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Examples of Misaimed Fandom in Comic Books.


  • In the '80s superhero deconstruction Watchmen, Alan Moore heavily based the character Rorschach on Steve Ditko's Objectivist superheroes, specifically The Question and Mr. A. However, Moore had no affinity for their ideology, calling Mr. A "an absolute insane fascist" and Objectivism "laughable," and he wrote Rorschach as his own take on what an Objectivist hero would probably be like, a short, ugly, murderous sociopath. Despite this, readers saw Rorschach's uncompromising persona as endearing, and he became the most popular character of a landmark comic series. Additionally, as pointed out on the Unbuilt Trope page, Rorschach and the Comedian were intended to deconstruct the Nineties Anti-Hero, and ended up popularizing it instead. Apparently, the series's beginning with the horrific death of the Comedian and ending with the even more horrific death of Rorschach wasn't enough to make people realize that these were not admirable characters.
    • Maybe because in retrospect of the fall of the Iron Curtain, Ozy's plan is entirely idiotic and unneccessary, so Rorschach's plan to turn him in is the reasonable action, as opposed to the "what the hell?" it was in historical context.
      • Which shows another level of the fans missing the point because the Cold War just wasn't going to diffuse like in OTL because of the presence of Dr. Manhattan skewing the perspectives of both sides.
      • The film's portrayal of Ozy as a sneering Devil in Plain Sight hasn't helped matters either.
      • The Power of Love convinces Dr. Manhattan to believe in miracles. The wonder isn't that Alan Moore has a romantic side; the wonder is that anyone missed it.
  • Lobo started as a generic mercenary before being retooled by creator Keith Giffen as a parody of eighties "grim and gritty" heroes in a series of mini-series books. Needless to say, Lobo became a big hit with fans who took the satire at face value.
  • V from V for Vendetta, to the point where the live action adaptation made it so that he was obviously meant to be the hero. V, it should be noted, is a fanatical terrorist whose main motives are revenge and his methods include physical and psychological torture (of both enemies and allies), bombing of public monuments, and brutal murder. An argument can be made for a case of A Lighter Shade of Grey, given that V is also a charming and charismatic Noble Demon and his enemies are a brutal, genocidal and largely irredeemable fascist regime, but V was intended to be a lot more ambiguous than many ultimately view him as being.
  • This happened to R. Crumb a lot -- most notably with his iconic "Keep On Truckin'" character/pose, which was adopted by many rock-loving hippies as their "mascot," as it were. The truth was, Crumb was making fun of rock music lovers, who in his eyes were doing "The Dance of Cultural Death" (as he put it). He even explained it in a comic in The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book and told his (probably now disillusioned) hippie fans: "KEEP ON TRUCKIN', SCHMUCKS!". (This was followed by Mr. Natural remarking: "Don't forget, Bob, that it was the compassion, the loving forgiveness, that they found so appealing in your cartoons, that made you so popular, that got you laid, that earned you a living. Keep it in mind!")
  • Jhonen Vasquez repeatedly takes pages out of his Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee series to Take That to various people he feels are enjoying his comic for the wrong reasons. One extended story in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is about a serial-killing fanboy of Johnny's. Since Johnny is a character who goes around murdering the most annoying people in the typical Vasquez Crapsack World, it's not hard to see why some people might get the wrong idea.
    • Goths seem to treat Jhonen as their king, despite him constantly insulting them and his own hatred of the association. With that said, he doesn't necessarily hate Goths, but he doesn't care for catering specifically to them.
  • In the infamous Chick Tracts, readers are supposed to agree with everything the protagonists say, but there is a significant "fandom" that finds the over-the-top nature unintentionally hilarious. In addition, on first reading them, many people assume that they are intended as a parody. They are serious. The sheer number of times he has Straw Secularists/Liberals (especially in schools), such as the dystopia in "Last Generation" which has the security and language of Oceania, the religious politics of Left Behind, and the social politics of Straw Liberal states, with a touch of "concentration camps" for parents who discipline their children -- it makes it difficult for one to accept them as serious arguments unless one realizes that there are more extreme people out there.
  • Satirical depictions of politicians are almost inevitably popular with their targets (with the notable exception of Steve Bell's take on former British Prime Minister John Major.) Often, they will contact the cartoonist, or the paper it was published in, to ask for a copy or the original, probably thinking it's better if people are making fun of them than just ignoring them. Ralph Steadman declared he would only depict politician's arses to prevent this.
    • Super-Mac by Victor Weisz, a parody of Harold Macmillan, was especially so. Maybe he shouldn't have compared him to a superhero, of all things.
  • The rapid transformation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into the sort of Merchandise-Driven juggernaut it was originally meant to parody had a lot to do with this. The creators and later licensees seem to have decided to run with the misaimed version instead of trying to fight it. Of course, that fandom mostly came from the TV series, which was entirely intended as such, so it's not so much Misaimed Fandom as it is Executive Meddling that took.
  • Apparently, we were supposed to agree with the Pro-Registration side in Civil War. Joe Quesada stated that the Pro-Regs were right, anyway. Seriously. We were expected to like Cap's side at first (that's why they showed the Pro-Regs as complete bastards), but eventually side with Iron Man. It didn't work. Most writers in Marvel hate Iron Man these days, making him out to be a fascist crazy instead of a troubled man who thought he was doing what had to be done to keep the SHRA from becoming worse. Mark Millar also stated that the pro-regs were right and that he thought every right-thinking person should agree with him. This is ironic because, at the time, everyone was criticizing Millar for making the "pro" side so ludicrously unsympathetic. As one reviewer noted, "If the readers all think Iron Man's a villain, and he wasn't meant to be... well, maybe the writers and editors misunderstood what they were putting out".
  • Some people read Kingdom Come just because they like the Antiheroes. This is missing the fact that Kingdom Come was written as a criticism of that kind of character. Others miss the idea that a big part of the story is that Superman and the new League trying to bring about world peace works horribly and ends up getting everyone nuked, and wholeheartedly support/condemn them as Silver Age nostalgia.
    • Some of that has to do with the concepts that Waid and Ross came up with being popular enough with writers that they were made canon. A few characters like Irey West, Jakeem Thunder and the female Judomaster ended up crossing over into the DCU, while Cyborg temporarily got his golden skin and Roy Harper became Red Arrow. Seeing as how those characters were generally not shown to be outright asses though, it's somewhat understandable.
    • It got to the point that Magog, who existed exclusively as a self-righteous Take That aimed at 90's antiheroes (Cable in particularly), was given his own book that played his over-the-top attempts at badassery straight. The title itself was cancelled pretty quickly and Magog ended up being killed off shortly after it ended.
  • Brian Azzarello was surprised and disturbed to find that the violent, amoral homicidal rapist and torturer Lono had a devoted fan following.
  • Likewise, many readers find his Lex Luthor: Man of Steel making an excellent argument for why Lex Luthor is a hero, or at least believing that it brings up some intriguing Gray and Grey Morality and humanistic traits to the character because he honestly thinks that he is a hero and Superman is a villain. Many also agree with Lex's arguments against Superman's Lawful Good Chronic Hero Syndrome, which sees him rescuing Toyman from an angry mob, in this story a pedophile who had just (seemingly) blown up a daycare centre. Except for the fact that it is strongly, strongly implied that Lex himself blew up that centre, and is behind a bunch of other horrible things in the comic, and the real point of the story is that Lex is not only the Complete Monster he always was, he's deluded and insane to boot.
  • Frank Miller has been quoted as saying what he portrays Batman as saying. Seeing as how Frank Miller has also portrayed Batman as a sadistic psychopath, quoting Miller's version of Batman as though it were Miller himself might not exactly be all that fitting.
  • German comic Nick Knatterton was made as this, since author Manfred Schmidt considered comics a primitive art form. The fans took it straight and liked it.
  • The Joker - mas-murderer, torturer, Complete Monster, Monster Clown, and has a MASSIVE fanbase.
  • In-universe example: The Sons of the Batman from The Dark Knight Returns, a group of vigilantes inspired by Batman using incredibly violent methods against mostly petty criminals (ie, stopping a three card monte game with napalm, cutting off the arms of a shoplifter). Needless to say, when Batman finally meets them, he sets them straight.
  • The Punisher is a ruthless vigilante who works outside the law, playing judge, jury and executioner to criminals. Despite the fact that he is clearly a harsh critique of the justice system and its failures, and an outlaw, police officers have been using his symbol on their cars nonetheless, to the dismay of his creator Gerry Conway.
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