The iFanboy Letter Column – 02/27/2009

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means you have to spend the next 48 or so hours with your horrible horrible family, begging to go back to the sweet mind numbing sanctum of the corporate office. For others, Friday is the day you try to hit as many Tiki Bars in a row as you can without dying.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming —


I (obviously) love comics but am not buying too many each month, I only generally only buy about average 8-10 books a month but I find it annoying how if I go once a month to my comic book shop they might be sold out of a book that came the week before, but I don’t want to go there every week just to buy like 2 books. So I figured maybe I should get a pull list, but I’m not familiar with how they work. For how long will they hold your books? Is there a minimum or maximum of books allowed? Do they charge a fee?

Cesar R.

PS – Ron, did you watch that Justice League episode “Flash and Substance” yet? (Captain Cold is pretty awesome in that episode.)

In the 20+ years I’ve been collecting comics, I’ve been on both sides of the fence on this issue, to pull list or not to pull list. When I started collecting around when I was 13 until I was 18, I had a local comic book store and had pull list. It was great because I didn’t have to worry about the books selling out and every week my comics were there waiting for me. But in college, money was tight and I couldn’t “commit” as it were, so I stopped having a pull list. For whatever reason I never had a pull list, until recently and honestly, I love having one now.

Most comic book stores want you to have a pull list for several reasons. First, as I mentioned, it’s a commitment. You’re a guaranteed customer who will come back and give them them business, even if it’s not every week, but once a month or ever two weeks or whatever. Second, it helps them order their comic books from Diamond (the comics distributor). If you tell them the books you’re going to buy, it makes their monthly orders that much easier to do limiting the guess work.

Pull lists work two ways (from what I’ve seen, and every comic book store works differently so ask how your store manages them). Some stores ask that every month you consult Previews, the Diamond catalog, and hand in the list comics you want for that month (the Diamond catalog is for comics three months in the future, so for example, this month would be for May’s comics). That can be a bit involved and I’ve never been a fan of this method. The way my local comic book store (the most excellent Isotope: The Comics Lounge in San Francisco) simply asks for the list of titles I want to collect and keeps track of them in a large list. Then in addition to that, the knowledgeable staff there know what I like to read (because I told them) and they make sure I don’t miss any mini-series or any other titles they think I may like. And so every week I come in and get handed my stack. Most stores don’t charge you for having a pull list, in fact most stores these days will give you a discount on your books when you have a pull list, so it’s usually a good deal for you. So don’t be afraid to ask your local comic store and sign up for you pull list today! And don’t forget to go to our comics section to help you pick your comics!

As far as the Justice League episode with Captain Cold — nope I haven’t seen it. For some reason I just can’t get into the groove of watching comics inspired cartoons. It’s not that I don’t like them or anything, I just never seem to be able to remember to go watch them. But I’ll keep a look out for that episode if you say it was good.

Ron Richards

I was wondering how you guys felt about the Dark Reign status quo post Secret Invasion? Also what do you think of the branding on every title? In my opinion I liked the post Civil War Initiative and thought there were some good stories there. However, I think that they moved along too quickly to Secret Invasion and now Dark Reign. So far I’m liking the Dark Reign stuff and hope that they don’t move on to the next event too quickly just for the sake of branding.

Jesse T.

I have to say that for as much grief as I gave Secret Invasion (which upon rereading was only half bad as I thought) it did give us Dark Reign, the new Marvel status quo (at least in the Avengers family of books) that, so far, has been a lot of fun. It’s early still, but so far I’d give Dark Reign high marks for creating a situation in which to tell interesting stories. This would be a far cry from the aftermath of Civil War (which I guess we would call The Initiative even though that name is too specific for a status quo), which in theory would have given us really interesting stories, while in reality nothing really happened. There seemed to be no repercussions to Civil War, whereas the fallout from Secret Invasion is already paying creative dividends.

Dark Reign has, at the very least, returned the fun to the Avengers books. And that makes me super happy.

As for the branding, I don’t really think about stuff like that. It’s just cover dressing that helps sell issues, and I don’t really give it a lot of thought. I buy the books based on what’s in-between the covers, not what’s on them. It can actually be useful in helping to identify the books effected by a particular event. If one wanted to steer clear of anything related to Dark Reign, the cover branding would do them a lot of good. On the opposite side, if you wanted to follow more chapters of a particular event the cover branding is also helpful. I see a lot of positives in cover branding for events and not really too many negatives.

Conor Kilpatrick

I’ve been interested in the Hawkeye character recently, and I searched a little for good Hawkeye stories, but I can’t seem to find any. So, what are the best modern stories for this character?


Ah, the Barton question! Well, to be completely honest, you’re kind of shit out of luck there. I don’t think there’s been a defining Hawkeye story. There’s his first appearance way back in 1964 in Tales of Suspense #57 where we see his “criminal” past, and he meets Tony Stark for the first time. I suppose if you’re a completist, you’d want to read that, but if you just wanted to know what happened, you could just read it on the Marvel’s website. Other than that, Hawkeye was just sort of there, for years in Avengers books, behind Captain America, stirring things up. Eventually he ended up splintering off his own team, the West Coast Avengers, or Avengers West Coast as it was later called. Those were fun books, and really came into their own in later issues with John Byrne doing some of his most beautiful work.

After that, my favorite Hawkeye moments came when he joined the Thunderbolts team as their new leader, following the exit of Citizen V/Baron Zemo. The problem is, none of this stuff is collected in trade paperback. A small part of of the Byrne stuff is, but if I recall correctly, Clint was off leading the “Great Lakes Avengers” during those stories, and while it’s funny, it’s not really seminal Hawkeye.

That brings us to Avengers: Dissassembled, where Hawkeye is ostensibly killed. “Not like this!” were the words I believe. I have actually never read this story, because, well, “not like this.” If I’m being honest, some of Clint’s best moments recently have been in the Ronin costume. Clint’s moments during Secret Invasion were easily my favorite in the whole mini-series. There was also a really nice single issue of Clint talking to the “new” Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, written by Matt Fraction in Young Avengers Presents: Hawkeye #6 a few months back. Finally, Jim McCann is set to release a new mini-series about Clint and his bride Mockingbird, called The New Avengers: The Reunion, and I’ve read the first issue, which is out in the next week or so. I can say one thing, he gets these characters, and it’s worth the read. Also, later this year a Premiere Hardcover starring Hawkeye is coming out, but the offerings therein don’t excite me all that much. Within a year or two, I’m hoping he’ll be back in the purple, and leading the Avengers like he should be doing. This last week’s The New Avengers #50 certainly put him in the lead for the job.

Josh Flanagan


  1. I was pretty much the exact opposite for you ron. I never had a pull list until recently, yeah I know that sounds stupid….and for more then one occassion the store sold out with what I wanted before I got there….but most of the time I always got the issues before they sold out. But now with money being somewhat tighter then usual, and how many more customers my LCS guy is getting; a pull list was the way to go.

    I’ve been trying so hard to get away from the books that have Dark Reign on the cover….But now that Deadpool and Incredible Herc is getting involved with the story, there’s no way I can avoid it now.

  2. I love having a pull list and you guys are iFanboy have a great way to keep track of what is coming up. My comic shop puts on their forum what is coming out that week and I usually just copy the entire list and then delete what I am not getting. The owner was good enough while I was away for a week to go to his forum and print off what I said I wanted (which had a few more titles on it than my usual pull list with a few one shots I was interested in) and has been doing that for me ever since.

    What I do also is print off my pull list from iFanboy before I go in Wed to make sure nothing got missed.

    The only bad thing about the pull list is I sometimes felt guilty if I wanted to switch a cover for a variant cover (I’m too cheap usually to buy all the covers).

  3. I get a 10% discount for opening a Pull List at my local shop, so that basically decided the issue for me.
    And although he was mostly a supporting character, there were some great Hawkeye moments in the Heroes Return Avengers reboot.

  4. Josh, it’s a bit ridiculous you haven’t read "Avengers Disassembled" yet because the quality of that story is phenomenal. Hawkeye has I believe 2 interesting conversations in it. One where he talks to Ant Man about which supervillain he would sleep with. A 2nd really long in depth discussion about who messed up where with Iron Man, Captain America, Yellow Jacket, and Falcon.  Hawkeye even discusses Ultron who they recently battled, where Bendis very clearly hints at the "Ultron Mighty Avengers" plot he would later write (years later, awesome!)

    It’s a great stand alone story.  Bendis are Finch are awesome in so many ways.  However, if you re-read Geoff Johns Avengers, (Which I found was excellent) and Chuck Austen’s short run (Which was not that bad, just not good either) it makes Bendis run even better.  Because he quickly in 1 or 2 pages follows up on plot lines they had going.  It’s totally not necessary reading, but it enhances it slightly.  It also shows how much a superior a writer he is when you read what he’s capable of with plotting and dialogue.  I mean the guys before him were good, but to look at the excitement and craft he created, it’s incredible.

    The emotinoal intensity as well as physical intensity is wonderful.  The way he examines Scarlet Witch to such depth pays off really big in this story.  The fights are some of the best ever done, even compared to "New Avengers" and have fighting aspects you haven’t seen elsewhere.  And it sets up "New Avengers" so perfectly, in a way that you Josh don’t even fully appreciate yet. 

    Hawkeye dies.

  5. Everybody remembers the "not like this"; nobody ever remembers the defiant "like this!" that immediately follows. Much better moment than the internet allows it to be.

    I’ve abandoned the pull list, as I am a ramblin’ man who has a shop on every offramp. I also got tired of the inevitable book/shop breakup.

  6. On the topic of good Hawkeye moments, don’t forget The Ultimates, especially volume 2! I realize the person who sent in the email is more than likely thinking of the regular MU version of the character, but the Ultimate version’s not too shabby either. Well, at least Millar and Hitch’s version of Ultimate Hawkeye (you could probably skip Loeb’s, though the art’s pretty sweet!).

    It’s funny, until I read Josh’s comment, I didn’t really think about how few good Hawkeye stories there actully are. I guess Bendis is taking care of that now! Oh, and I would recommend Avengers: Dissassembled. It’s the beginning of Bendis’ run on the Avengers franchise, and there were quite a few things seeded in that story that pay off down the road. There were a lot of people angry with that story, but if you picked it up now, you could see where he was going with it. Also, I liked Hawkeye’s character moments in House of M. Very touching.

  7. I didn’t read Avengers then, mostly because I wasn’t reading Avengers.  I never went back and bought Disassembled because I’ve never once heard anyone actually say it was "good." "OK" is the best I think I’ve heard.

    Can’t stand Ultimate Hawkeye…. 😉

  8. ‘I never went back and bought Disassembled because I’ve never once heard anyone actually say it was "good."’

     That’s because it’s not good, it’s excellent!

  9. @Jimski– the problem I think everybody’s problem was that they were more thinking "Just take off the quiver, you idiot."  Crashing into an imaginary Kree ship isn’t exactly the best way to go either.

    The first Joe Casey Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series has some good Hawkeye in it. The series is all about the transition from the original Iron Man-led team to the "Cap’s Quirky Quartet" version that Hawkeye somewhat embodies for the series.  The Search for She-Hulk in Johns’ run is also the return of Hawkeye to the fold of the Avengers so that might be something to check out, too.

    Ultimate Hawkeye is cool, but he is more or less a "What if Bullseye was a superhero?" type of character… which is kind of ironic all things considered…

  10. "problem I think everybody’s problem was"

    Jeez, I’m frazzled…

  11. Avengers 189 was a great solo Hawkeye story.  One of my favorates.


  12. You know, the Avengers Disassembled TPB was probably the first Avengers book I ever read.  Like, to the extent that I wasn’t totally clear on what the Avengers were or who the dude with the arrows was.  So I could probably re-read it and get some more meaning out of it, but I have to say I wasn’t super-impressed, either with the book in general or with Clint’s last stand.  And I still haven’t really forgiven what that book did to Wanda (though I have a friend who is a huge Wanda fan and loved it, so I suppose mileage can vary.)

  13. I only have a pull list for non DC/Marvel books, with a standing order to put in anything written by Garth Ennis (my LCS is cool about me going "no" on something new they pulled for me) – all the mainstream stuff I take my chances with, with the knowledge that there are a half dozen shops in the area in case I need to scout around.

  14. My LCS has the best pull list!  Pull at least 5 books a month and get 20% off.  35 or more a month and get 30% off.  Needless to say, after just a couple of months, I was at the 30% rate as I now pull around 50-70 a month.  Plus he makes it easy by just taking down titles or events, like "All Final Crisis tie-ins".  Plus, getting 30% off everything in Previews is pretty awesome.

  15. Also, my shop is cool with, "Hey, I heard this book from last week was good. Could you order one for me?" If they physically can, they will and I still get the 30% off.  I love my LCS.

  16. I love my comic book shop.  I get 20% off for having my pull list, and when I don’t actually even add something because I wasn’t sure and didn’t want to commit to the series yet but then miss an issue because they sold out of it, they remember that and put aside a copy for me when they get it on reorder.  That’s how I fell behind on New Krypton only to suddenly have the missing issues pop up in my box.  Those guys are fantastic, and they really take care of me. 

  17. It’s funny people still call him Hawkeye….his name is Ronin people….it’s Ronin…


    Excuse me, josh and the other Hawkboy fans are going to murder me now.

  18. i have to wait months for my books and trades, at least i can save some money buying 5 or 6 trades a month… (i’m from South America) So, no pull list or comic book store for me… –sniff– –sniff– 

  19. Micheal Mann wrote and directed an awesome movie about Hawkeye with Daniel Day-Lewis.

    I abandon the pull list. i was tired of the awkward pause when you hand back a book you don’t want.

     i agree with Conor, i’m really excited about the Dark Reign story possiblities but i am not concerned about the Dark Reign branding

  20. re edward:


     The ’90s saw Mann concentrating increasingly on the cinema. In 1992 he co-wrote and directed an adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s literary classic The Last of the Mohicans (1992). The film follows Hawkeye’s (Daniel Day Lewis) journey and his efforts to protect two British sisters Alice (Johdi May) and Cora (Madeleine Stowe) from the villainous Magua (Wes Studi) – mapping a difficult period in American colonial history. For a director with a reputation for making crime stories, The Last of the Mohicans provided a significant change in subject matter as well as setting. However, Mann’s impulse to stylisation remains as strong as ever, particularly in his depiction of the panoramic 18th century wilderness with its rocky escarpments, cascading waterfalls and burning villages. As well as this, the epic battles that are fought with arrows rather than bullets on this frontier of civilisation are as commanding as any of Mann’s urban street wars.

  21. @MrNoahBdy… yep, i was talknig about last of the mohicans. giggle. and we’re going to have to turn off your wikipedia connection

  22. @edward…as soon as I posted I wished I could have taken back…sigh…where is the undo button on here!

  23. I use my LCS pull-list and they give me 10% and free bags and boards. However, there is one main reason why I love it, which is the fact that I only go to my LCS about once a month. Seeing as I have ti drive a great distance, it’s not worht going every week. This means the popular titles and event books that sell out within the week are still availabe to me since they’re put aside.

    And Avengers: Disassembled was the first TPB I ever got so it holds a special place on my shelf. You should probably read it now if you haven’t since it isn’t so bad now that a lot of it’s effects actually turned out well.


  24. there was nothing wrong with ultimate hawkeye until loeb started writing him.  I’m not big on bashing loeb, but obviously hawkeye would go crazy after his family was murdered but loeb has no concept of subtley.

  25. He really hit bottom when he tried to kill Jughead and Betty…

  26. Also, just because Hawkeye isnt Hawkeye anymore doesnt mean there cant be replacements! Enter Kate Bishop….


    *is mysteriously shot*

  27. Solo Avengers (starring Hawkeye) has some really good Hawkeye stories, if you can find it in back issues or find ’em online.


  28. my LCS is only very small and primarily works on ordering what people ask for. 

    The downside is that it is difficult to try out new titles that catch your eye. In those cases I order an issue off the net.

  29. @bean – That is an excellent Hawkeye story. Unfortunately, like Josh said, they are few and far between.

    I seem to recall the West Coast Avengers story with Mockingbird, Hawkeye, and the original Ghost Rider being good, but I was about 11 or 12 at the time and I haven’t gone back to read them again.

    I also recently got on the Pull List bandwagon. So far, it’s been spotty – usually due to Diamond missing a box or two – but the discount (15%) and the ability to not have to be there on Wednesday certainly helps. My pull list does need work, though – apparently the list I pulled titles from was a bit old. I do like it, though, and recommend it, especially if you can’t get to the shop on a weekly basis.

    Dark Reign so far has been strong. Bendis’ stuff is great, Diggle on Thunderbolts has been really good. My only problem is with Mighty Avengers – it just seems to be kinda blah so far. I’ll hang in for at least the first storyline, but if push comes to shove, I may have to abandon ship. 

  30. Conor: "I have to say that for as much grief as I gave Secret Invasion (which upon rereading was only half bad as I thought)"

    I knew when I first heard the podcasts that the negativity was waaayy overblown.  I predicted it would be too, as it was with Civil War.

  31. @Dan

    Those late 100s Avengers by Byrne and Perez are all great.  My favorate line-up and one of my top 20 favorate runs of all time.

  32. Is hawkeye the equivalent of the Justice League’s Martian Manhunter – integeral to the title (and the wider universe) but never really made it as a succesful solo title. For me it’s the classic late 60s-early 70s period I go for (available in Essential Avengers 4-6 & Essential Defenders 1, as well as The Kree-Skrull War & Celestial Madonna Tpbs) when he was trying to establish himself outside of the shadows of Cap, Thor & Iron Man, and this Hawkeye is featured in Avengers Forever. He really is the heart of the team, and his role in Secret Invasion & New Avengers #50 proves this.

  33. I’ve always had a pull I didn’t want to be the guy who’s SOL because its sold out.  Last week I didn’t pull the Tales of the GLCorps TPB and it was sold out when I got there.  My LCS and past LCS’s have held books for 2 weeks tops but I believe if you talk to your LCS manager they would understand and make arrangements

  34.  "Not Like This!" Lets put this damn thing to rest. Hawk didnt say this line on his way out. Hawkeye said "Not like This" then charged fauz Kree warrior, grabbed on to him, triggered his jet pack and then utttered "LIKE THIS!!" as his heroic moment in taking down the Kree spaceship as he flew into the engine.   I dont think this was very well executed by Bendis who only gave it a few panels to relay the story.

  35. One of my favorite recent Clint Barton centered books was the Death of Captain America: Fallen Son issue 3.  I believe it is titled "Bargaining".  In the issue Barton is asked by Stark to take on the mantle of Captain America and faces Kate Bishop for the first time.  Definitely worth the read.