Holy Fan Sites, Batman! A Look at the Caped Crusader’s Online Presence
No matter what your tastes are, chances are there is a fan site for you somewhere. I personally am a huge fan of Batman, so I looked into fan sites dedicated to DC Comics’ greatest detective. What I learned is that not all these fan sites are created equal. As we will see, content and design varies across these sites and makes some superior to others.
To begin, I looked at the Batman Universe website. This is a fan site that provides news and information on not just Batman, but also his extended Batman Family as well. News from across mediums is provided, including the comics, movies and TV shows and video games. This site seems to largely be a way for fans to stay up-to-date on the happenings in the world of Batman.
The Batman Universe website is very modern. It is clean and crisp, with a large, dynamic homepage displaying the most recent posts. The images (most of which are large comic book images) are clear and vibrant. Overall, the site looks pretty professional and could easily be believed as an official DC Comics-sanctioned website. The site does use some DC Comics content, like videos, but at least you know they’re from a reputable source and enhances the credibility of the site.
While Batman and his extended Bat Family can be found in a range of media, the Batman Universe website focuses on the heart of the Batman multimedia: the comics. With its wide-ranging reviews of Batman-related comic book titles, I would say that the site is largely tailored to the Batman’s comic book fanbase. Again, this is not the exclusive audience, but this seems to the most targeted group.
The Batman Universe seems to be dedicated to providing information, but it also has areas of participation. Fans can also comment on articles and reviews, but this requires an email address to do.
The Batman Universe website does not have any advertisements and is remarkably consistent in that it only hosts Batman-related content.
Another Batman fan site is Batman-News, dedicated to providing news about Batman and DC Comics.
The oddest thing about this website, however, is how it seems to miss the point of its own existence. Rather than focusing on Batman, much of the site’s homepage is dedicated to other superheroes. I suppose that’s in the site’s description, but the lack of Batman content seems misleading.
The site has tabs for a range of Batman media, but the homepage seems to suggest it focuses on the DC movies. This seems to suggest its audience is DC’s movie fanbase rather than the comic book fans.
The site is fairly easy to use and straight forward. However, the layout of the website isn’t too friendly, mostly because of the ads and the lack of Batman-centered content.
When it comes to advertisements, Batman-News is ad heavy. Worse yet, none of the ads are related to Batman. Ads are everywhere, including the side of the page, at the bottom, and even “disguised” as articles. One Amazon ad was formatted exactly like the featured articles were. This raises questions about site’s reliability if it uses such misleading advertisement techniques.
Ultimately, I feel like I’ve been misled on this site. It seems like a less reputable and kind of sketchy version of Entertainment Weekly focused only on superheroes.
Legion of Gotham
Another batman fan site is Legion of Gotham. This site is simply antiquated. The content is outdated and hasn’t been updated in months. More importantly, the site itself looks like a version of eBay from 2005. It seems more interested in selling me stuff than it does in informing me.
The site seems to give the appearance that it is targeted toward collectors because of its “please buy things” vibe. There was a Batman history section and a very outdated forum section which seem to suggest that fan participation is irrelevant, but ads aren’t.
The site seems cluttered, probably because of the ads. While some of the rotating and “flashing” ads on the side are Batman-related, not all of them are. The site just seems gimmicky and makes the whole site seem questionable. The bottom of the page contains plain-looking, but hyperlinked text about casinos and gambling, which again raises a lot of questions about the site. Ultimately, the lack of updated information and the sketchy ads makes this a site that Batman fans should avoid like Crime Alley.
Overall, there is a clear winner with these fan sites. I’m turning on the Bat Signal over the Batman Universe website. The site is modern-looking, up-to-date, dynamic, and provides a range of media to go through. It’s user friendly whereas the other two sites are simply sketchy. If you are looking for a good Batman-related website, avoid the others and head right over to Batman Universe.