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This is fandom at its most passionate. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Things Only Marvel Fans Will Understand."
For this list, we’re taking a look at problems, situations, and feelings that every diehard Marvel Comics fan has experienced.
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#10: Arguing Over Who’s the Mightiest Hero
If you make a list of the most powerful comic book characters, not everyone is going to agree with your ranking. Believe us, we know from experience. The Marvel Universe alone is overrun with mighty heroes, but who would come out on top in a fight? Anyone who says that the Incredible Hulk would win based on brute strength alone is sure to be met with rebuttals from fans who would put their money on Doctor Strange, Thor, or one of the X-Men—most notably Jean Grey as Phoenix. The debate only gets messier if we’re including villains like Thanos and Apocalypse. While fans will probably never reach a unanimous answer, Stan Lee would’ve bet on Galactus.
#9: Pointing Out Movie Easter Eggs
Marvel movies, particularly the ones set in the MCU, are littered with Easter eggs that may elude mainstream viewers. These inside jokes will pop out at dedicated comic readers, though, resulting in laughter and applause. Before Infinity War even came out, fans immediately recognized the Infinity Gauntlet in the original Thor. They were also able to deduce that the one in Odin’s trophy room was likely… Even if you don’t catch every hidden detail during a first viewing, chances are you’ll watch a Marvel movie multiple times in order to spot references that may foreshadow upcoming events. Speaking of which, true Marvel fans always stay through the end credits for more Easter eggs.
#8: Being Bummed About Cancellations
There’s no shortage of great Marvel stories out there but not every series is going to sell well, which will inevitably result in untimely cancelations. In late 2017, it was confirmed that Iceman, Luke Cage, Guardians of the Galaxy, and several other ongoing Marvel titles were getting the axe, much to the disappointment of their loyal readers. Such disappointment extends to the medium of television aswell. In 2018, Netflix announced the cancellations of multiple Marvel shows, including the divisive Iron Fist and the highly rated Luke Cage and Daredevil. This wasn’t the first time a Marvel show was tragically cut short, as we’ll likely never get a third season of The Spectacular Spider-Man. Be it on the printed page or TV, Marvel fans know the pain cancellations bring.
#7: Retcon Rage
Retcons are acceptable when they’re correcting the mistakes of the past. When mishandled, however, retcons can change the reader’s entire perception of a character for the worse. Many fans felt Marvel had insulted their integrity when it was revealed that Captain America was a HYDRA sleeper agent and that Norman Osborn killed Gwen Stacy over their secret love children. Perhaps the most notorious retcon was the “One More Day” storyline, which brought Aunt May back from the dead, ended Peter’s marriage to Mary Jane, and erased the world’s memory of Peter ever being Spider-Man. As you can imagine, taking a sledgehammer to a story’s continuity is usually a surefire way to piss Marvel fans off.
#6: Dealing with People Who Don’t Like the MCU
When you’re a Marvel fan, it’s difficult to keep your emotions in check when someone says that the MCU sucks. While most Marvel fans would admit that not every single MCU movie is a masterpiece, it’s straight-up blasphemous when a hater claims this cinematic universe has overstayed its welcome, or that every film is exactly the same, or that the tone is too light-hearted to be taken seriously. As successful and acclaimed as the MCU is, there’s always going to be a curmudgeon who argues that there are too many Marvel movies. Before you Hulk out, though, remember to take a deep breath and count backwards from ten.
#5: The Importance of a Stan Lee Cameo
You know that mustached man with glasses who pops up in almost every Marvel movie? Well, you can’t call yourself a Marvel fan if you don’t know his name. The co-creator of Spider-Man, Daredevil, and numerous other costumed heroes, Stan Lee’s cameos are a Marvel movie staple. Whether the cameo was poignant or funny, fans understood the significance of Lee’s presence and always looked forward to his arrival. With his passing in 2018, Lee’s cameos sadly will no longer be a mainstay going forward, but we’ll always have these Marvelous scenes to revisit.
#4: New #1’s
When you’re an avid comic book collector, you’ll want to organize all of your issues in order. Marvel has made this somewhat frustrating for fans, however, by constantly relaunching comic lines and then plastering a #1 on the cover. Let’s say somebody is looking for a copy of “The Amazing Spider-Man #1.” That means they want the original comic published in 1963, right? Not necessarily, as they could be in the market for the first issue of the 1999 relaunch, the 2014 relaunch, the 2015 relaunch, or the 2018 relaunch. Collecting aside, it simply gets tiresome when another new volume is announced every few years as it comes off as a cash-grab.
#3: Seeing Your Favorite Heroes Die
You know how soap opera characters never really stay dead and buried? The same rules apply to comic books. Almost every major Marvel character has seemingly died at least once, and consequently, has also been resurrected. At this point, it’s hard for fans to get that invested when a character is “killed,” as they’re obviously going to be “reborn” via the Reality Gem, time travel, or some other convoluted method. Maybe they weren’t even dead in the first place. Granted, there are a couple notable Marvel characters who’ve technically remained dead, such as Uncle Ben, but there’s always a multiverse of carbon copies ready to take anyone’s place at a moment’s notice.
#2: Marvel vs. DC
It’s entirely possible to love both Marvel and DC equally, but a lot of people tend to have a clear favorite comic book brand. So, when a full-blooded Marvel fan encounters someone who thinks DC is superior, you can expect a showdown of Civil War proportions. When it comes to the comics, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, as it largely depends on personal preference. Marvel fans relate to the more grounded humanity of the Avengers while DC fans are more intrigued by the mystical, godlike stature of the Justice League. If you want to get a Marvel fan’s blood boiling, however, try telling them that the DCEU is better than the MCU.
#1: Movies vs. Source Material
As is the case with any adaptation, a few changes have to be made when a story is transferred from one medium to another. With this in mind, some fans are willing to accept certain changes in Marvel movies, as long as they maintain the spirit of the source material or provide an interesting new perspective. Other fans, though, are such purists that they’ll nitpick anything that deviates from what was already quote unquote “perfect.” Of course, there have been quite a few changes that not even the most forgiving Marvel fans could support. Fans still haven’t forgotten how Fox initially botched Deadpool and the Dark Phoenix Saga… and let’s not forget about the Galactus cloud.