/Co/operation and /co/mmunity in /co/mics: 4chan's Hypercrisis

  • Tim Bavlnka
Keywords: Anonymous, Comic books, Comics, DC Comics, Fan communities, Fandom, Final Crisis, Grant Morrison


The Hypercrisis—an online attempt by fans of DC Comics to create an overarching story across the entirety of the history of the comic company's line—provides insight into online comic book fandom. Comic fans on 4chan (http://4chan.org) began noticing connections between this overarching story and the canon of comics writer Grant Morrison's work. However, the Hypercrisis is entirely fan made; it is not a part of DC Comics's continuity and not necessarily a part of the possible published futures of the comics; nor is it officially part of Morrison's work. However, the fans continue to create and discuss the developing Hypercrisis, providing deep analysis and intricate images. Part of what makes this process interesting is that it is developed and maintained entirely by an anonymous Internet group. Further, it focuses on the work of one particular creator, Grant Morrison. Because of the brief display time, no one on 4chan knows or is able to maintain any consistent relationship to any other user. Yet the Hypercrisis has remained a prominent and powerful part of this particular Web culture. The group has maintained this theoretical event, exhibiting remarkable consistency and a nuanced understanding of the texts. The group's analyses explore important aspects relating to Morrison's work and to DC Comics.