I used to love ComicBookMovie.com. It was interesting, it was informative, and they usually had the breaking news on the upcoming superhero films before anyone else.
But before I continue, maybe you should visit the site for yourself. Click on the link above, read through some of the articles, and arrive at your own conclusions.
Don't worry. I'll go have a coffee and come back. We'll continue after you're done there.
All caught up? Good. Now on to the hundred reasons why that site kind of sucks now. I'll be going through their site as I do it, so don't be surprised if some of my comments correspond more closely to news items from the day(s) when I was writing this.
1. Many of the Articles Have Nothing to do with Comic Book Movies
An article about Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulder in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back? Yes, I realize that Smulder was in the Avengers, but Jack Reacher is still not a comic book movie.
Funko POP! vinyls based on Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns. Also not comic book movie-related.
First TV spots for Ghostbusters reboot. Not comic book movie-related in any way, shape, or form.
Transformers: The Last Knight. Also not a comic book movie. Yes, there was a comic book at one time, but this movie franchise is based on a toy line, not a comic book.
New trailer for Disney's Pete's Dragon. How does this have anything to do with anything that anyone wanting to read about comic book movies would like?
Also several reports about video games. None of them having anything to do with movies that are based on comic book characters.
2. Many of the Articles are Insubstantial
The "rumor-based" articles on this site are a separate category altogether. Aside from these, many of the articles are based on quotes from people we could have gotten elsewhere.
In "20th Century Fox Registers Two Possible Titles for the Wolverine Movie" we learn that a report, from "a very dubious source," claims that the next Wolverine movie will be titled "Weapon X." Then we learn that the @XmenFilms Twitter account has registered both "Wolverine: Weapon X" and "Weapon X" as possible titles for the upcoming movie.
So what has anyone learned from this article? Nothing. Only that Fox is possibly going to use these titles for the upcoming Wolverine movie, not that Fox will actually use them. Fox might even go on to register other names for all ComicBookMovie knows. Was this information worth wasting anyone's time with? I think not.
3. Many of the Articles are Predicated upon Rumors or Hearsay
These are by far the most irritating articles on this site, even worse than the "click bait" articles discussed below.
To be fair to ComicBookMovie, they will usually preface such articles with the tag "RUMOR," but this does nothing to remedy the fact that these articles are still a waste of space. In "RUMOR: Massive ALIEN: COVENANT SPOILER Relating to Katherine Waterston's Character" merely reiterates what someone at another website heard about a movie that just started filming. Even willfully forgetting about the fact that Alien: Covenant isn't a comic book movie, one wonders how this is news in any way, shape or form.
4. Many of the Articles are "Click Bait"
Anything written by Josh Wilding is a prime example. Instead of writing a single, readable article he'll think of a list that is only tangentially connected to the world of comic book movies. Say, for example, a list of comic book sex scenes that will never make it to film, or 10 reasons that the Robin character appeals to pedophiles. Then, instead of posting the items in this list together as one entry, he'll divide the list into separate entries that the reader has to click through.
Why do he and many other online authors do this? To up the traffic on their page. By dividing his article by 10, Wilding and "authors" like him multiply the number of clicks on each entry. Thankfully people are starting to see through this tactic, but its continued existence on ComicBookMovie is annoying to say the least.
Also counted as "click bait" are articles with deceptive titles, and articles featuring photo shoots of actresses who've appeared in comic book movies. Hey, I like looking at pictures of Jessica Alba as much as the next guy, but I don't need to visit a site about comic book movies for that.
By the way, if you clicked the link above you just proved my point. Why not just look here instead?
5. Many of the Articles are Biased
This was particularly evident after the release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now I'm not saying that movie was perfect, but many of the titles of the articles used to describe it displayed a definite bias against the DC properties. Phrases such as "damage control" and "disappointment" were often used in articles that supplied NO evidence of either "damage control" or "disappointment" whatsoever.
I think that what was going on in this instance was simply a website's reaction to its readers. ComicBookMovie knew that much of its readership expected, or even wanted, that movie to fail, and many of the articles on their site (and others like it) became a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy that colored the public's perception of that film. The zeal with which many comic book fans attempt to arrive at a consensus regarding certain films is unsettling, and more unsettling still is the role that sites like ComicBookMovie play in that consensus-forming process. The way in which many of their writers select topics, title articles, and even questions of style cause many to wonder at their supposed "objectivity."
6. Can It be Fixed?
Yes, it can, but this site's editorial staff - if it even has an editorial staff - needs to pay more attention to content. Getting rid of Josh Wilding would be a huge step in the right direction, and would reduce the recurrence of formalized lapses by at least half.
What this site really needs to do is to think about who their audience is, and how to expand this audience without watering down their content too much. A certain appeal to the masses is to be expected, but as matters stand this site is alienating many people.
I for one, hope they figure it out. There was a time I really enjoyed this site, and I think that with more effort they can get back to doing what they (formerly) did best.