There's a lot of sycophancy in any form of fandom. Fans range from the sincere, the devout and the casual to the all-too-frequent blind sheep who ignore all failings in their chosen passion and sing from the corporate songsheet at all times.
With a Ned Flanders- like blindness they follow along whatever the big business behind their favourite show or comicbook universe preaches.
It is absolutely necessary for corporate lackeys to do this sort of cheerleading. Maintaining as much economic health as possible in the company that writes their cheques is logical. It can be contemptible, when they cover up the failings of monstrous or manifestly inbred or retarded corporate cultures; but nevertheless- it's business. They are stoking the fire running the boiler from which the steam that drives their own welfare comes.
There is no such excuse for fans and wannabes who do the same and gain no advantage. Its pretty sad, actually. In fact, the independents who cheerlead for big business are the saddest of the lot.
2% of the American population is confirmed as having some form of Aspergers type mental illness. That at least explains the remaining DC / Marvel fans for the most part. But beyond that there is a disturbingly large contingent of comicbook creators who are independent - ie self-employed and in most cases poor - who defend the practices and mythology of the corporations who own and run DC and Marvel brands. It's long past the time when there's any meaningful continuity at either company in terms of their universes. The excuse of sentiment is ludicrous amongst people who are supposed to be indie creators- they should love their own "children", not someone else's. The only remaining reason for being a useless idiot for Marvel or DC is a deep seated desire to get a job at one of them.
In the same way that so-called independent movies are all too often just vanity projects done in spare time by studio suits and their actor friends, likewise all too many independent comics are the equivalent projects cranked out behind the scenes by Marvel and DC brand managers and their "independent" artists. This distorts the entire marketplace for comics, with the connivance of an infantile and sycophantic comic press, especially the "top" sites which are nothing more than PR mills for DC, Marvel or both, with a patina of other larger company news and the occasional quirky story in approved format with approved content.
And yet, when I surf around the world of webcomics, there are sexy and extremely amazingly good comics, like Oglaf, which regularly beats Spider-Man for readership; the creepy and very avant garde Riotfish, which has been going for years, and unlike anything from Vertigo makes sense all the way through.
Independent means just that- being independent of outsider influence, and independent of being coopted by the larger corporate monstrosities which are killing comics. And the biggies are truly killing the comic industry. They're exhausted. Totally out of ideas. No matter how pretty the artwork, if the stories fail, if the narrative is spastic, careless or filled with contempt for itself and/or its audience- it's over.
The biggies have two choices: innovate, or kill the competition.
Their real competition is from the true independents. That is who their aggressive strategies are really targeted at. The biggies have the Asperger 40,000 but that's nowhere near enough people to keep their doors open. They face absorption into their larger corporate parents. A matter of no concern to the brand managers, but to the would-be tyrants of the two "comicbook companies" (little more than departments of Disney and Warner) a matter of great import. There are people they can corrupt, recruit, assimilate, warp the market with. But beyond their control there is an entire world of comicbooks, including webcomics, digitals and all kinds of traditional media, which they are now too ossified to understand or adapt to. The end of Marvel and DC has come, sadly for their fans. They are dead already. The brands will continue, in the same way that Mickey Mouse and Flash Gordon have continued. But the mythology, the awe inspiring story telling of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby?
That's deader than disco.