Undercover Warner Bros marketing people walk into a comic shop. Stop me if you've heard this one. The name of the shop has been removed to protect the guilty.
They entered posing as fans, but it was obvious to staff by the time they finished their first question that they were not. And about half way through they abandoned all pretence and were asking questions like "what superhero films have had good Facebook pages?", "Do you think comic fans would accept a superhero film without Nolan's involvement, would him serving as a producer suffice?" "What do fans think of Aquaman? He's lame isn't he?", "What is regarded as the strongest lineup of the Justice League and would work as a film?" boiling right down to "What should DC do film wise?"
They asked for comics that best represented how the fans perceived the Justice League. One of them was wearing a box fresh Batman T-shirt – it still had the wrapping crease marks. They knew nothing about comics but corrected a member of staff on the year the Justice League film was due, 2014, not 2013. They mocked the Ant Man movie and looked a bit worried when they were assured by staff it was probably going to be all right.
And they looked glum when they were told DC should "just do what Marvel have done".
The biggest give away for the staff was when they asked what impact films had on comics sales. The staff replied that it was very little, unless it was an unknown character. Their immediate response was "Oh, like Jonah Hex" which didn't fit with the rest of their limited knowledge – and they didn't seem aware that the Green Lantern and Jonah Hex movies were not well regarded.
The staff explained how Marvel could make a movie out of any character but because it would tie into the bigger picture, it stood a greater chance of success. The interlopers were really interested in what obscure characters were related to the League… and then they asked the big one.
"What would fan reaction be to a Justice League movie with Frank Miller's name attached?"
Bleeding Cool message board commentators, you have been criticised by some, mocked by others, becoming a byword in some places for unreasonable, offensive behaviour. Well, I believe your moment has come. Feel free to tell them exactly what fan reaction would be…