ByKato Guzman, writer at
Kato Guzman

So maybe I'm a comic book elitist, maybe I'm an arrogant prick, or maybe you're mad because you couldn't answer the questions and you realized I was right and you were wrong, or maybe who the hell cares?

Below are the answers to Five Questions To Prove Someone Isn't a Real Comic Book Fan, a blog posted a few days ago.

I wasn't going to post the answers but I got a lot of feedback from both real and fake fans that some of the questions were out of reach even for loyal comic book readers. It isn't that people should be outcast like Cyclops if they don't know comic books, the point of the entry was to provide a way to call out people we know aren't really into comic books. Comics have become the popular thing to fake an interest in and it has reached the point of insulting those of us that grew up with nothing in the world but the escapism created by comic books. Comics are held dear to many of us and seeing them treated so casually as a tool for popularity can be heartbreaking. If you're getting into comic books, I'd suggest learning at least a little of the history. Comic books are an American art form that have lasted almost a century and has won over millions of people with great stories and intriguing characters, but if you really aren't into it, don't fake it and let others fake it. If you are into it, then by all means love what you love. Be who you really are and don't follow the trend, find your own groove. As for me, elitist or not, I love learning interesting things and teaching it to others, that's why I write.


"Which X-Men line did you read?"

This question is simple enough to deter most pretenders but there are so many different lines and storyarcs any casual comic book reader should be able to answer but some acceptable answers can be; Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate X-Men, X-Factor, X-Men Legacy, X-Men Adventures, and a plethora of lines named after individual characters ie; Wolverine, Gambit etc. Click here for a fuller list of the numerous different titles in the X-Men universe.

"Who created the X-Men?"

The answer would be Stan Lee or Stan Lee with Jack Kirby. The X-Men were created in 1963 and were the first line of heroes that were mutants and did not receive their special abilities as a result of an incident. Stan Lee wanted to have a group of outcasts that real life outcasts could relate to and it became hailed and championed by those of us in society who were cast out because of anything from race or sexual orientation to religion or morality.

As an extra little tidbit: The X in X-Men was never intended to stand for the X in Charles Xavier. It actually stands for the X gene, the gene that gives mutants their extra abilities, a gene regular humans do not posess.


"Who challenged the Comics Code Authority and ultimately destroyed the code and with which hero?"

After Wertham's attack on comic books in the 1950's the Comics Code Authority enforced a seal of approval based on a set of draconian rules. Publishers were too scared to release any comic books without the seal and comic book stores were too scared to sell them. As a result, several comic book lines and numerous companies went out of business and the content of modern comics was becoming stale. As times changed, however, the code had to be modified to keep up but it still managed to be a thorn in the side of the comics industry. Then Stan Lee got permission from his publisher, Martin Goodman, to release The Amazing Spider-Man #96-98 without the CCA seal of approval. As an answer to several letters from concerned parents, Stan Lee wrote a Spider-Man story arc in order to reach the youth about the dangers of drug abuse. In the story, Peter's friend got high and Spider-Man was forced to save the teenager from himself. Lee and Marvel received criticism from DC comics who announced they would not defy the code and stated that it existed for a reason. The CCA in turn changed their rules in order to make depiction of drug use acceptable but the damage was done. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare sanctioned the story and many people denounced the CCA for not approving this story. The sales were proof that a comic need not be approved in order to sell and from there on out the seal was challenged more and more until ultimately in 2011 the code was dropped and had become defunct. The code was defied before but never in such a public as with Stan Lee and issues #96-98 of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1971.

At comic book conventions in 2011 (I went to Wondercon in San Francisco that year) there was a lot of talk and celebration and drunken toasts to the downfall of the code.


"How was the Incredible Hulk created and who is his best friend?"

Bruce Banner was working with the military to create a bomb based on gamma radiation. Moments before the bomb detonated Banner noticed that a teenager had snuck onto the testing area and was sitting in the blast zone as a dare from his friends. Unable to stop the countdown, Banner heroically sacrificed himself by running into the blast zone and grabbing Rick Jones and tossing him into a foxhole. Unfortunately for Banner he couldn't save himself and he caught a full blast of gamma radiation. This blast led Banner to mutate into the Hulk, a grotesque monster Banner had subconsciously created as a result of teenage angst and anger. Now the Hulk is hunted by the military who intend to harness him and turn him into a indestructible weapon. Rick Jones, feeling guilty for causing this accident to happen to Banner, becomes Hulk and Banner's best friend as he dedicates his life to helping him overcome this disaster. Along the way from then to now both characters have been through a lot (a lot a lot) but the answer still remains that the original Hulk was created by a gamma bomb explosion that he was exposed to in order to save his soon to be best friend, Rick Jones.


"Who killed Superman?"

This is a trick question. The easy answer is Doomsday, a monster bred in hatred and anger and driven by generations of pain. Doomsday was created by a scientist that was attempting to create an ultimate monster. He would create the beast, then kill it, then clone it and continue this cycle until Doomsday came to be. Driven by the pain of all of his previous deaths, the beast named Doomsday became the embodiment of rage and became an unreasonable and monstrous killer and one of the few bastards tough enough to kill Superman.

But like I said this is a trick question. Turns out Superman didn't actually die. The media hype created around his death was just an elaborate ploy to get sales and breathe some excitement into the story line of a hero too powerful for any decently dramatic story. Of course, DC never intended to let Supes lie dead. After a whole line of drama Superman ultimately resurrected and, as in turns out was only in a healing coma, because Kryptonians, when beaten the hell out of, don't die, they fall into a death-like coma and recover. In other words, the writers wrote themselves into a whole for the sake of drama and pulled some bullshit story out of their asses in order to bring him back. A letdown only matched by marvel over two decades later with Spider-Man's "One More Day" story arc.

So the correct (ish) answer would be Doomsday killed Superman or no one did, because you can't kill the Man of Steel.


"What?! You didn't like Wolverine: Origins?!"

The correct answer is "No."


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