The iFanboy Letter Column – 07/04/2008!

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 is the day you head to the beach, fire up the grill, and celebrate the birth of your country.

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 have a few questions dealing with the storylines and everything going on lately in the Marvel Universe.

1) I just read the newest issue of Fantastic Four. The end was Bruce Banner. I got the new Hulk issue and it had Banner fighting the Red Hulk. My question is if Banner is in FF then why doesn’t he act like the regular Green Hulk?

2) Angel was in Uncanny X-Men, but in X-Force he is made into Archangel… can someone explain this to me by any chance?

3) Can someone explain the new issue of The New Avengers at all?

4) Also what kind of process makes the Skrulls a human or whatnot cause I didn’t understand that at all in my new The Mighty Avengers and The New Avengers issues?

5) Also is the new Vision dead? Cause he got blown up in Secret Invasion #3 and I wasn’t sure at all.

Seems to me lately that the DC Universe makes more sense than Marvel. Just my opinion,

Ray S. from Union, CT

Hey Ray from Union, CT! I’m sitting in Norwalk, CT right now responding to your email and it feels like I’m just having a fun comic book conversation with you. I hope that’s not too weird. Anyway, I love quick and to the point questions, so let’s dive in:

1) My guess is the Banner/Hulk seen at the end of Fantastic Four #558 is a Banner/Hulk from the future or from an alternate timeline or something. I’m pretty sure with great confidence that he’s not the Banner/Hulk from the Marvel 616 universe (the main Marvel timeline), as he’s been in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and in the pages of Hulk by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness. Mainly it was the different look (the undershirt and the long hair) that gave it away for me.

2) The whole Angel/Archangel thing was a head scratcher to me too, which I think is a testament to the poor story telling currently occurring in the pages of the awful X-Force comic book. As far as I can tell, the events of X-Force #4, where Angel is brutally attacked and then turns back into Archangel occurred AFTER the events of Uncanny X-Men #499. Simple as that. Although, I do believe that he is just regular Angel in Uncanny X-Men #500, so we’ll see how they handle that.

3) I assume you’re referring to The New Avengers #42? Well we basically went back in time and saw when/how the Skrulls got to Spider Woman/Jessica Drew and replaced her with a Skrull, and then we see how and when that Skrull is present for big events in the past few years of The Avengers, like when the Raft breakout occurred. I didn’t think it was that confusing…

4) Well to be honest I don’t understand the process that makes Skrulls into humans. On one level, they’re shape shifters, but as we’ve learned, they’ve combined science and added in their faith to be able to shape shift down to the DNA level, so its unnoticeable by people like Wolverine. That’s pretty much all I know. How it works it exactly? Well, I’m not a Skrull, so I couldn’t tell you.

5) I don’t think the new Vision is dead as he plays a big role in Young Avengers. I think Vision is like Marvel’s version of DC’s Red Tornado. Since he’s an android, he’s susceptible to blowing up… a lot. They’re usually able to piece him back together, and he’s always just as creepy as before. Although I have to say that the new Vision from Young Avengers is far less creepy than the Avengers Vision that we know and love. He’s one creepy android.

Maybe I’m partial to Marvel over DC, but man, I would choose Marvel everyday over DC in terms of “making sense.” Have you read Final Crisis? Can you tell me what the heck is going on there cause I’m pretty much lost and Conor gets mad at me when I ask. But if you want to talk about confusing comics, Grant Morrison is your man.

Ron Richards


I have been less busy lately and have found myself with some spare time to write a review on my favorite comic book website. I wrote a review of The Astounding Wolf-Man and I was wondering if any of you guys are reading it and if you haven’t why not! It was fantastic and sins you guys are such big Kirkman fans it’s a must have. I thought Ron was reading it maybe?

Aaron T.

I think I was the only one reading The Astounding Wolf-Man following the Free Comic Book Day #1 issue. Unfortunately, I remember being a bit underwhelmed by the first issue, but since it was a free book, what can you expect? I read the next 2 issues, and I just wasn’t feeling it. It wasn’t really bad, but it wasn’t really all that special either. Unlike The Walking Dead and Invincible, I just wasn’t being grabbed by the stories. I never really loved the concept, and the art wasn’t my favorite thing, and finally, for some reason, the title always really bugged me. I just figured that if it turned out to be really good, I’d hear about it, and get it in trade later on. It wouldn’t be the first time people discovered Kirkman’s good work via collected editions. But after all this time, I haven’t really heard that much about the book until we got this letter.

The schedule also left a bit to be desired. The first issue was Free Comic Book Day in the spring of last year, and now we’re getting to the 7th issue. So even if he’s building up to something awesome, it’s taken over a year to get there. Yet according to your review, even you agree it was a bit middling until this latest issue. Perhaps your patience paid off, but if that’s truly the case, I will look into seeing what I’m missing.

Besides, I can’t look Robert in the eye and admit to him I don’t like one of his books. Then again, he doesn’t let me talk long enough to get there. And at least he’ll look at me.

Josh Flanagan


I was wondering if you guys have a favorite animated series based on their respective comics? In anticipation for the Gotham Knights DVD, I’ve been going back and checking out Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, X-Men (90’s series) and the Justice League Unlimited. While all of them for the most part are pretty solid, DC did an amazing job with the Superman series and Marvel with their X-Men series.

Anyways, It would be awesome to hear what the iFanboy crew remember being their favorites or perhaps their least favorite animated series/episodes!

Patrick K.

PS: Wow, Batman: The Animated Series‘ first two season don’t really stand up too well today, but man the series more than makes up for it later on. My favorite film’s though have to be either Return of the Joker, Mask of the Phantasm, or Justice League: The New Frontier.

Who doesn’t love a good comic book animated series? I really enjoy them. This part year I’ve been DVRing both The Batman and The Spectacular Spider-Man (because who in their right mind gets up at 9am on a Saturday if they don’t have to?).  I think that The Spectacular Spider-Man is a fantastic show and I like it more with every episode I watch. The Batman is pretty good, but its watchability usually depends on the guest stars/villains. This season they had a lot of JLA guest stars and those were fun shows.

I must admit that I never really got into the X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons that seemingly everyone who is 5-10 years younger than me watched, with great fervor, in the 90s. I might have seen an episode here or there, but I don’t remember any of them. Why would I, when the absolute pinnacle of all superhero cartoons were airing in that same decade? Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series are modern day cartoon classics. Last year I did a three part series examining Superman and come hell or high water I will do the same this year for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, two shows that I haven’t seen more than five episodes of all together. I am looking forward to it.

Despite the empirical greatness of the Batman and Superman cartoons, my heart still belongs to Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (I hear the opening theme in my head as I type this) and Spider-Man, the 1967 cartoon that I watched on TV everyday when I was a kid. Its opening is imprinted on my brain forever.

I’m going to have to disagree with you, Patrick, when you say that the first two seasons of Batman: The Animated Series don’t hold up today. There are some classic episodes in there including the two part (heh) introduction of Two-Face and “Heart of Ice,” perhaps the best episode of any animated series ever, in my opinion. It won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Series and really helped to establish that this was a show that could be enjoyed by adults as much as kids.

Man, I love Batman: The Animated Series so, so much.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. Damn stright the first two seasons of Batman hold up. Those two episodes you mentioned Coner are classic. I recently watched the two part Clayface episode, on top of being a work of art from an animation stand point, it’s also interesting how heart breaking those two episodes are.

    Also Season 1 has one of the best "holy crap!" moments ever. Has anyone ever had that moment where you watch something from your childhood and you catch things that you totally missed before. Well the episode Dreams of Darkness had that moment. Where Batman is suffering from Scarecrow hallucinations, see his parents go into crime alley, they go into a tunnel, the tunnel turns into the barrle of a gun and BLOOD comes pouring out of the barrel. One of those "How did they do that?!" moments. Shocking, truly amazing, great show.

  2. BTAS is like a film noir genre movie applied to a superhero cartoon, so of course it´s going to seem dated or out of time compared to most other animated series. It seemed incongruous at the time it came out, which to me made it fascinating and awesome.

    On another animated series, the Teen Titans circa 2002-2006 does not get enough love in general from the comics community, imho. I think a lot of people lumped it into the anime category and did not give it it´s due. Approach this cartoon with an open mind and prepare to be surprised. The second and Fourth season are especially good. They have their own take on traditional comics stories, so please don´t get into a continuity bunch about it. Legion of Superheroes was also halfway decent, but I am a big Legion fan so I´ve got a bias there.

    And Ron, (the) Vision is cool, not creepy. Just because he likes to stand alone in corners does not make him a weirdo. Boinking the Scarlet Witch? Ok, a little weird for her maybe, but honestly, if you were (the) Vision, would you say no? Clint didn´t.

  3. There isn’t a single episode of BTAS that I don’t think is great. Of course, some stories are going to be stronger than others, but on the whole that show rocked. And it gave us Harley Quinn. Which in turn gave us Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend playing her on Birds Of Prey (a show I will defend the awful greatness of until my grave).

  4. Thought I strongly disagree, I can see why some people would feel that the first two (or so) seasons of BTAS don’t "hold up". Because of the animation and the pacing. Once the series movied to Kids WB the whole thing was streamlined, noticeably in the animation but also in the storytelling as well. Everything got slicker. Personally, I liked that sort ot of animation a lot less. The original BTAS animation, though sloppy and inconsistent at times (RARE times), was a lot warmer and I feel it suggested more depth to the characters. I liked the Superman series a decent amount, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen of the JLA/JLU series as well–but it’s all in that stylized, streamlined animation, which I don’t like that much, so it turns me off. I guess it all fits in with the animation of other cartoons nowadays, though. In fact the BTAS animation (and storytelling) almost seems intentionally "old" or nostalgic, somewhat "noir" or "art deco"-ish, as others have noted. And I LIKE it that way, though I can see how it would feel very out of place in the cartoon landscape today, especially since we’ve been conditioned by so many "streamlined" superhero cartoons since.

    In much the same way I felt that X-Men: Evolution, while decent, was far inferior to the 90s series, which had so much depth. X-Men: Evolution was so obvious in how it did everything–all of the characters felt (and looked) so flat. But I’ve heard people say, "Ugh! How can you prefer the 90s X-Men cartoon when the animation was so BAD!" I don’t think it was bad, but I can definitely see that it looks out of place since it isn’t streamlined with almost "manga"-like influences, the way X-Men: Evolution and so many other recent comics cartoons are. 

    I’ve struggled to watch much of "The Batman", though. TOO slick, too kiddie, imo. 

    As far as I’m concerned BTAS was the best adaption of a comic book series into another medium.

  5. Hey Conor (or anyone else): Thoughts on Batman Beyond? I expected to hate it (because Bruce wasn’t in the cowl) but ended up liking it. Return of the Joker (the uncut version) ranks up there with Mask of the Phantasm.

  6. I also enjoy Astounding Wolf-Man quite a bit and definitely think it’s worth picking up. I will admit that the schedule has sucked, but I’ve enjoyed them all and I don’t think the story has dragged one bit. I challenge anyone not reading it to pick up the trade as soon as it comes out and try it for themselves. If you don’t love it, I’ll bake you a cookie or something. 🙂


  7. I just noticed that the first seasons of BTAS and STAS were added to iTunes this past Tuesday.  Also added were Batman Beyond, Super Friends, Aquaman, George Reeves Superman, and Max Fleischer’s 1940’s Superman Cartoons. 

  8. The X-Men cartoon was awesome.  The Phoenix Saga was amazing.

  9. Astounding Wolfman is definitely worth another look. The latest issue had a twist that was as game changing as the one early on in Invincible. Plus, the book is moving to a monthly schedule, so no more annoying 2 month wait between issues.

  10. How has the 90s X-Men cartoon not been put out on DVD as seasons? I just figured with the success of the X-Men movies (and other comic book flicks), new X-Men cartoons (and other comic book cartoons) that it would have been available by now. I have a bunch of episodes on VHS but I would love to add this series to my DVD collection. I’m guessing it has something to do with the rights (that’s usually the case it seems with cartoons on DVD).

  11. @ DaveCarr: Batman Beyound is great. The only thing, and this is not a negative shot against it, but as a show (not the Return of the Joker movie) it was very much aimed at kids, where as batman, Superman and JLA,JLU kids could watch and love but it wasn’t aimed at kids. It can be a little jarring at first seeing how jokey it is, and cute at times, but it’s still an excellent show, and gets better and better with each season

  12. Conor,

    If you really haven’t watched more than 5 episodes of the Justice League cartoon… Man, you are in for a treat. Especially with Justice League Unlimited, when quality takes a leap from very high to insanely awesome.

    Let us know what you think when you get around watching it. 

  13. Batman the Animated Series will be highly regarded for years just like the Fleischer Superman’s.  X-men was good but a distant second, 90’s Spider-man whined too much and Justice League did’nt grab me until the shift to Justice League Unlimited which had a cool finale.

    @comicdork37- Disney owns all the rights to Marvel’s animated shows that were aired during the 90’s.  Marvel is in the process of reacquiring them but until then you wont’ see X-men, Spider-man or Iron Man on DVD because Disney has no interest in releasing them.

  14. Batman: The Animated Series is my favorite cartoon adaptation of any character.  I never really got into the Superman ones, but Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are two of the best DC based cartoons.  I love those shows, and each storyline usually covers three or four episodes, which really make them feel like a comic book.  They are amazing.

  15. ahhh yes yes yes. Thank you very much for answering my questions Ron. i enjoy the Podcast and Mini’s and Videocasts every week and i actually have been having many many questions pertaining to comics, comic continuity, and different things to do with comics.

    I agree with you Ron. I am much more partial to MARVEL than DC. and Final Crisis is starting to become very very confusing. 

    And i enjoy the Young Avengers Vision also. Finally someone else who enjoys the YA vision!!

    and i enjoyed Batman the Animated Series more than JLU and Superman 

  16. @Kory: Thanks for the X-Men cartoon update. That just makes me even more pissed off at Disney. They released season 1 and the first part of season 2 of Gargoyles but based on sales they have decided not to release the rest of the series on DVD. FUCK YOU DISNEY, you could afford to lose a few bucks to make fans happy!!!

  17. @comicdork37 – Disney is a business, not a charity.

  18. I thought I heard a rumor the X-men series was going to be released on DVD soonish — is that not true? 

    Anyway, I’m currently watching Justice League on DVD, so I’m looking forward to seeing Conor’s posts about it.

    As far as Ray’s Archangel question, Fraction & Brubaker seemed a little stumped by this one at the Heroes Con panel.  The answer they finally came up with was that the Archangel story is happening in XForce, and it has potential to affect Uncanny, but they were vague as to when and how.

  19. @ohcaroline- I read on wikipedia about the x-men dvd release and *sarcasm*if it’s on wikipedia it must be true

  20. @Kory  — Well, my source is "I have no idea where I read this but it was probably somewhere on the Internet."  So, wikipedia actually beats that.  Sort of?

  21. I love the art in BTAS, but for pure entertainment value I’ve gotta go with JLU and Batman Beyond (oh, Terry, Terry). The "Great Brain Robbery" episode of JLU, where Wally West and Lex Luthor switch brains, has to be the funniest 22 comic-related minutes in creation. I nearly cried when I got through both DVDs.

  22. I enjoyed all those shows, and I do think Teen Titans was a pretty great show. It’s actually what got me to check out the new Titans series and I’ll go back and read the New Teen Titan trades. Batman: TAS was great, I’m going back and renting them all from Netflix unless I break down and buy them. Justice League and JLU were fantastic, and probably my favorite super hero cartoons. Batman Beyond also great, but I don’t think got enough support. It’s great that these characters are being represented in new media forms but treated well by some great talent who understands and respects the original. Can’t wait for Spectacular Spider-Man season 2, but did anyone else enjoy the MTV series cause I still want to see new episodes.

  23. @aerodash84 – I enjoyed the MTV Spider-Man show.

  24. @coner- The MTV Spider-Man show was great. 

    I loved the Silver Surfer cartoon that was on Fox for one season too.  I was able to grab a really good DVD of the X-men cartoon at the NYC Comic Con this year but would love a bonafide one with extras and such. 

  25. @Conor: I know Disney is not a charity (maybe I overreacted a bit). I just get frustrated with series on DVD that get started and never get finished. Gargoyles is among more than a few cartoons on my shelf that got started but never finished, most noteably G.I. Joe in my case.

  26. @conor & @kimbo great to see other fans. I bought the DVD set (lost the discs so gotta replace it) the ending of that show just left me disappointed in it not being picked up for a second season. I’m glad Spectacular is a great show, but will admit was a bit worried from the original screens I saw before actually seeing it.

  27. "You gonna wash your hands?"

    "No, cuz I’m evil!"

  28. @conor, @kimbo, & @ aerodash84

    Awesome. I’m not alone! That show was a blast. Too bad it ends on an unresolved cliffhanger