Us v. them: the construction of fan authority in the online defence of Batman v Superman : Dawn of justice
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 21:43 authored by Anthony Soegito
This thesis explores how fans of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film franchise construct their critical authority online in response to the negative critical reaction to 2016 DC Comics/Warner Bros. film Batman v. Superman : Dawn of Justice (dir. Zack Snyder). By observing public Facebook fan pages this thesis argues that DCEU fans construct their authority by defining themselves against and through three ‘others’ : official criticism, rival fans and the mainstream. Focusing on the twenty-four months surrounding the release, the research deploys discourse analysis to investigate online fan responses, including moderator posts and comment sections. This study will also analyse other fan responses such as Internet memes; their visual rhetoric will be appraised through a modal analysis. While the current trend of comic book movies has been explored academically, this particular subset of fans remains underanalysed. What is at stake for DCEU fans is the respect of popular culture and social media at large, their reputation damaged by the film’s critical failure.This thesis explores how fans’ sense of self and value is part of what they consume, and how media technologies have expanded these fan practices, allowing them to claim authority over and ownership of Dawn of Justice.