bIn the real world, addiction is a serious problem, treated by therapy, rehab, or counseling. It is the physical of psychological need for more and more of something. However, there are many people - myself included - can consider themselves addicts without a need for any rehabitual treatment. These people are of course superhero addicts, one of the most extreme, dedicated, and opinionated fan groups out there.
However, no matter how much you believe it, no one was born loving superheroes. There are stages in which everyone passes as they go through the journey of becoming completely reliant on superheros.
So in this article, I will go through and explain the three stages of superhero addiction, and link them to me, a full on superhero maniac.
Stage 1 - Discovery
In the first stage, one becomes what every addict hates, a fake fan. It is the stage where you discover the amazing thing that is superheroes. This can either be from being dragged to a #Marvel movie or just catching a glimpse of an #Arrow episode, which instantly triggers the "OMG that is cool" reaction. After that moment of first interaction, many people want more and more, as they slowly start watching more and more of the #DCEU or catch up with #Daredevil.
However, this stage is very flat, usually not jumping out of the screen to the comic books (unless you started by reading a comics, in which case, it is the other way around.). Generally, superhero knowledge in this stage is pretty basic and sticks only to the specific media.
How Did You Get Introduced Into The Superhero World?
My first interaction came in the form of the 2012 film Marvel's #TheAvengers, which truly fascinated my middle school self. Even though I was not a big fan of #Ironman of #Thor, I was really into martial arts, which connected me to #ScarlettJohanneson's #BlackWidow, who is still my favorite character to date.
Stage 2 - Investigation
This is the stage that will perhaps be the most time consuming. In the investigation stages, most people will finally branch out to all the medias where superheroes are found. It is the stage that includes most of the TV show binging, Wikipedia and Comicvine reading, and movie night watching. At this stage, one will spent countless hours studying, reading, and understanding the complicated logics of #Comics, as they slowly start building a reliable opinion about superheroes and the universes in general.
In this stage, one finds their preferences, which heroes they like and don't like, which company they like better, and what story arcs they love most. This is also the stage where you are finally allowed to call yourself a proper "Fan", as you finally gain important knowledge necessary for the superhero lover. However, many people do stay at this stage for a long while, even forever, as some don't proceed and fully become "addicted".
For me, this stage started very abruptly. I suddenly began reading bios of #XMen after X-Men, watched almost every #Batman movie, started spending a lot of my money on comic books, and even started a phase of trying to draw my own. I became extremely knowledgeable in both the Marvel and DC universe, and even calling myself "The Superhero Encyclopedia" since I really needed a super-name.
Stage 3 - Domination
By this stage, your life may or may not be completely DOMINATED by superheroes. This shows in many aspects of one's life, from highly decorated rooms, to hyperventilations when a superhero is mentioned, to even choosing a life career related to the topic. For example, someone in stage 3 will have tons, and I mean tons of superhero merchandise, go into complete and utter nerd mode when a nob starts talking, or maybe even start an online blog relating to the topic.
Some people even take it a step farther, going cosplaying, writing their own comics, creating whole universes, training like a superhero, or even going to the life threatening idea of "vigilante justice".
To me, this stage has affected my life drastically. I collect everything from statues and Lego sets to posters and comics. I spend lots of my online time reading about superheroes and watching behind the scenes, how to perform certain moves, or writing a superhero-based script, and of course, writing this blog.