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I sat down tonight to write fanfic and ended up writing an article proposal instead. What is my life even.

ETA: Annnnnnnnnd when I submitted it at like 11pm, I got a reply of "YES PLZ" at 8:30 am. AND they want it by April 1. HOW DO THIS TO MYSEEEEEEEELF???

Earth 616, Earth 1610, Earth 3490—Wait, What Universe is This Again?: The Creation and Evolution of the Avengers and Captain America/Iron Man Fandom

The history of slash fandom has long been only a partial record, thanks in part to the samizdat-like nature of most early fan publications and the difficulty of maintaining long-term web archives. (Many listservs, once heavily active in the 1990s and turn of the twenty-first century are largely dead or no longer extant.) However, thanks to the increasing visibility and acceptance of fan activities (thanks, Supernatural writers!), fan works have gained a new profile as easily accessible and widely disseminated through the Internet. Thus, it is actually possible to review the inception and growth of new fandoms. A new/old fandom of particular interest is that of the Avengers comics, with its recent reboots through the line of Ultimates comics as well as an increasing slew of cartoons and feature films. The Avengers, with their popular protagonists Captain America and Iron Man, were initially introduced in 1963. Now with almost fifty years of history, reboots, rewrites, and retcons, their stories have been told, retold, and revisited more times than Stan Lee has cameoed in Marvel Pictures films. That said, the popularity of the the Captain America/Iron Man ship is very recent—dating specifically to 2007.

This was the year that concluded the Marvel: Civil War epic crossover storyline which culminated in the seeming death of Captain America. However, for many the climax of the story was not the seeming death of a comics icon but the emotional fallout of Civil War: The Confession in which a distraught Iron Man explains his actions of the past year and how they weren’t worth it now that he’s lost everything that mattered to him—Captain America. The passionate intensity of his personal revelation coupled with his intense grief was a sign to many that Tony Stark had lost much, much more than a beloved friend. Fandom responded—as fandom will—to these events with a few stories and several in-depth critical analyses. In the five years that have passed, the ‘shipper faction has grown from a handful of people to several hundreds, and it is expected that with the forthcoming 2012 film that the faction will spike even higher.

Further, as the Avengers films have been released each summer—starting with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk in 2008 and most recently Thor and Captain America in 2011—the fandoms focused particularly on the movies have begun to elide with that of the comic universes. New fans, intrigued by the films, have discovered both the original comics and the online fan factions, adapting those aspects they find most attractive from various universes for their own fanworks. In particular, tropes specific to each branch of fandom have appeared (eg. the assumption that the movieverse Captain America is a virgin who is eventually seduced by Iron Man in romance novel fashion), while there are others that are essentially pan-fandom (the repeal of DADT as well as the legalization of gay marriage in New York spawned dozens of stories of celebration).

The proposed essay would like to discuss and analyze the evolution of the online fandom during this period of time (2007-2012), particularly the development of recurring tropes and how they are used in specific branches of fandom. Since I am a participant in Avengers fandom, I would also like to offer portions of the piece a sort of personal essay in tandem with the theoretical discourse.


( 11 comments — Add your .02 )
Jan. 13th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Your life is awesome, that's what :DD

*high fives*
Jan. 13th, 2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Of course it is, bb, I have friends like you!! *SQUISH*
Jan. 13th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
dskjhskjh don't make me cry again :')

Jan. 13th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
Actually I'm freaking out a little cos I didn't really look at the due dates cos the issue itself isn't out until 2013, so--yeah my draft is due in April. >_> WELL I BETTER GET CRACKIN', HUH.

Jan. 13th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
... are they getting it handwritten by monkeys? o_O *sends caffeine to help get it done :)* *HUGS*
Jan. 13th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)
...a monkey named Cait?
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
damn I love that icon!
Jan. 13th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
*is excited*
Jan. 13th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC)

And Darcy icon FTW!!!!
Jan. 13th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
Oooh, combining fandom and analysis makes me all tingly!
Jan. 13th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
That just sounds really interesting!
( 11 comments — Add your .02 )

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