-virginal and monkishly non-threatening. I bet his hospital room's filled with tons of flowers and teen girl tear-blotched "Get well soon" cards. Aw.

2) I'm also reminded of one of the Black Circle arc comics where a girl sees Kyle fly off and boasts that she banged him (identifying him as Guy Gardner, heh.) But it got me thinking of the tabloid industry in the DCU (or Marvel Universe for that matter). Not so much the Star or Enquirer types, I'm sure they have plenty of fodder. ("Superman's secret fling!" "Is the Flash gay?" "Batman v. Aquaman, the feud no one wants you to see!")

But what about the REAL tabloid rags. You know, like Weekly World News or the Sun or that sort. The "I'm having an alien's baby", "Satan lives in my shoe" or "Scientists clone encephalitic ebola monkey".

I mean. In the DCU, that's gotta be like..."My mother slept with the mailman" or something. Fairly earthshaking on a personal level, but ya know, fairly ho-hum to the rest of the world. Who doesn't know someone who hasn't gotten knocked up by an alien? Sheesh!

What do you use for wild and crazy news when that sort of thing is positively mundane?


  • At February 08, 2008 6:09 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    The Champions RPG had a sourcebook called Normals Unbound. Basically full of support and background characters. One of those was a magazine publisher and another his tween daughter who was heavily involved in super-hero fan clubbing. It also mentioned how she avoided groups like Villains and other bad guy fan clubs...

    I also remember the Patton Oswalt penned one-shot about the normal guy ended up hiding out abourd the JLA's base for a week. And just watching behind the scenes stuff. That character ran somekind of small press super-hero fanzine...

    Then of course there's Eric Burns' short story about a super-villain fan convention; Villify 5 set in his Justice Wing super-hero 'verse...

  • At February 08, 2008 10:38 AM, Blogger Zaratustra said…

    The tweens would be all over Robin.

  • At February 08, 2008 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I assume the DCU tabloids would be a lot like Doctor 13 in their style of craziness. "There's no such thing as aliens or metahumans! It's all a big scam!"


  • At February 08, 2008 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Man, hearing about Weekly World News made me realize how much I miss it. I stopped reading it about a year before it went out of business, but it was good times. I heard it was online now, but it just wouldn't be the same.

    I'd say virtually any guy on Teen Titans could be a target of teen cloying, but I don't read the current TT right now either.

  • At February 08, 2008 11:13 AM, Blogger Ragtime said…

    I think Connor Hawke is right on the money, especially with the "ambiguous sexuality" points he earns.

    I'd also put in a vote for Jericho on the same standards as Connor.

    Honorable mention for to Jamie Reyes (if the photographer could get him to do 'dark and brooding').

    Also, the rebel teenage goth girls would all claim that Connor is to boring, and have a rebel like Captain Boomerang, Jr. on their posters.

  • At February 08, 2008 11:41 AM, Blogger Ununnilium said…

    "I also remember the Patton Oswalt penned one-shot about the normal guy ended up hiding out abourd the JLA's base for a week. And just watching behind the scenes stuff."

    Yes! That rocked so hard.

  • At February 08, 2008 11:59 AM, Blogger Flidget Jerome said…

    Wasn't the Pulse Marvel's in-world superhero tabloid?

    . . . Mind, Marvel having not gone in for side-kicks the way DC has until recently there's a shortage of hot young poster-boys. A lot of them would be mutants anyway, which I don't think would go over well with your average 616 teenager.

    Spider-Man has a serious media relations problem. Speedball seems to have been an idol, judging by Squirrel Girl's reaction, but that's tanked now . . . I guess . . . Justice?

    New Warrior but wasn't there when it went down, Avengers member at 18, part of the popular 50 States Initiative, bright shiny exterior hiding publicly known angst about abusive father he murdered, currently single, etc, etc. He'd be fangirl kibble.

  • At February 08, 2008 12:28 PM, Blogger Rob Rogers said…

    Wow, a Normals Unbound shout-out. How cool! One of my favorite RPG supplements.

    I seem to remember reading a Superman story recently (I think it was in a Superman Adventures trade) where a woman was mistaken as Superman's girlfriend, then played up the mistake to make someone jealous, and ended up kidnapped as a result. I think they resolved it by having her slap(!) Superman at the end and "break up" with him. It was a humorous bit.

    I think that Superboy would have been a big heartthrob for the teen set, but I guess they can't go that route anymore. Robin would have a bigger following if he didn't keep a relatively low profile.

  • At February 08, 2008 12:49 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    I think that you hit the nail on the head with Conner. Right now, there are a LOT of teenaged girls crying.

    In their day, I can see Dick as Robin, Wally and Roy being poster boys. They're a little old for it now, I suppose, but I'm SURE that Bart was on a lot of girl's room's walls, and probably Tim as well.

    I am positive that Guy Gardner has a cult following. Just to be different. ( I know that I would join)

    I'm also sure that Supergirl is on a lot of boy's walls.

  • At February 08, 2008 12:51 PM, Blogger Rob Rogers said…

    Oh, yeah. And I remember a bit about Kyle Rayner having had a poster of--was it Jade or Wonder Girl?--on his wall when he was younger. Kind of funny.

  • At February 08, 2008 2:39 PM, Blogger Jeff said…

    Other fanclub popular ones

    Stargirl: could be a bit creepy though

    I can see Cyclone being popular among some.

    Alan and Ted (but not so much Jay) would get the Sean Connery fanclub.
    Moreso Alan then Ted. Raw power has its appeal as well.

    Supes of Course- I remember the first time Kyle was Ion, all the talk about fansites.

  • At February 08, 2008 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm fairly positive that the three girls of the Wolfman/Perez Titans would have been the pinups for pretty much every single teenage boy of their era. They seem to cater admirably to all tastes along the spectrum, from the fabulous hotness of Starfire to Ravens' mopey Goth attitude to the reassuring cheerful prettiness of Donna Troy.

    And if I lived in the DCU, Kyle would have been on my wall, without doubt.

  • At February 08, 2008 4:17 PM, Blogger Seth T. Hahne said…

    Garth. Chicks dig green. And animals.*

    Ultimate Spider-Man's Spider-Man has fan clubs and a lot less of the society's animosity than 616's. As far as Marvel goes though, you know that there are Kitty Pryde shrines all over their internet. Heck, there may even be some in our world. Ice Man might secure some love and you know that Sunspot would have been the hot thing back in his day (well, maybe not in the '80s as he wasn't Caucasian enough, but nowadays I doubt it'd be as big a problem for him).

    *note: I made all this up.

  • At February 08, 2008 5:53 PM, Blogger zhinxy said…

    Please. Robin for the Tiger Beat crowd and Nightwing for the wilder girls. Bruce is running a Teen Idol factory.

  • At February 08, 2008 5:59 PM, Blogger zhinxy said…

    I also wonder about the state of fanfic in the DCU, come to think of it...

  • At February 08, 2008 6:43 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    DCU fanfics are probably like the ones shown in Empowered. Lots of gay and lesbian slash and bondage games...

    So pretty much exactly like the real world in that the Kyle/Wally fics outnumber the MORE obvious Harley/Ivy stuff 10 to 1. Stupid fanficcers...

  • At February 18, 2008 3:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Superboy was definately a teenage heartthrob when he was alive. Even Stephanie Brown had a poster of him on her wall!

    Robin would be my choice for current teenage heartthrob. Chicks dig the cape. ;)

    Jaime Reyes might fit if he was more popular/well known.


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