In today's installment of "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" news, The Source
, the official blog of the DC Universe, has closed down their comments section following a brief but intense flamewar that broke out on a recent post and spiraled into personal attacks against readers, creators, and
members of the DC comics staff.
As for what could possibly have inspired so much anger from the readers that the Source had to lock the whole site down to keep things from getting worse -- well, it won't surprise anyone who has spent more than five minutes reading any given forum on the Internet that the vitriol was based on a subject of absolute, life-or-death importance
: Who runs faster, Superman or the Flash?
To be honest, we here at ComicsAlliance can sympathize. Comments sections are a great way to foster a sense of community, engage readers, and even provide a way for creators to interact with journalists and fans on the subject of their work, adding a new layer to the discussion or clearing up a misconception.
They also allow anyone, no matter how ill-informed or angry, to tell everyone else
exactly how much they suck and how worthless their work is in ways that they wouldn't even contemplate if they weren't miles away from the object of their criticism, safely ensconced behind both a monitor and a username that reflects how strongly they feel on the subject of whether or not Green Lantern rulz. That's pretty much how the Internet works, and when you're bringing up a hot-button issues like religion, politics, or which fictional character can more easily run and/or fly at the speed of light, things are only going to get worse.
That's exactly what happened when the Source offered a preview of Superman
#709, in which writer Chris Roberson and artist Eddy Barrows offered their take on the classic idea of a race between Superman and the Flash. And suddenly, it was on
, ultimately leading to this:
The more offending comments have been deleted and the boards have been shut down (at least temporarily) in order to restore order, so it's not quite clear which comment was the one that finally broke the Source's resolve to keep letting people review Flashpoint
despite only seeing 3 lines worth of solicitations. I have to say, though, this seems like a a total
overreaction on their part.
I mean really, how can you possibly think that comments like these are inappropriate?
That's a guy who went out of his way to make things convenient for everyone by actually letting you know he was being sarcastic. Sure, it's a little unnecessary considering that everything
on the Internet is sarcastic, but it is
Almost as polite as offering a sincere apology for any offense you might have caused in the same comment
And if nothing else, closing the comments has robbed us of the kind of stirring insights from readers that bring a whole new perspective on the art of graphic storytelling.
You just can't get that stuff anymore. Unless you go to, you know, any other comic book site on the Internet. In that case, yeah, it's totally all still there.