Superstar comic book artist Doc Shaner found himself beset this week by Snyderbronies, the hardcore fans of director Zack Snyder, after tweeting that Superman shouldn't be depicted with glowing red eyes unless he's using his heat vision. Shaner was responding to a prompt from TKO Comics looking for controversial comics takes, but Shaner couldn't have known that he'd provoke the wrath of the legions of Snyderbronies whose collective tweeting abilities forced Warner Bros earlier this year to agree to release The Snyder Cut, a version of the failed 2017 film Justice League that restores Zack Snyder's Vision.
"No more showing Superman with glowing red eyes just because he's angry!" Shaner tweeted, angering Snyderbronies throughout the internet. "He's either using heat vision, or he's not!"
As Snyderbronies swarmed Shaner's mentions, the artist issued a plea for understanding, tweeting, "If you're about to reply to the above tweet, I'm not trying to take away your Superman. It's a visual cue in comics that I think is played out now, but it's my opinion, and I'm not rolling out some kind of edict for everyone's interpretation of him. I'm praying you read this." However, Snyderbronies, known for their perseverance in demanding The Snyder Cut after alleged fake feminist Joss Whedon replaced all of Zack Snyder's badass Superman scenes in Justice League with scenes where Cyborg says "booyah," continued to respond, prompting Shaner to add, "Also (oh man I hope you take the time to scroll down to this oh god please)- DCEU/Snyder fans: I'm not talking about any of that. I have no problem with you liking that take on the character, it's okay, I don't know why so many of you think I'm talking about that."
At one point, the nonstop barrage of Snyderbronies defending bae Snyder and his belief that you have to be "living a f**king dream world" to think that superheroes in the real world wouldn't murder people and commit atrocities and need to "wake the f**k up!" caused Shaner to briefly deactivate his Twitter account, though he soon returned to say, "Good grief folks I'M FINE. I was just getting a headache from twitter so I deactivated it for a couple hours to avoid the temptation of seeing how many people are calling me boring." He continued, "If you know me you know this has been equal parts humbling and horrifying. Thank you for the kind words. You're allowed to have opinions, just like you're allowed to take a break from this site whenever."
Other comic book professionals came to Shaner's defense against the armies of enraged Snyderbronies who took umbrage with the opinion. "THIS is Superman," artist Mitch Gerads tweeted along with a drawing of Superman. "The nicest guy in the FICTIONAL world. This is drawn by @DocShaner. The actual nicest guy in the REAL WORLD. Learn the difference. Grow up." Gerads added, quoting a Snyderbrony who was actually using a Doc Shaner drawing of Superman for his profile pic, "Imagine being so inept that you go after the guy who literally drew your profile pic because you didn't like his comic book opinion."
"The Superman story I did with Doc Shaner is one of my favorite things ever," said writer Ron Marz. "Anybody who was a jackass to Doc: A) doesn't understand Superman at all, and B) can bite me." Superstar writer Gail Simone, however, facetiously sided with the Snyderbronies," responding to a Tweet of Shaner's to say, "DOC SHANER WHY DO YOU HATE AMERICA."
Shaner magnanimously expressed no ill will toward Snyderbronies the following day, tweeting," 'Morning! To be clear- Didn't feel bullied yesterday, just needed a break. I used to deactivate my account for short stints all the time and it never caused a stir. The "Humbling and horrifying" tweet was in response to the fuss made around deactivating, not any way I was treated. Plenty of folks didn't sugar coat their disagreement, but I wouldn't say anybody was harassing me. That opinion garnered way more attention than I was expecting, and I just needed a break for mental health. I appreciate the concern, but genuinely: I'm totally fine, and God knows I've seen so much worse for so much less directed at others on here, and I hope you'll all come out in similar numbers in that case."
"I still don't quite understand how my tweet turned into folks thinking I don't want Superman to show emotion, be a one-dimensional character, or as an attack on the Snyder movies. BUT, it did, and I guess that's just part of trying to talk about these characters now, fbofw," he concluded, "I may not be a fan of the Snyder movies, but I don't have a problem with people liking them either. Superman means different things to everybody, and that's one of the reasons he's my favorite."
It's an opinion that Shaner actually has in common with many Synderbronies, who love the character due to his propensity to snap his opponent's necks, leave his own father to die to protect his own secret identity and make out with Lois Lane in the wreckage of Metropolis, as the Man of Steel has been known to do in bae Snyder's vision. Perhaps with this common ground, Doc Shaner and Snyderbronies might find peace on Twitter, and Snyderbronies can focus their efforts on a less pointlessly aggressive pastime.