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What it’s Like For Fans to See Superhero Movies with Non-Fans, An Educational Film by Dorkly

Dorkly has transformed their old comic about seeing superhero movies as a fan versus a non-fan into a video. They specify “Marvel movies” here, but really, it could go for just about any movie that adapts a property from a franchise with a wealth of complicated source material — superhero movies are the obvious go-to there, but other adaptations like Harry Potter and LotR and GoT and so on could just as easily fit the bill.

I had this exact experience seeing Deadpool with two non-fans. I was the one laughing at the comic references and scowling at the changes that I didn’t like. Meanwhile, my non-fan friends got to sit back and enjoy the movie as the campy, corny action flick parody that it is on the surface level. I had the burden (or the blessing?) of comparison to the source material. By contrast, when I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, I got to just enjoy it on the surface level because I don’t know much about the other versions of the story. Does that mean I enjoyed it more? Not necessarily. Also, this comparison doesn’t really work, because those movies are very different — but, still, there’s no denying that going in with prior knowledge of a movie’s adaptive source will completely change how you feel about it.

Do you all think that seeing a movie when you’ve already been entrenched in the fandom helps it or hurts it? For me, I think familiarity with the source material just makes the experience more intense: the good choices feel so much more validating, and the bad choices feel so much more disappointing. It’s like experiencing a movie in 3D, but the third dimension is the extra layer of fandom baggage that you brought in with you. Much like 3D, it can either be super intense or give you a headache (or both).

(via Geek Tyrant)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).