It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the golden age of comic book movies, it was a dark age of the evil movie executives. It was the epoch of visionaries, it was the epoch of slavish adaptations. It was the season of Superman, it was the season of Batman. It was, in short, the final run up to the release of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Panboy (pan-boi) n: A boy or a man who is extremely or overly enthusiastic about panning a film that hasn't yet been released.
For better and for worse, the golden age of comic book movies is upon us. In the "better" part of that equation: movies like Deadpool get made. In the "worse" part: Movies like Fant4stic get made.
And in the worse worst part of that equation: fanboys like panboys get made.
(Ah -- but are they really made, or are they simply born this way? The panboy has a gift and, alas, we may never learn this answer.)
The panboy is the seedy underbelly of fandom Internet. They are the scummy little trolls who emerge only when their favorite websites post the next tantalizing sliver of news about that multi-bajillion dollar blockbuster getting made, just so they can swoop in and type these words, suitably profound:
Suck it, you Marvel ass clown (Or DC ass clown, if you like).
Panboys are equal opportunity haters. Think of them as a reflection of Congress, only instead of Republicans and Democrats, you've got Marvel-crats and DC-licans. (Or is it DC-ocrats and Marvel-icans? I get so confused.) They are Vulcans and Jedi -- and they are Vulcan and Jedi haters. They are fans actively hating on other fans, regardless of whether or not they're fans of the same thing. Naturally.
But why stop there? Panboys generously extend their hate beyond the fans themselves to include a broad array of filmmakers, actors, producers, screenwriters, basically everyone responsible for bringing the despised film to the silver screen, right down to the unpaid intern holding Ben Affleck's Gatorade bottle. (Goddamn that guy and his hydrating self!)
Panboys are sometimes inspired. Batfleck, for instance, is cute, but it's also hurled like Chinese throwing stars on sites like Screenrant, Superherohype or Latino-Review. Panboys can also be straight up misogynistic. Exhibit A: The internet and Gal Gadot's chest. Exhibit B: The internet and Scarlett Johansson's pretty much anything. If you're a woman and you're in a comic book movie -- God help you. Please don't ever read the internet, like, again. (And please accept this fanboy's apology on behalf of my drunk uncle, the panboy. He was beaten as a child, before he was thrown into a pit of rabid kangaroos, which then also beat him.)
Logic and reason are not components of the panboy wheelhouse. They just know, intuitively, whether or not a movie is going to suck. Just ask them. (Actually forget it. They'll tell you anyway.)
Lastly, panboys, on the whole, are a rather demanding lot. They expect to get what they deserve -- more great comic book movies. But then they realize the truth which has escaped the rest of us. Comic book movies exist for the sole purpose of being trashed before ever they're seen.
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice comes out March 25, 2016 -- and it looks like it might be kinda good and stuff.