The iFanboy Letter Column – 04/04/2008

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 hope to find out who the fifth cylon is, even though you know you probably won’t.

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 —

With the new pics, I am not afraid to call [Iron Man] the best comic book movie of all time, even though I haven’t seen the entire film yet. The Dark Knight may give it a run for its money, but I am ridiculously hyped for this movie.

So am I off on this? Is it wrong to be so positive about this movie? Nothing I have seen of it has disappointed me or has made me reconsider my fanboyish glee.

Vichus S.

Vichus, my good friend, good to hear from you again. I have to say, I’m very happy to see how excited you are for the upcoming Iron Man movie, although that’s a mighty bold prediction that it will be the best comic book movie ever. It makes me look back at the previous comic book movies and wonder, which one do I think was the greatest. The first Superman movie? Tim Burton’s Batman? X-Men 2? Batman Begins? Any of the Raimi Spider-Man flicks? Elektra, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, The Punisher, Fantastic Four 1 and 2? Wow. I really didn’t realize that we’ve had SO many movies to choose from, both good and bad. That said, I think that Iron Man has the potential to be one of the better ones out there. Everyone knows how psyched I am for Robert Downey Jr. in this role and I am a big fan of director Jon Favreau. But it’s hard to dub it the best super hero movie ever without seeing it.

That said, I don’t think you’re wrong at all to be so positive. I’m right there with you, total fanboy glee when I saw the trailer and every batch of photos or any sort of news about it. I have to admit, I’m a little worried about the villain and this “Iron Monger” that’s listed in IMDB, but time will tell. I know I’ll be there opening night to see it and hope and pray that Downey delivers like I know he can.

Ron Richards

I was listening to one specific episode from a few weeks ago and Josh had turned in an issue of Hellblazer as his Pick of the Week. As a long time fan I have to say reading the series from the beginning really adds a lot of gravity to the issues. John Constantine may be one of the best characters ever created, one of the most complex and out-and-out coolest. You really have to read the Ennis/Dillon run which I got on after Preacher, and the Warren Ellis stuff. Those, for me, are the truly defining John Constantine stories. And that’s where I started to like Mike Carey as well.


Ah, Andrew, you cut me deeply. One of my great shames as a comic book reader is having never read those classic Vertigo stories. I mean, these are the guys who did Preacher! There are more than 40 issues of Ennis penned Constantine stories, and I’ve read exactly six of them. This is basically public confession and therapy for me. How can I claim to be a fan of Ennis, Dillon and the Hellblazer comic book, which I’ve read from just about 1999 until now, and not have read these stories? Clearly, there is a hole in my storehouse of knowledge, and yes, I should be ashamed. I hope you can all forgive me. Apparently, I’ve got some reading to do. Does anyone have a hundred bucks or so? I’ll totally get it back to you next month. Anyone?

Josh Flanagan

Although when the chatter started about the term “Trinity” being overused at DC, I agree, it got me thinking of the new weekly coming out in June. Am I the only one that didn’t see this coming way back in October/November? When they announced a new weekly and within the month also announced that Bagley would be joining DC I turned to one of my friends and said, “I guess I will be buying the new weekly that Mark Bagley will be drawing for DC.”

I find this upsetting because they did what they should have done with Countdown. Get a fast exceptional artist and a fantastic writer, I know a couple others are associated with this as well with a back-up, and make a fantastic comic… or at least what I hope is fantastic.

Unfortunately I think DC has screwed themselves with Countdown, frankly I’m upset on the overall $122 (discount from local comic shop included) I will have spent on this series (not counting all of the tie ins I bought because I am a continuity whore) and until I found out who was on Trinity I said I would not do another weekly. I’m sure there are tons of fans, like me, who read all of 52 each week and could not wait for the next issue, to get Countdown and hope that it was going to be the same way to find out that it did not. I bet a bunch of those people will end up not getting this book because of Countdown.

Anyways I’m rambling, for the question I wanted to ask: What do you guys think of Trinity, from what you have heard, that will be coming out from DC?


Well, J I think the first thing we need to do is talk about personal responsibility. I know you didn’t like Countdown but don’t be mad at DC for the money you spent on it, and its tie-ins, they certainly didn’t put a gun to your head to make you buy them. They put the option on the table for you to take or leave it and you made the decision to take it. I bought one of those Countdown tie-ins not realizing it was just reprints of old material and I’m mad at myself for not even looking at the interior pages before doing that. It was five bucks! That’s not something to blame DC over, it’s all on me.

Countdown was definitely not successful from a storytelling standpoint. It was too unfocused and I have a feeling that the mandate changed in the middle (as it did with 52) and they never did find their footing. The biggest mistake they ever made was calling it the backbone of the DCU when really it was the background of the DCU. Overall, I enjoyed it more than I didn’t, and I think that the last month has been particularly strong.

As for Trinity I know nothing about it. I don’t know what the plot is, I don’t know what it’s “supposed to be”, I don’t know anything beyond Mark Bagley and Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. I’m psyched, as those are all things that I like. Bagley seems into it and he has talked about getting to draw basically everybody in the DCU, so that’s something I’m really looking forward to. I completely understand people being burnt out on weeklies, but to me it’s just one more book to buy a week and at this point I’m already buying so many that one more or less won’t make much of a difference. I’m sure there will be many people taking a wait and see approach on this one.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. I am really looking forward to Iron Man as well. But I agree with Ron. Even though it looks great, only time will tell whether it will be good or not.

    Ever since Hellblazer was POW not too long ago and I read the John Constantine appearance in the first volume of Sandman, I have been trying to jump onto the book. It looks really awesome and I like Ennis a whole lot.

  2. Yeah, it’s my fault as well I guess, but the disappointment of Countdown is keeping me from buying Trinity. I have a friend who is buying it, so I may read his, or I’ll get those great priced trades DC does for their weekly. After this last year, I’m not ready to lay down so much money for such a commitment. 

  3. I jump on and off Hellblazer – loved the Delano, Morrison, Ennis; hated the Azzarello; quite liked Carey; slept through Mina. But good on it for being one of the longest-running comics DC has.

  4. Iron Man – I’ve seen enough of this so far to be sufficantly excited. Downey looks like he’s really nailed Stark, and Favreau comes off as enough of a fanboy to get it right. I’m really more excited for The Incredible Hulk – despite all the rumors of problems. The first (and only IMO) thing missing from the first flick was the Hulk hitting things – it looks like we’ll get that in spades.

    Hellblazer – Josh, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to turn in your Vertigo card.
    The Ellis and Ennis stuff is great. I think the Ellis issues are two trades, and if you’re going to read Ennis, start with Dangerous Habits, probably the best Constantine story yet. I’m also a big fan of the Azzerello run, especially the early issues – but that kind of puts me in the minority. Carey’s run was decent, Jenkins’ stuff, especially with Sean Phillips on art, is very underrated. Probably one of the top ten characters ever created at DC, and has stuck around for 20 years in his own book when most Vertigo series don’t see three.

    Countdown – As one of the few who stuck with Countdown all the way through, I have to say it’s getting more maligned than it needs to be. It wasn’t awful – I just think the expectations were raised too high following 52.
    Trinity, with Bagley and Busiek on the main story, could deliver something special. Their Thunderbolts work was just brilliant, and letting them play with the three big characters in DC could inspire something wonderful.

  5. IRON MAN: The trailers are certainly well done and I’m pretty excited to see it in the theater, but I think I’m the only person not thrilled with Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark. I think RDJ is fantastic and I enjoy his work, but from what I’ve seen so far it seems like he’s just playing Robert Downey Jr, not Tony Stark. Maybe he’ll change my mind upon seeing the movie, but I think this would’ve been a great breakout role for somebody a little less known to really sink their teeth into.

    TRINITY: I bailed on Countdown fairly early on, but I am on board for Trinity. With 52 being such a hit I think DC misjudged the ratio of story vs. format that lead to its success – people loved buying a weekly book provided the story was great, not just because it came out every week. The fact that Busiek and Bagley will be the sole creative team throughout and the book will (allegedly) be able to stand on its own leads me to believe that DC has learned from Countdown. I am curious to see how it fares sales-wise given the less than electric response to whole Countdown brand, though.

  6. I’ve been reading "Hellblazer" since issue #1. I’m really surprised when I hear how much people hate the Azzarello run. It’s one of my favorite runs on any series. Great stuff. I didn’t care much for Mike Carey’s take on Constantine, but I should probably re-read his run before coming to a final conclusion. If you haven’t read the initial Ennis issues, get’em now!

  7. I’ve read the Ennis story where he gets the cancer, but that’s all.  I started with Azzarello’s run, and since I had nothing to compare it to, I liked it quite a bit.  More in the beginning than the end, which, in his style, got confusing.  Mike Carey was, for the most part, spot on.  Great stuff.  The Mina stuff was OK.  Good ideas, but not quite enough experience to do it justice.

  8. I can’t remember anticipating a movie the way I’m anticipating ‘Iron Man’ — since, probably, ‘The Two Towers," or "Xmen 2."  I also have great expectations for ‘The Dark Knight’ (and may, possibly, have acquired an "I Believe in Harvey Dent" bumper sticker for my car).  It’s a combination of well-done hype and two of my all-time favorite comics characters. . . Tony Stark and Harvey Dent?  I don’t know what this says about me. . .

    I don’t currently buy any DC books regularly, but I’m seriously considering getting on board ‘Trinity.’  I read ’52’ in trade, after the fact, and that series was largely responsible for my love of the DCU.  I’m curious if DC will be able to use Trinity to tell such interesting sustained stories about their core characters that they did about peripheral/’minor’ characters in 52.  Also, I believe Fabian Nicieza is writing the backup stories and, as Ron told us on April Fool’s Day, he’s one of the great underappreciated talents in comics.

  9. It’s true they did not put a gun to my head.  I think they may as well have I mean Paul Dini usually produces gold, come on.  Also I really dig Captain Atom as Monarch.  I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed most of the tie in issues I got, especially Arena.  Also for the longest time I enjoyed Countdown, a lot.  I just haven’t been a fan lately, although I did enjoy this weeks issue.

    I’ve also decided to wait till I go to some Cons to pick up Trinity, I figure it will most likely show up in some dollar boxes like 52 and countdown did.  I unfortunately am mostly poor so a weekly book is something I should have never gotten into in the first place.  Since my internship is ending and no word on it being full time, I’ll need to start budgeting.

  10. @ohcaroline – To say I’m jealous that you may have a Harvey bumper sticker is the understatement of the year! Iron Man looks great and is definitely my second most anticipated movie of the year, so I’ll be there opening night and possibly many more times.

    The Dark Knight, however, is the one film that fills me with stupid amounts of glee every time I think about it. I honestly don’t remember feeling this excited about a film coming out since Burton’s Batman (yeah, I’m a Batman guy). The trailer’s perfect, the ad campaign’s been perfect… and now I realise it doesn’t matter as we’re so lucky to have people like Favreau and Nolan making films of our favourite characters.

  11. @Eyun — There was some kind of bus going around handing them out.  I’m not sure but they were in my friend’s town and she mailed me one b/c she knows I love me some Harv.  (Also, I might have begged a little).