What if… Everyone was allowed to like something for different reasons?

Do you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If the answer is yes then you might find yourself being told that you don’t really like the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I’ve expressed my enjoyment in Marvel’s “What If…” animated take on the MCU to the point where I picked up the whole “What If…” Marvel Legends figures from Hasbro (yes even Slyvie to complete The Watchers Build-A-Figure) but I’ve also tweeted out my love of each episode as they aired. Some I liked more than others but overall I liked the first season a lot.

I’m going to cover a few things here that have happened to me and maybe others so I hope you follow along with that I’m going to talk about. I tweeted out that the Dr. Strange episode ”What if Dr Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” really hit home. I would probably do everything Steven Strange did to get Christine back but, for me, it would be my dad. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him in some way and that episode absolutely wrecked me. A few replies later someone told me in a now deleted tweet/thread that I didn’t understand the episode because I didn’t read the comics. I replied I thought I didn’t have to because this Dr. Strange is from the MCU, not the comics, and I watched everything he’s been in. They kept doubling down that I wasn’t a fan of Marvel or their characters because I haven’t read any comics to which the stories are from. I was beyond flabbergasted! I told this person you can’t disparage me of being a fan of something because I didn’t read something from the start or went and checked out everything the character Dr. Strange has been in. He was on my team in all three Ultimate Alliance games for crying out loud! Anyways, after going back and forth he told me ”Get out of the Marvel Fandom” then deleted his tweets.

This wasn’t the last time it would happen during my tweeting of Marvel’s “What If…” either. I really liked the episode “What If…Zombies?!” and I thought Zombie Thanos looked freaking awesome, so I shared that I would love a Marvel Legends figure of him. And again – a few replies down someone asked if I had read the Zombies comics. I answered ”no” and they went on a good 8 tweet storm about how I’m a fake fan of Marvel and that I only want toys to be made so I can scalp them. I sat there at work reading each new reply from this person as they came in and thought ”am I not really a fan?” I mean I’ve seen every MCU movie at least 5 times (yes even “Dark World”) and I’ve played multiple Marvel games which include the 90’s arcade game and a whole lot of others. Heck, Spider-Man PS4 was my Game of the Year in 2017 to which I 100%’d the main game and all DLC. I digress, anyways here I was thinking who the EF do these people think they are? I enjoy a lot things for a lot of different reasons. Why does my enjoyment of something we both – oh I don’t know, ENJOY – bother you? It was an odd take and then to double down on me for no reason other than I wasn’t enjoying it right it seemed.

I hate Gatekeeping on anything. Let people enjoy things how they want to, who cares how they got into it as long as they’re into it! My advice for gatekeeping is simple – instead of saying something that alienates someone else – maybe just recommend something to them. They could have pointed me to the comics that were used as the basis of those “What If…” episodes but they didn’t. I’ve now read a few of the Zombies comics and I really liked them! Would it have been so hard to say ”Hey if you liked this episode check out these comics there based on! Enjoy, have a great day!”? That’s all it had to be but to call people out on enjoying something by trying to take it away needs to stop. That’s not EFNcool – or even just regular cool.