The iFanboy Letter Column – 10/03/2008!

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 have to break thumbs because it’s not your problem if they can’t pay up.

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 –


1) First, a continuity issue. Before the first Crisis (Crisis on Infinite Earths) JSA was in Earth-2 and JLA in Earth-2. I watched the “History Crisis” episode and I understood that the Earths kinda merged and there weren’t two versions of the same character. But we still have JSA and JLA, both living on the same Earth, with two versions of Flash, Green Lantern. How do you explain the fact that JSA and those characters still exist in present continuity?

Now, two more kinda silly questions.

2) Would Thor defeat Superman?

3) Would Superman defeat Hulk?


1) When the Earths merged as a result of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Justice Society of America became a part of the timeline during World War II; they became the heroes of the 1940s. As a way of getting rid of the JSA, DC concocted a convoluted story in which they were merged with Norse Gods (see question #2) and trapped in a never-ending Ragnarock. At the end of Armageddon: Inferno, Waverider transported the JSA out of the Ragnarock loop and into the present day only to have most of their members promptly killed off in Zero Hour because DC editor Mike Carlin thought that geriatric superheroes had no place in the DCU. Nice one, Mike!

(This was especially depressing for me because I always liked the Justice Society and was totally in love with the ahead-of-its-time 1992 Justice Society of America by Len Strazewski and Mike Parobeck.)

Those who survived Zero Hour fight on to this day, particularly Alan Scott (whose magic ring keeps him young-ish), Ted Grant (nine lives bestowed upon him by the sorcerer King Inferno) and Jay Garrick (experimental anti-aging treatments) all of whom should be in their late 80s, but only seem to be in their 50s.

2) That all depends on the answer to this question “Are Norse Gods (or Deities in general) magic?” If the answer is yes, then Thor wins. If the answer is no, then Superman wins.

3) The Hulk gets stronger the madder he gets, right? So Superman could give Hulk a big ol’ slice of Ma’s apple pie and he’d be really happy and then Superman could just toss The Hulk into the sun or snap his neck.

Conor Kilpatrick


Garth Ennis is responsible for not one but two definitive takes on Frank Castle. First, the Marvel Knights “Welcome Back Frank” storyline which featured some of the best and most over the top moments in Punisher history, the crown jewel being when a wounded, unarmed Frank Castle leads some mobsters into a zoo and feeds them to the various animals. A couple years later, he reinvented Punisher again as a MAX book and created something much darker and more serious, but equally successful. Both the Thomas Jane Punisher and Punisher: War Zone borrow heavily from Ennis, but they can’t pull it off. Bottom line: just let Garth Ennis write the damn thing.


First of all, I’m starting to turn from my anti-Punisher stance, since I’ve heard so much from so many people about how much they love Garth Ennis’ The Punisher MAX run. I’d read Welcome Back Frank, and enjoyed it enough, but not too long after that, I lost interest, probably because it felt like Ennis had as well. It seems like it picked up after that, and now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve heard from anyone who didn’t like it. So perhaps this Garth Ennis fan has missed the boat. Not that I have time to read 60+ issues, but still, it’s good to know about.

Now, let’s get to the real meat of your email. Why isn’t Garth Ennis writing the Punisher movies? Well, there’s a pretty simple answer to that. No matter how big you might be in comics, and how well known, it means exactly Jack and Shit in Hollywood. Without an actual scriptwriting track record, you’re not going to get very far at most studios. They’d usually rather hire someone they know, who’s done a successful film before to adapt a property like a comic book. At best, they sometimes give the writer first crack at a script, if it’s something they came up with originally. We’ve seen this with Bendis and some of his properties, like Torso, Jinx, and Powers, all of which have been in development for a long time, and none of which will likely be released with scripts by Brian Michael Bendis. Brian K. Vaughan, I believe, got first crack at his Y: The Last Man script, but there’s no guarantee he’ll have the final say. That’s just not how it works, and this is a guy who is now a writer for a major network TV show, in Lost. But even TV credits don’t really get these guys that far. Fanboys often lament that Geoff Johns, he of the magic touch, isn’t writing the film adaptations of DC heroes. Johns has experience in Hollywood, formerly Richard Donner’s assistant, and writer on the failed Blade TV series, and certainly some development projects. But he has neither the clout nor sexiness producers want to throw serious money into a comic book film project. That’s why the guy who did Everwood is working on that movie and Geoff Johns is not. So basically, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Of course, a possible exception to this rule exists, but it’s because he came from TV first, but this month will see the release of J. Michael Straczynski’s feature film Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood. But that guy’s been around for a while, and only now is he breaking into films. Of course, if that film ends up winning an Oscar, as so many of Clint’s movies do, maybe JMS will have to quit comics.

Finally, let us never forget that Jeph Loeb gave us Teen Wolf and Commando.

Josh Flanagan


I just bought all of the Green Lantern: Secret Origins back issues from, and I have a question about Marvel’s space cop Nova.

How come Nova wasn’t in Stamford shooting the New Warriors reality show when Nitro blew up? And had he been there, would he have survived the explosion?

Hope Ron’s able to afford at least a dozen copies of the new Nova issue featuring Darkhawk on the cover.


I seriously have to say for a moment, that I don’t understand why/how everyone always connects Nova and Green Lantern. Sure I get the “space cop” joke, but for whatever reason, I don’t see any similarities among these two characters at all. Maybe I’m blinded by my enjoyment of both characters, that’s a possibility. But I just don’t see it.Anyway. Right before the events of Civil War, the New Warriors were traveling the country shooting a reality show based on them as a super group. Nova was still a part of the team during “Season 1.” Sadly I can’t tell you much about this because the series pretty much sucked. But I do remember that the reality show was a disaster and Nova was one of the first to quit the team because of it. Also, if memory serves, I believe he was called back to Nova Corps headquarters for what would eventually become the Annihilation storyline, for which he had to report to duty, would end up fighting and ultimately lead us to where we currently are with Nova as a series.

If Nova was there in Stamford when Nitro blew up, I don’t know if he would survive. It’s possible that the Nova powers would have thrown up a shield and protected him, but if he was caught unawares? He’s only human after all and that helmet can only do so much. It’s possible that he could have perished along with all those children (*sniff*, oh the CHILDREN…), but I have a feeling he would have been okay. Nova has too much of a legacy in the Marvel Universe (B list character aside) to go out like that.

As for the most recent issue of Nova with Darkhawk, I was able to buy my requisite 25 copies and I have them bagged and boarded in a safe place. I even sent one copy to be slabbed by the CGC. No I didn’t, but wouldn’t that be funny? Viva la Darkhawk!

Ron Richards


  1. Dont be silly Josh, Loeb did not write Teen Wolf that would be so ridic…..

    (looks up film on……..Oh…Dear….God…..

    I still dont see why Ennis couldnt be a consoultant or something for any Punisher film. He’s got the characteristics of Castle perfect, he did great storylines with him for years now, and overall he can get the tone of the film right. Not saying seeing Punisher killing someone with a chair leg isnt entertaining. But it’s the same old ‘let’s have big action sequences and story later’ when it comes to Punisher. If Johns is gonna be a big hollywood guy for the Legion episode on Smallville, then Ennis can play a big part in a Punisher film as well…..Or just steal from the guy I dont know…

  2. @TheNextChampion – Because most people in Hollywood don’t care.  The only reason Marvel ahs been so involved in IRON MAN and HULK was because they were produced by Marvel Studios, and particularly in IRON MAN’s case, they got a director who wanted comic people’s input.  If Marvel produces a Punisher movie and gets the right director, things might change.

  3. I’d like to see a show dedicated to Comic book movies…….Is it past a trend and now a genre?  Is it fading?  You fellas should do that……Make it so!

  4. @ Josh,

    Let us never forget that Jeph Loeb gave us Teen Wolf Too and Buglar.


  5. Tim Kring who created Heroes was a co-writer on Teen Wolf Too as well.

  6. Come on, Ron… Right now Nova has kind of found his own voice, but at the first issues of the current series you could replace Richie for Kyle Rayner pre-return-of-Hal and some people wouldn’t even notice.

    Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Nova almost instantly. Kyle is my GL!

  7. Ok, I like both Teen Wolf and Burglar.

    As for Thor vs. Superman, Thor is unquestionably magic, so he wins. As for Superman vs. Hulk, all Clark has to do is simply drop the Hulk off on another planet. He can’t kill the Hulk (essentially nothing can), but he can certainly get rid of him and basically win the fight. And good riddance!


  8. I feel like the Punisher MAX series is right up my alley. But I could be wrong, is there much Jack Bauer-esque, spec ops badassery? 

    Also, does any of the interior art hold a candle to Bradstreet’s awesome cover work? 

  9. The art for Punisher MAX has been consistently strong.  Garth Ennis writing a "Punisher" movie is a pipe dream, unless they turn one of his creator-owned properties into a successful movie, a la "Wanted."  "The Boys" was picked up by Columbia earlier this year, so we’ll see I guess.  

     It’ll be interesting to see what happens with "Kick Ass."  Matthew Vaughn is independently producing it so he can stay true to the book and it seems like Mark Millar is pretty heavily involved.  Hopefully it’s both good and successful so we can see more indenpendent, smaller scale superhero and comic book films that have a little more creative freedom.  

  10. I would love to see Ennis write a Punisher movie, but I’d also love a gold plated Ferarri to drive Rosario Dawson back to my mansion in.

    You know what would be cool though? "Punisher: Born" would be perfect for a movie, all they need to do is adapt that, scene for scene like they did with Sin City.

    And for my third wish, Fairy Godmother ….

  11. @Diabhol– I don’t think Superman putting Hulk on another planet would work. It didn’t workout so well for Tony Stark.

  12. @Conor- I think that’s one of the best strategies for taking out the HUlk I’ve ever heard but I don’t think he would die from a snapped neck with his healing factor.  However, throwing him into the sun?  That should just about cover all the bases.  

  13. Marvel Studios won’t make a Punisher movie.  Kevin Feige has already stated in a interview that Marvel Studios will not make R rated films also stating "You’ll have to get Punisher somewhere else."  Now whether Garth Ennis would write a Lionsgate Punisher movie don’t know but it would rock.

  14. Guys, I’m sorry, but the Hulk would kill Superman, and probably Thor, too.  Thor because he would use Norse magic, and Hulk because he is the strongest one there is!!!  The little kid in me still just loves the Hulk.  The animated series Supes in JLU (especially toward the end when he almost kiled Luthor) might give him a good fight, but no one who can be beaten repeatedly by a kryptonite ring wearing Batman is going to beat the Hulk.  To counter Conor’s thesis, what if Banner just showed up for the pie wearing a kryptonite ring…if that fails, Hulk is still THE STRONGEST ONE THERE IS!!  ;P

  15. @Ron


    I’m not sure that Nova is a B list Marvel character any longer. Cosmic stories have always been prominently featured by Marvel. And while that has generally been handled by teams (such as FF in the Negative Zone and the X-Men in the Shi’Ar Empire), there has always been a #1 solo cosmic character.

    When the Silver Surfer had his own book, he had that role. Quasar also grabbed that mantle for a while. Now it is certainly Nova. Even though the book’s sales are not fantastic, Annhilation was largely successful, and most Marvel fans acknowledge the importance of the Nova character.

  16. @coltrane – Popularity or importance aside, Nova is still B-list.  Maybe he’s no longer C-list… but A-list is Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Hulk, Captain America… the Marvel character who arguable went from B-list to A-list recently is Iron Man, and he’s always been better known/more important than Nova.  But it IS a great book, and he’s a GREAT cosmic character, one of Marvel’s best ever.

  17. I had forgotten that Jeph Loeb wrote Teen Wolf. I guess he did write something I liked…