This has been kicking around in my head for a while, and I think I did this on a past incarnation of the board ... let's take a stab at creating a "Mindset List" for today's fan of comic books and related pop culture.

We begin by following the baseline that the Beloit College Mindset List uses, of a typical reader being 18. I know it's a dubious standard for this exercise, but we've got to start somewhere ... and place a reasonable limit on what's relevant and what isn't.

So, to begin, here are the first entries in The Captain Comics Round Table Mindset List!

Our typical comics reader this year is about 18 and was born in 1997.

  • Jack Kirby, Curt Swan, Wally Wood, E. Nelson Bridwell, and Don Newton have always been dead.
  • Image has always been a major comics publisher.
  • The DC Universe has always been post-Crisis.
  • A "dollar comic" is a digital download.
  • Harley Quinn has always been part of the Batman family of titles.
  • "Batman and Robin" has never meant Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.
  • Wonder Woman has always been able to fly and has little need for the Invisible Plane.
  • Steve Trevor has never been Wonder Woman's love interest.
  • Tony Stark has always been a recovering alcoholic.
  • Howard the Duck has always worn pants.
  • The first Batman they saw in theaters was Christian Bale.
  • The first Superman they saw in theaters was Brandon Routh.
  • John Wesley Shipp plays The Flash's dad on TV, not The Flash himself. (But Mark Hamill plays The Trickster).
  • Helen Slater plays Supergirl's mom on TV, not Supergirl in the movies. Likewise, Dean Cain plays Supergirl's dad on TV, not Superman himself.

Thems for starters ... any more to add?

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    • Superman was never Superboy.
    • Black Canary was a founding member of the Justice League.
    • There has always been several Green Lanterns on Earth.
    • Wolverine is a star!
    • Every hero is replaceable!
  • Wizard seemed to presume comics came into existence when Image was formed.

    Some day we might need to add:

    Ant-Man and Wasp weren't founding Avengers, but Captain America, Hawkeye, and the Black Widow were.

    Tony Stark has always had a beard.

    Hawkeye was married when he joined the Avengers, and thus never dated the Black Widow.

    It's not just age, kids today aren't seeing older material like we used to. When I first saw The Adventures of Superman in the 70s I thought it was a new show (still had a black and white TV set) and was surprised when I discovered it had been made over twenty years earlier. They don't know what I Love Lucy is, even though it has never not been on TV and continues to this day to air twice a day on weekdays. I watched then 40 plus year old Frankenstein movies and enjoyed them. Still watching them on Svengoolie on ME-TV. Would kids today watch forty year old movies?

    Bart Simpson: (Referring to The Raven by Poe) "That's not scary!"

    Lisa: "It was published in 1845. Maybe people were easier to scare back then."

    Bart: "Oh yeah. Like Friday the 13th Part I. It's pretty tame by today's standards!"

    Quite a few people have described 90s movies as "really old" and insisted special effects didn't exist before CGI.

  • I watched the 1939 Frankenstein just last week, and was enthralled. (And I couldn't help but feel sorry for the big lug, who was truly trapped in a world he never made). 

    Would kids today watch 40-year-old movies? Y'mean, like Superman, starring Christopher Reeve? (I know, it's not exactly 40 years yet, but it's close.) Maybe. One thing they will not do is watch a black-and-white movie like Frankenstein. To them, the equation is simple: black-and-white = old = boring.

  • Which is why we now have the first season of Gilligan's Island with the sky and water a beautiful shade of purple.

    This could be solved if they had to watch on black and white sets for awhile like we did. I remember watching The Munsters for the first time on a color TV and wondering why it was still in black and white.

  • I remember when they were peddling plastic filters one could put in front of a B&W TV screen. It would make the top appear blue and the bottom green*. Don't know how many people fell for it. What Ron just posted reminded me of that.

    * When color TVs first came out they were very expensive and on top of that there was a scare about radiation.

  • There was an episode of Happy Days where they got those things. They discovered that they only worked if they all stood or sat directly in front of the TV set in a straight line.

    Joanie: "Are we going to have to sit like this all the time?"

    Marion: "Only when we want to watch television!"

    There's still a scare about radiation with computers. People are warned not to put their laptops on their lap or stare too many hours a day or they might get cataracts. Since I actually got cataracts a couple of years after getting my computer they might be right about that.

  • Back to the topic at hand:

    • Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson have always been close to the same age.
    • No matter how many times DC reboots its universe, it won't erase Batman's history.
    • Comico, Eclipse Comics and Milestone Comics have always been defunct. 
    • Conan the Barbarian has always been published by companies other than Marvel.
    • Jonathan and Martha Kent have always lived well into Superman's career. *
    • Mary Jane Watson has always known Peter Parker is Spider-Man.

    * (Whoops! I wasn't aware of the post-Crisis, post-Zero Hour, post-Final Night, post-Identity Crisis, post-Infinite Crisis, post-Final Crisis, post-Flashpoint, post-Blackest Night, post-Brightest Day, post-New 52, post-Convergence DC Universe status quo!)

  •  - Current comics series all get collected in trade paperback format and often a variety of other formats.

    - Comics series that originated in the Golden and Silver Age have all been rebooted at least once and have had at least two volumes, many have had more than two.

  • - Norman Osborn has always been alive during their lifetime.

  • Have we reached the point where Thor never had a blue costume and Hawkeye never wore a skirt yet?

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