The iFanboy Letter Column – 03/28/2008

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s the last work day before a well deserved weekend. For others, Friday means it’s the day you wonder why the hell the other two guys are slacking off so much.

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 show or answered here, keep them coming —

I have questions being an Ultimate Marvel fan and need an Ultimate DC fix. Is All-Star truly an Ultimate DC or is it just Marvel Knights Superman? Does All-Star have its own All-Starverse with its own continuity? These are questions I really need answers if I’m to invest in the books.

Chris from St. Louis, MO

This being the week that a new All-Star Superman hit the stores I thought it would be a good time to address this one. When DC announced its All-Star line many people (including myself) assumed that it would be in the vein of Marvel’s uber-successful Ultimate line — a way to tell stories with their classic characters without the heavy shackles of decades of continuity. And that is what the All-Star line has done, for the most part. The main difference being that the Ultimate line is a retelling of their classic characters from their beginnings and they all exist in a shared universe, while the All-Star books have been whatever the creators have wanted them to be, and they are totally separate from each other. That is to say that there is absolutely no connection between All-Star Superman and All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder. The Superman character who has appeared in All-Star Batman and Robin The Boy Wonder is in no way the one who stars in All-Star Superman.

The comparison to Marvel Knights is much more apt. The All-Star line is high level creators doing whatever they want without worrying about the greater DCU and its decades of stories.

Conor Kilpatrick

What do you think of the Batman comic and Detective Comics? Are they worth reading/collecting? Also I’m not sure if you guys touched on this but what do you think of “Brand New Day”?


Let’s hit the Batman questions first. When it was first announced that Grant Morrison was taking on Batman and that Paul Dini was taking on Detective Comics I think that the Batfans collectively passed out. I know I did; I was found three days later slumped over my keyboard. And then two things happened: (1) Paul Dini got waylaid, presumably from coordinating Countdown, and there were a lot of — too many, really — fill-in issues of varying quality, usually bad. (2) Instead of the kick-ass, straight up superhero version of Batman that Grant Morrison wrote when he was on JLA almost ten years (!) ago we instead got an exploration of the comic book medium itself with Batman as its vessel. Number one was really disappointing and number two wasn’t what people were expecting. I absolutely loved every issue of Detective Comics that Paul Dini wrote and a few of the fill-in issues were okay but for the most part, any momentum gained from the Dini issues were stopped cold by the fill-ins. As for Batman, I have really liked probably 90% of the things that Morrison has done with the series. It has been interesting to see where he has taken the book and a few of issues have been spectacular, like the controversial all text issue about The Joker and the Ten Little Indians story with the beautiful art by J.H. Williams. Now, having said all that, as much as I have enjoyed what Dini and Morrison have done I think I am now ready to get back to some meat and potatoes Batman stories. I think that’s why I am enjoying the current arc in Batman Confidential so much.

Now, let’s get away from controversy and talk about Spider-Man and “Brand New Day”.

Personally, The Amazing Spider-Man has been an absolute blast and I have loved almost every issue.

In 2000 when I saw the X-Men movie I was reminded as to how much I missed those characters and how much I wasn’t getting from them in the comic book world. The same thing thing happened with the one-two punch of Ultimate Spider-Man in 2000 and the Spider-Man movie in 2003. I had forgotten how much I had absolutely loved Spider-Man when I was younger and how much I had pretty much stopped caring about him in his solo books. Every time I would try one of his books, I would never last more than a few issues. The central tenant of Spider-Man is that he is the downtrodden every man. He is the guy who can’t catch a break, but never gives up and never stops doing the right thing. We either see ourselves in him or we see what we wish we were. It was then hard to reconcile that guy with the one who lived in Stark Tower and was married to the nicest supermodel-actress on the planet. Marvel had, in my opinion, lost sight of who Spider-Man was and as happy as I was to have him in Ultimate Spider-Man, I missed the guy interacting with the general Marvel Universe. So when I heard the rumors that they were possibly going to reboot Spider-Man I was as giddy as a school girl. And while, sadly, they didn’t reboot Peter Parker as much as I would have liked, they have actually made me care about him again. I have eagerly bought every issue and I love the throwback style. It’s like a modern day Stan Lee comic book where the captions talk to you as much as they explain the action. If there is any book by Marvel where that style would be appropriate, it’s The Amazing Spider-Man. I understand how people could be annoyed by that style but I am having a blast. Spider-Man is fun again.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. There was a Superman appearance in an early issue of AS: Batman & Robin. If I recall, that Superman couldn’t fly yet. He was shown running across the ocean. So, yes they are quite different books.

  2. I’ve had mixed feelings about Morrison’s run on Batman, alternately thinking it is genius, and just scratching my head. This last arc actually seems a bit sub-par, but I may just be confused because I read a couple issues out of order.

    I recently did a turnaround on Spider-Man (see my review of AMazing #554), and yet reading your response, Conor, I still had an almost knee-jerk reaction to defend the old Spider-Man title, pre-OMD. Whatever, there’s no denying that Spider-Man has an energy its been lacking for awhile. But maybe I’ll go re-read some of the old JMS issues as my personal protest.  

  3. I e-mailed the question about the Allstarverse I believe in Feb.  So without guidance I went off and read some issues in cbr format and compared AS Sup & AS Batman.  Ya its Marvel Knights, I was hoping it would at least have its own continuity but it doesn’t.  Now if they ever make a AS Green Lantern I’ll definitly pick it up.  I’m just an Ultimate freak and really want a Ultimate DC.  I guess i’ll have to settle for Tangent and my old Just Imagine DC stories. 

    Thanks Chris from St. Louis 

  4. So COnor, Miller and Lee are back on a regular schedule, so when are you jumping back on board the awesomeness that is ASBR?

  5. @Sixgun Awesomeness is one word for it another would be terribleness it just depends on which way you look at it. I Personally enjoyed the first few issues then with the delays and Millers over use of the word Goddamn ive found myself reading it just for Lees Art. (oh and im a glutton for punishment) but with the last issue i think it may have found its direction. I really hope so i wanna like this book!

    @Lantern4life I too would love a AS GL book but Right now the Regular GL book is good enough for my lantern Fix! It wasnt a while ago but recently its good!

    Oh and on the subject of BND I love it, Any book where a meth smoking villain is on page getting a hit im gonna love 

  6. I picked up the first volume of All Star Superman because of all the good praise that it was getting, but when I finished it, I didn’t quite get what the hell it was supposed to be.  Seeing this explanation, I may go back and re-read it with the fact that it is it’s own beast.  That title can be a bit confusing when placing it in other Superman continuity.  That said, Quietly is awesome on that book.

    I haven’t been reading ASBR, but have heard positive things.  I’ll  flip through the trade when it comes out, and if it looks good, I’ll pick it up.  We’ll just see though. 

  7. @SixGun – Probably never.  Well, never say never.  But definitely not in issues.  Maybe in trades.

    @Neb – Did someone tell you that ALL STAR SUPERMAN was in DCU continuity? 

  8. Frank Miller said that AS Batman had its own continuity with his other Batman books.

  9. @lantern4life – Yes, Frank says that ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER is in the same world as THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS but I choose to ignore that.  I’m not putting them together.

  10. @conor would you allow it to be in the same world as DKSA? and then you can just think of them as a bad dream cooked up by miller when he’d had too much chesse and coffee before bed!

  11. @ Conor~  No, I just assumed that it was.  And you know what they say about assuming…

  12. I’ve really enjoyed Batman, my only problem was that the terrible Ra’s crossover interruped his story halfway through which made it seem even longer and more drawn out then it was. I’m hoping now that its over we can get back to a good pace.


    Brand New Day has been nothing but fun. 

  13. I just stared re-reading through All Star Superman this morning and it much better when looking at it as it’s own thing.  I’m really enjoying it a lot.

    I’ve already commented about Morrison’s Batman run, but I’ll reiterate, that I haven’t been enjoying it all that much.  While I appreciate the grand experiment, the whole "outside of the box" approach is just not what I want from a Batman comic.  I did enjoy the couple of stories that Conor mentioned above (and I have to add the 666 issue was great fun as well), but I dropped this book a few months ago.

  14. I dropped it after Batman Son and Demon (is that the right title?)  I really did not like how it ended.  I agree with Neb I picked up issue 666 and it was really fun.  I could read a 6 issue arc on that story easily.

  15. Speaking as an unapologetic DC guy, Amazing Spider-man has been, well, amazing!

  16. Ok, I’m curious; how much further should the Spider-Man reboot have gone?