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7 Bitter Fandom Rivalries From Across Pop Culture

It’s no secret that science fiction fans can get a little overexcited about their franchise of choice, but things got heated last Thursday when the local Star Wars club of Norwich, England and a delegation from the Norwich Sci Fi Club, a group of Doctor Who devotees, got into a physical altercation at the Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention, hosted by the Star Wars club at the University of East Anglia. Apparently, the two groups had a longstanding feud that came to blows when the Sci Fi Club decided to show up on the Star Wars group’s turf to get a signature from Gram Cole, an actor from the time-travel series that currently stars Matt Smith. Though fandom disputes don’t usually escalate to blows, this is hardly the first time otherwise peacefully geeky communities have run afoul of each other. Here are some of the most prominent fandom rivalries throughout history, from superheroes to science fiction.

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DC vs. Marvel

The Yankees and Red Sox of the comics world, whether you prefer one or the other is largely a matter of what kind of family you grew up in. In my case, my dad let me know from day one that I would be a Marvel kid: Batman and Superman were great, sure, but Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four were our heroes of choice. Generally, DC has the oldest, most well-established, and standalone icons (they practically invented the archetypal superhero with Superman and followed him up with figures like Wonder Woman), with few team efforts besides the Justice League and Teen Titans. Marvel, meanwhile, is newer and chock-full of crossovers and groups of its central characters, from the Avengers to the X-Men to the Fantastic Four themselves. The rivalry isn’t exactly hostile, with regular crossovers yielding ample profits for both companies, but the divide is there, and every comics geek knows where he or she stands.

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