The iFanboy Letter Column – 06/05/2009

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s time to really give some thought to how much food you can eat in one 48 hour period without moving. For others, Friday means it’s finding out who’s holdin’.

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 just scored an entire run of Bendis’ Alias in trades and it was great! I’m thinking of picking up the three Pulse trades, but I hear that series wasn’t as good. Is that true? And if so, what kind of drop in quality are we talking about?

Jon M. from Milton, Ontario, Canada

Proving the adage that you can’t go home again, we have The Pulse. Following Alias, Bendis’ MAX series about superpowered Jessica Jones as a private detective in denial about her prior life as a costumed adventurer. Alias ran for 28 glorious issues and ended in January 2004, apparently because Bendis felt he had concluded the story, and wanted to move Jones into Marvel proper, meaning they’d shed the R-rating and start The Pulse in April 2004.

The truth is, I don’t think I lasted that long reading The Pulse. In it, a pregnant, by Luke Cage, Jessica gets a job at The Pulse, an offshoot of The Daily Bugle, acting as a sort of superhero liaison and consultant. So right off, you’ve lost the adult tones of Alias, and changed what it is entirely from Alias. For some reason, it just didn’t feel the same. I suppose it makes sense now that Bendis wanted to play with more of the Marvel toys in relation to Jessica, but that just made me uninterested. The book crossed into the Secret Wars stories going on at the time, as well as House of M. I’m sure it’s a fine series, and it’s clear that Bendis has an affinity for the character, which is always a good thing. There is artwork from some great artists in the series, including Brent Anderson, Michael Lark, Michael Gaydos (Alias artist), and Mark Bagley. Plus there’s a great backdrop of focusing on journalism in the superhero filled world, heavily featuring Ben Urich, a character Bendis made me love in his Daredevil issues. All those things sounded great, but I think The Pulse was a victim of misplaced expectations, in that, no matter how good it was, it wasn’t Alias, and was therefore somewhat disappointing. On it’s own, without that pre-conceived notion, maybe it would be more fondly remembered, and have lasted longer than 14 issues, but we’ll never know.

Maybe if you’re jonesing hard for more Jones, and her appearances in The New Avengers don’t do it for you, it might be worth picking up the issues. Let us know if you like them!

Josh Flanagan


1) Can you name a few titles, not yet collected in trade, that you would recommend seeking out in back issues? Young Justice is the first one I can think of.

2) Is there a chance of us getting a video episode about back issues? I know there is not as much interest as there used to be, but there is some. It’s like collecting vinyl, except no one thinks you’re cool for doing so.

Gary L.

1) Peter David’s Young Justice is a great one. That was an excellent series from the late 1990s/early 2000s that was apparently very important to a lot of current readers. I would imagine that it’s the big reason why there are so many huge Connor Kent and Bart Allen fans. It ran for five years and there is actually one trade of it out there in existence, but I bet it’s really hard to find. Whenever people talk about what series need to be collected, I always see Young Justice at the top of the list. Another series that people should seek out in back issues is Garth Ennis’ Hitman, which is partially collected in trade, but not fully. One more that I would recommend is Mike Grell’s Green Arrow. It was an early example of superheroes done in a serious, adult manner in the wake of The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. It would probably be a Vertigo comic if it came out today.

Thankfully, these days it’s getting harder and harder to answer this question because so much is being collected.

2) Is there a chance? Sure. Is there a good chance? I don’t know; maybe. If we did a show on back issues it would most likely be more about going through one of our collections to see what we’ve bought over the years. Out of the three of us, Ron is the only one who really actively seeks out back issues, so there might not be a lot to say on the subject. But you never know, sometimes we come up with angles for topics we never thought we could make into a whole show.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. Of course there is a chance for a back issue vid! I mean when they start running out if ideas they’ll do it. Why do you think they did an ‘Audience Demands It’ show? 🙂

  2. If nothing else, a fan of Alias should buy the last trade of The Pulse. The series before that was a kind of Diet Alias– Gaydos is exchanged for Bagley, etc.– but the last arc features the return of Gaydos, the birth of Jessica’s baby, and a very sweet story about how Luke and Jessica met.

    Your trivia nugget of the day: when they announced Bendis was leaving this book, they also announced that Paul Jenkins would be taking it over in a revamped form that turned out to be Front Page. In case you were wondering where that piece of my heart went.

  3. @TNC  HAHA!  You’re just mad about Ron not liking deadpool…… am I.

  4. @twooldridge: Nah just making an attempt at humor 🙂

    Ron: This week for the video show we got Erotic Comics!

  5. My favorite not-collected-in-trade series is Joe Harris & Tom Raney’s ‘Search for Cyclops,’ from shortly before Morrison took over X-Men.  Because Cyke has amnesia and works on a merchant marine ship in the gulf of Aden, and Jean and Cable have to rescure him.  I can’t imagine why this isn’t more popular with people who aren’t me. 

  6. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    There are two "real" Young Justice trades.  They’re "Young Justice: A League of Their Own," which collected the first seven issues and a secret files.  There was also a trade called "Young Justice: Sins of Youth" which collected a big ol’ crossover that Young Justice was the part of.  I think the Sins of Youth storyline was mostly filled with stand-alone one-shots and it wasn’t that good overall.  Still, in there is a great story in which all of the JSA is age-reversed and it’s written by Geoff Johns.  This story was never collected in any of the other JSA trades from this time period.

    Also, there was a book called "JLA: World Without Grown-Ups" which led into the Young Justice series proper.  It’s not written by David, so it’s not exactly essential.  Still, it’s out there.

    Also, they appeared in the Superman "Our Worlds at War" storyline and an issue or two is in that trade.

    Man, I know what too much about this stuff.

  7. Was Joe Casey’s WildC.A.T.S run collected in trade? I think he said on Talksplode only a bit of it did. That would be a good one to look for.

  8. @ OhCaroline: Sounds like an episode of Days of Our Lives 😛 I’ll have to hunt that down at the next con.


    @s30: I’m pretty sure they all are…his Wildcats Vol. 2 are at least, cause I own them all. I’m not entirely sure if his Vol. 3 is or not.


    I don’t the original Kevin Eastman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issueshave been collected in a recent collection. I have some really old trades collecting the issues when they started to use color, but that’s all I’ve seen out there.

  9. @s30 – Volume 2 is mostly collected I think.  The first is Serial Boxes.  Volume 3 isn’t completely collected, I don’t believe.

  10. Have you ever had a brief, passion-filled fling with a hot girl and then, at random times in the future, thought about her and smiled on the inside?  Casey and Phillips’s Wildcats is like that for me.

    Pretty sure all of Casey’s volume 2 C.A.T.S. has been collected and half of volume 3.

  11. Oh, and the correct answer to the first part of the second question is Micronauts (They Came from Inner Space) and Rom: Spaceknight.

  12. A back issues episode would be great, I think. Count me as a vote "for" I guess.

    My favorite uncollected series? Hands down, Brett Lewis and John Paul Leon’s The Winter Men. I consider that a high water mark for the medium.

    @comicBOOKchris – oooh, a new collection of origina Eastman/Laird TMNT would be amazing.

  13.  Personally I don’t believe in trades as they take away from the idea of collecting a monthly title.If I’m missing back issues I search for them,that’s part of the fun!

  14. Is the Pulse that Ben Urich series I have been waiting for all my life?

  15. The Pulse is a great series, I recommend it for fans of Alias. I also really liked Secret War. They also are recollecting the Hitman series the first volume comes out sometime this month.

  16. I love going through back issues at stores, cons, where ever I can.  I always stumble upon something fantastic that I never heard of, or rare older issues that have no business being in a 50 cent long box.

    I haven’t heard anything about trades of old TMNT comics.  I would love to read the old Eastman/Laird comics.  I know there is a lot going on with this being the 25th anniversary of Turtles, so if anyone has any real info on the possiblity of trades, do tell!

  17. @horatio: Oh damnit! Now you tell me Micronauts and ROM isnt collected in trade…..Me want the Spaceknight so badly 🙁

  18. Pulse is great, as someone above me said.  Not intended to be the same as Alias, very different goals.  And just because something ties in to some other story like "Secret War" doesn’t make it bad.  In fact, SW and the tie in are excellent.  Get the 3 paperbacks.

    Jessica Jones is also enjoyable in Young Avengers, though she comes out only a little bit, but it’s fun.

    "Vanguard" by Marvel hasn’t been collected yet, to my knowledge.  It was a 12 part story in "Marvel Comics Presents" by Marc Guggenheim.  I remember Joe Quesada saying he would collect it in a Cup O Joe, but it hasn’t been for a long time now.  It was about apparently this murder scene and a long lost Marvel hero/villain.  Pretty interesting.  Proabably = 6 issues.

  19. I hated Young Justice. I got every issue of Impulse and most of the Superboy and Robin run until Peter David totally put me off the characters. David’s dumbing down of Bart Allen led to the loss of the Impulse identity, which was a great shame as it was one of two legacies Mike Wieringo’s work left at DC (the other was the best way to draw the Flash)

    collect the full run of Waid and Ramos’s Impulse run, thats great stuff. 

  20. Hitman is being recollected in some new trades.  The first one is due June 17th, according to DC’s website.

  21. I’d like to recommend DC’s Chase, short cancelled series that was quite good. I don’t believe it has been collected yet. Drawn by JH Williams, not I, not II, but III!

  22. Joe Kelly’s Deadpool!

     Paul Jenkins Spider-Man!

  23. @MrWilson: If your talking about Kelly’s run not being collected yet….You’d be wrong (sorta).

    Cause Marvel is doing ‘Deadpool Classics’ and they have started doing his run.

  24. I’d like to see Seinkiewicz’s run on Moon Knight in trade but not in "The Essentials" format.

  25. Pulse is to Alias as Squadron Supreme is to Supreme Power.

  26. long time since i read it, but i remember thinking that the last ‘pulse’ issue was a good last jessica jones issue. not as good as the last alias, but still pretty awesome.

  27. just got a rush of remembrance about the last alias issue. that was so awesome. one of the best character climaxes ever.

  28. I’ve always been disappointed Mike Grell’s 80 issue run of Green Arrow has never been collected. There’s a masterwork of comics. And in a fun spine, Ollie is never called "Green Arrow" in any of the issues. Though he is called Green Arrow once in the excellent (and collected) Longbow Hunters. Which is the lead in to Grell’s Green Arrow run.

    And yeah, I read the Pulse at the time.. it was tough and unfulfilling having been a huge Alias fan.  I really need to reread it.

  29. Oustrander’s Suicide Squad.  The Showcase is out of print, and it deserves a color run.

  30. I miss the Jessica Jones from Alias, and could live without background-character-mommy Jessica Jones. 🙁

  31. I think The Pulse also suffered cause it was on a bi-monthly schedule.