As much as the comics biz and its fan community have changed over the decades, a few things remain the same. Of course, today's storytelling style, printing methods and the cover prices are radically different from the comics of forty or fifty years ago...but when it comes to the passionate and polarized feedback of fans, it's like looking in a mirror.
Sure, the internet has made fan feedback more instantaneous than ever before, but at its core it's still about opposing fans who love or hate certain comics with equal intensity.
This "eternal truth" of comics fandom was confirmed as I read the letter's column of Action Comics #255 (1959), an old back issue I picked up this week. You see, Supergirl had just made her debut a mere three issues earlier in Action Comics #252, which generated quite a reaction from Superman's young readers.
True to form, fans seemed to either like Supergirl or actively dislike her...with very little middle ground. Sound familiar?
For instance, David Mitchell of Garland,
Texas thought Supergirl was "terrific"...
...while Herbert Linsey of the Bronx wasn't too happy about it,
confidently speaking for America's dismayed and disappointed boys.
I can just hear that little Bronx-accented voice asking "So how about moving Supergirl to Lois Lane...and make everybody happy? Badaboom!"
So, there you go. Thanks to the Metropolis Mailbag letters page, you now have proof that highly polarized fan opinion is a comics tradition dating back at least half a century.