Internet Vs Comics – Superboy Prime, Nick Fury And Spider-Man Weigh In

See, I don’t know what to think about the internet anymore. Obviously I live my life by what comics tell me to think, don’t we all, but this week I’m terribly conflicted by three different books.

The first up is Adventure Comics #4. Not only is it a promotional Black Lantern ring book but it’s also one of the higher echelons of promotions books, retailers have to order more copies of to get the rings they want. So it’s important. And while the first three issues of the series were a little too Legion-ish for me, the fourth issue begins with, well, something very Grant-Morrison-Animal-Man...


That’ll stay with you, no? That’s right Superboy Prime is reading his own comic book. And he doesn’t like what he sees.


Notice they don’t have back cover ads on Earth-3. Possibly not even the back up strips either. But it’s not so much the reality twisting nature of reading your own story that hits home here. It’s the book’s tongue-in-cheek attitude to the internet.


Because the internet hates Superboy Prime. They mock him, they berate his entire existence, especially that bit where he was punching walls. Which would be fine if Superboy didn’t actually have to read everyone. Hell, he’s probably got a Google Alert set up for his name whenever it pops up.

No not only is the book metatextual about a character reading his own story but it also shows action-and-consequence for people online slagging off books and characters. Now, naturally the comic characters aren’t reading these comments. But their creators are. And it can get to them. Sometimes they explode, sometimes they swear off the internet forever, sometimes they swear off comics completely. This book was written by Geoff Johns, so clearly none of those things are going to happen, but clearly the internet is fuelling a Black Lantern’s evil evil plans.

And Nick Fury agrees.


That’s from Dark Avengers #11 by Brian Bendis, also out this week. And if Nick Fury says so it must be true. The internet is full of silly people saying nasty things that get in the way of people with good intent, possibly destroying them in the process. I think I get it now.

spideyBut then I picked up Dark Reign: The List: Amazing Spider-Man #1: The Over-Abundance Of Colons #1. And came to a very different conclusion.

Because in this case we have Spider-Man fighting Norman Osborn, who is in more Marvel comics of late than Wolverine, Deadpool and Brian Bendis combined. And in this issue, after a big battle over the streets of New York, with a scene that resembles the end of Civil War just a tad with a knowing twist, the internet goes and saves the day.

And this is from Dan Slott a man who, shall we say, has had his share of conflict played out across the internet. And is the embodiment of that cartoon, in which a figure says that he can’t come to bed yet “because the internet is wrong”.

So learn from Dan Slott everyone. Learn to love the internet. Yes it’s feisty, yes it’s outrageous, yes it occasionally sends death threats to your loved ones, but it also helped Spider-Man bring down Norman Osborne. And it gave us Charlie biting his brother’s finger too.

Could the internet defeat the Black Lanterns? Could the next Secret War take place on the 4chan boards? The possibilities are… well, not endless, but there’s at least seven more I’m sure. I love the internet. Thank you Dan Slott for restoring my faith.

I’ve been taking things a bit too seriously haven’t I?

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

twitter   facebook square   globe