"WHERE THE HELL is Beast? I heard they didn't keep the Danger Room! Heresy! Bryan Singer should be incinerated by Dark Phoenix!" And so it goes, as X-Men--the most popular American comic book series ever published--in being brought to the screen, has succeeded in unleashing forces of petty analysis not seen since Joel Schumacher put nipples on the Batsuit.

Whenever the film industry announces another comic-book adaptation, it's met with the anxious hope from fans that maybe this time Hollywood and comic books will finally quit with the awkward slow-dancing and get to making out under the bleachers. And so studios keep churning away, though not because they care about lovingly re-creating the adolescent memories of a doughy introvert waiting in line at a Ramada Inn to have his photo taken with Burt Ward; rather, because 18- to 35-year-old middle-income white males possess considerable discretionary income and an affinity for special-edition collectibles and director's cut DVDs.

And yet you would expect Comic Book Fan to grasp that as much as a page from Spiderman may resemble a storyboard, film and comic books are dissimilar arts--and moviemaking is an undemocratic process. Most comics readers have no problem understanding this. But nowhere is this disparity more ignored than on the various Internet soapboxes, where an extremely vocal minority of delusional fanboys can hold out false hope that enough rabid sniping at a film months before its release will somehow alter the final cut. Most claim to have seen a rough version obtained through shadowy dealings with a janitor on the studio lot, and authoritatively declare how much it either "totally ROCKS" or "fucking blows," and then are attacked by everybody else, etc. This has been the full-time pursuit of impassioned blowhards since word of an X-Men movie first leaked. "It's too short!" "The CGI is totally weak!" Boo-fucking-hoo.

Poor X-Men fans, their frantic separation anxiety expressed as trifling concerns over the discrepancies in Wolverine's outfit. Twenty-five years of loyalty to the X-Men franchise in the haven of your parents' basement, and suddenly some executive at 20th Century Fox decides it's no longer yours to own. Your little boy is all grown up. You'll be judged by the common moviegoing public! If X-Men is an abominable failure, then so are you!

Not to worry... I heard the sequel is going to fucking ROCK!