DC Comics And The Rumor Mill

DC Films Versus The Internet

Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern
Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan in Green Lantern
DC Comics has not had a good couple weeks on the Internet. While the comics and television shows are getting praise, the films have been subject to a litany of dark rumors. Ben Affleck is rumored to quit The Batman over a bad script. Wonder Woman is supposedly a “disaster“, as is Justice League. People lick their chops and sharpen their knives and prepare to slash the DC Film universe to ribbons on the heels of the divisive films already released.

However, people are forgetting the cardinal rule of the Internet: Never believe what you read on the Internet. The DC Film universe is constantly subject to rumors, fan theories, and the like. And throughout it all is a strain of toxic negativity that seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. To the maddening crowd: DC can do no right, therefore everything they touch MUST be a failure. Such negativity would taint the films before they are released, even when the rumors are false. This hurts the films and doesn’t give them a fair shake.

Rumormongers, Yentes, and Supervillains

Flash, Batman and Wonder Woman in Justice League
Flash, Batman and Wonder Woman in Justice League
In this day and age, word of mouth can make or break a film. Early buzz, or lack thereof, is part of it. So when toxic rumors spin around a film, it seems to be a tactic to harm the film. However, these rumors, negative or otherwise, are made solely for one reason: clicks. People want ad revenue, and damn the facts if it doesn’t bring in money. As Mark Twain once wrote, “A lie can go around the world twice before the truth begins to put on its pants.” And it is even more fraught in the digital age.

As for the above rumors, many of them have been debunked. Affleck himself debunked his departure, expressing his frustration to Jimmy Kimmel about the constant questions about The Batman while he is trying to promote his current film. As for Wonder Woman and Justice League, Forbes writer Mark Hughes himself dismissed the rumors has due to lack of a credible, traceable source; and even expanded upon his points in a Facebook post. It is a litany of falsehoods being accepted as gospel.

The Nature of the Internet

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Why do we accept these lies? Because to be blunt, it seems that bashing DC Comics film is popular. They are admittedly divisive, and not as popularly received as their competition. Add in the polarized nature of fandom and the lust for click bait, and you get a perfect storm of negativity. It is toxic, it is disgusting, it is scary. We accept the words of anonymous sources without corroboration because it suits our biases instead of taking it with a grain or two of salt…or the whole entire mine. The nature of the Internet makes lies more believable than truth, especially as we limit our social media to conform to our biases.

Who knows if Wonder Woman or Justice League will be a success or not. We can only tell when the lights dim and the show begins.

Until then, don’t always believe what you read on the Internet.

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