Going WAY Back: Nascent iFanboy

I was going through some old e-mail recently, and I found this gem from the past. The birth of iFanboy was heralded by a small weekly e-mail list of friends and acquaintances who read comics. Each week, much like now, we’d send out short reviews of the books we’d read that week. Following this, you’ll find one such e-mail which Conor and I wrote on Thanksgiving 2000, because I was visiting his place that year. We were much angrier and possibly much funnier then than we are today.

Oh, what has happened?

I’m fairly sure Conor and I were watching Gladiator on that new DVD technology at the time. You’ll also notice some themes which we still cling to today. And some inside jokes.

From: Conor
To: Josh; Ron; Jared; Steve; Patrick; Sam; Thom; Gordon; Tony; Jeff; Nick; Art
Sent: Thursday, November 23, 2000 11:54:10 PM
Subject: duel reviews mark IV

That return button is very similar to the tabs. Whoops.

OK, Conor and Josh here together…hang in there.

Batman: Turning Points # 4
Josh (in bold): Forgot all about the Jean-Paul (yeah right, a french batman) debacle. I loved the Anderson art, I wish he would do something else besides the oft late Astro City. His composition is excellent. The story wasn’t so much a story as a glance at what was going on, but like the rest of this event, it didn’t go deep enough. Nice cover. Chaykin.
Conor: (not bold): Some of the darkest times in Bat lore was the year that Jean Paul Valley held the mantle of the Bat. I shudder to return to it at all. That being said, I still hold the same complaint about this whole series. It’s like a hovercraft skimming across the surface of issues that they are trying to explore. This issue should have been about the aftermath of the whole Bruce-betreayed-Gordon-by-not-telling-him-that-he-was-hurt-so-bad-and-replaced-by-a-psycho-scenerio.

Batman #585
Finally, an Ed Brubaker story that I can get behind. The Penguin has always been a much stronger character as a crime boss, rather than a bumbling umbrella wielding criminal. I like how both Batman and Bruce Wayne took their shots at Oswald. Sometimes a bitch gets carried away by revenge. I miss Robin in these books still.
Another bat story focusing on some poor bitch stuck in the middle of it all. This was the strongest Brubaker Bat yet, and he and McDaniel are really starting to gel. I still think this version of Bruce talks a bit much, but what are you gonna do. McDaniel draws a great ditzy Bruce Wayne. I like how Gordon talks the Bat down too. Seems to be a theme this month… WAIT it is. And Robin isn’t in this book cuz it’s called Batman, you want Robin, read Robin, or at least Gotham Knights.

Hellspawn # 3
Well, for a Spawn book, it ain’t terrible. I really liked the talkshow portions. It shows us Bendis’ hardcore side more. Other parts of the book are a bit more experimental and Wood’s art work isn’t the easiest to take. It stays above the quality mark enough that I’ll try to finish out Bendis’ run on this book.
I’m still waiting for a full-fledged plot to develop. Yes, the talk show stuff was good, and creepy. But the Spawn/Clown stuff makes me scratch my head. I like the art, though.

Punisher # 10
Frank takes a beating of the type rarely seen this side of The Authority, and Ma Nucci puts on a wig a la Vader in Empire. I used to like Detective Soap and now he’s just annoying. I hope that he gets wasted, but I doubt it will come to pass. Loving the Bradstreet covers. It’s going to take a tank to take The Russian down.
Agreed about the Soap thing, the lesbian issue soured it I think; too many token lesbians in comics. I laughed at the beating of the Punisher, and his fandom of superheroes. Countered the last issue’s character work with straight bloody slapstick. The other criminals get together to find their master the punisher. Don’t take this seriously, and you’ll enjoy it.

Powers # 7
Well. I can say from first hand experience that that does indeed look like Warren Ellis, and the dialog is lifted straight from the WEF. There was a 3 page rant about the industry and superheroes, in the middle of a superhero comic, ballsy. Then he got melted… melted. Kinda like a cop out ending, but a fun read. I think I was actually in the mood to see where else he was gonna go with this series, but this felt like a fill in, do you follow me? Great art and coloring still. I liked that Warren was kinda like a big puss.
It was fun to see Warren as a character. It was also fun to see him be handed a gun and then wimp out. Funny stuff. I was hoping for more, though I’m not quite sure what exactly that was. Still, you’ve got to like this book a whole lot. The art and the writing mesh perfectly. Felt really rushed, though.

Murder Me Dead # 2
David Lapham is back on hiatus from Stray Bullets with a modern day crime noir set in LA. Pretty good stuff, if you can find the first issue from a couple months back, give this a try for something else different. Nice clean art in here too. its only an 8 issue mini that comes out once every 2 months, so not a big risk.
I did not buy. But I hear things. Good things.

Outlaw Nation # 3
Strongest and most comprehendible issue yet. DC wants this to be Preacher very badly, but it isn’t. It is a whole other animal. It seems to be taking a while to set up the mythology which is tiresome. I’m still in the game though. Grizzliness for its own sake is never commendable though. Remember that.
I also did not buy. Cover is very Preacher.

Aquaman # 75
Well, this is it, the series finale. I was there from day one. Why? I don’t know, Arthur has always been one of my favorite characters for some reason. This series did a lot of things that I liked (focusing on Arthur being King of the Seas and what that means) and a lot of things that I didn’t like (the chopped off hand, the costume change, the Alan Moore-like appearance), but it was always an interesting read. Hopefully, he’ll be back soon.
He won’t be back, I like the grizzled hair and beard, and the hand doesn’t faze me. then again, I never read the book, yet I laugh at his grizzle in all his appearance. I have sadness for you bitch.

Birds of Prey # 25
Blue Beetle is back!!! You knew it had to happen. I was very concerned by the cover which shows Ted and Barbara about to kiss. They didn’t though. Whew. This issue was all about Barbara and Ted, because Dinah spent the entire issue on vacation in a bikini.
Don’t care

Titans # 23
Phil Jimenez cover. I think that I am going to end up buying his run on Wonder Woman. Okay, so no one recognizes Donna. Not the Titans, not Kyle, nobody. Except for some dude named Epsilon. Hopefully this storyline will be resolved soon. And you know who started this mess? John Byrne.
Damn Byrne!!!!! Let’s get the fire going with him, Stern, Claremont, and certain unnamed whores!!!! No Thom, I’m really over that now, other whores

Superman: Man of Steel # 108
This is easy. Too little Luthor (the interesting stuff),too much of some stupid interdimensional story that I cared so little about that I didn’t even read those pages. Why do they feel the need to throw in some stupid monster/demon/second-rate villain just so it’ll qualify as a superhero book? Hurm. Conor likes meat. And meat is meat. And this is not meat.
There was much meat consumed today!!!! Now sleep, sweet sweet sleep

JSA # 18
This story line is actually shaping up to be pretty interesting, tying the villain into their past, which is the JSA strong suit. The art is top notch, and the stories have been exciting and have had emotional impact. Next issue: Hal Jordan.
As the Spector, Hal Jordan, BAH! Heard this was good, but too far in and don’t care enough to bother.

I also read the first volume of Miller Daredevil. He did the art for the whole thing, with Jansen on inks, and he co-plotted half of it. Not so great, but not terrible. If you’re a huge Frank fan, go for it, otherwise don’t bother until he starts writing them

I’ve also read several issues of GI Joe and JLA Earth 2 today. All is well.

Tomorrow a great comic gorging will take place. Be still my shivering wallet.

Mmm… pie.


  1. “comprehendable”?!?

    OUTLAW NATION was just reprinted in phone book format at Image.

  2. Damn Byrne!!!!! Let’s get the fire going with him, Stern, Claremont, and
    certain unnamed whores!!!! No Thom, I’m really over that now, other whores


  3. Please forgive 23 year old Josh’s trespasses in bad grammar.

    I may have been trying to be funny though. We bring this to you unedited. These things happen.

  4. So, finally the origin issue of THE UNBOLD & THE BOLD…so,when did Ron came into the picture?

  5. He got the email, and likely sent his own that week, but I just don’t have a copy of it.

    If I know Ron though, he has his response and reviews for that week somewhere on file.

  6. I’ve been having plenty of my own lets throw Claremont on the fire moments lately.

    I’ve been trying to read all the x-books(except new mutants cause that one just sucks) sequentially of late. I’m into the mid 230s now on uncanny and the mid 30s on x-factor.

    claremont lost his mind somewhere around uncanny 155 and he only gets it back frequently enough to get me to keep going. It’ll be really terrible for 5 issues and I’ll be like: ok fuck this I can’t take it anymore. Then it gets good again.

    Some of the shit though? Ridiculous. I keep reading through it because it’s almost funny. Here’s one example:

    Jean dies(ucxm 137)
    Scott meets Madeline(ucxm 160 or so)
    Jean not dead, phoenix dead(ucxm 202 or so)
    Madeline dead(x-factor 15 or so)
    Madeline not dead(ucxm 221 or so and x-factor 32ish)

    This shit all happened in less than 100 issues.

  7. I went through a few years ago and read every Uncanny from Giant Size #1 to Jim Lee’s X-Men #1 (I had to have an arbitrary stopping point in there somewhere) and it eventually sapped my will to live.

    It’s funny; that was probably one of my favorite titles ever during the Dazzler Australia junior high years, and yet in 2004 when I began to read what I’d missed (I think my last issue back then was in the 250s or 260s) all I could think was, “Oh my God, who talks like this?” Chris Claremont takes over my secret shame, eXiles, in a few months. I am wary, if not crestfallen.

    It it hilarious to look back at this embryonic form of iFanboy. In some ways, it’s like nothing has changed.

  8. jimski you can probably relate to this:

    example 1:

    the saga in the 220s where storm gets her elemental powers back and she, forge, and the x-men fight the adversary

    so in order to defeat the adversary the x-men have to voluntarily sacrifice their lives because forge cast a spell born of evil

    they agree

    roma says: hey that’s cool. why don’t we bring you guys back to life but let everyone think you died

    I say: WHY THE FUCK DID I READ THAT STORY THEN? it was like 6 goddamn issues long

    example 2:

    Nightcrawler disappears somewhere around 218 right after the story after mutant massacre. It’s never explained. His face stays in the left hand corner of the cover for 8 or 10 issues and then it abruptly dissapears with no mention of it again.

    I think about this and imagine Claremont screaming, in a Germanic accent of course,
    ze team is who i zay it is


  9. The man likes to keep a lot of balls in the air; sometimes he just forgets which ones are up there.

  10. I was under the impression that claremont was one of the greatest….Now it looks like hating him is in fashion….or am I missing something (other that the books that he has published recently), but the memory remains…I enjoyed most of his sagas.

  11. Simón I don’t hate him. He frustrates me because I like his work so much. For example, the run he did from 94-154 on uncanny is my favorite comic run ever. The problem though is that he seemed to suffer from intermittent insanity along the way thereafter. You know how some people you expect more from and then you’re more upset when they fuck up because you know they didn’t have to. It’s like that