The iFanboy Letter Column – 10/24/2008!

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 look in the mirror and wonder where all the time went.

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 –


Thank you for introducing me to X-Men: First Class. I picked up the trade along with a medium (for me) stack of comics this Wednesday and it’s my new public transportation fare (a welcome arrangement since I finished my very long book and couldn’t make it out to a legitimate book store before the weekend). Anyway, I know that there are other “First Class” books and it seems like the basic theory is they’re the Marvel X-books version of Year One. Soon we’ll see X-Factor: First Class, Excalibur: First Class and New Mutants: First Class. They occupy a sort of dodgy place in continuity, I suppose, but I kind of like that as I think that taking continuity too seriously leads to things like Crises. Will this spill out into other Marvel books? Will we see Avengers: First Class? Spider-Man: First Class? Is this the halfway point for those of us who like the newness and fun of the Ultimate line but are uncomfortable with their scrambled familiarity and “grown up” nature? Could a Spider-Man: First Class replace Ultimate Spider-Man (if Stuart Immonen were drawing it)?

And speaking of the Ultimate Universe, I think we’ve learned some things about our favorite Marvel heroes between Ultimate and regular continuity. First, we’ve learned that Kitty Pryde has a thing for guys named “Peter.” Likewise, Peter Parker may have a “cat” fetish, attracted to Black Cat, Kitty/Shadowcat and girls who call him “tiger.” We also know that Cyclops has a thing for telepaths between Jean Grey, Madelyne Pryor, the White Queen and even a brief flirtation with Psylocke. We can say that these characters certainly have a “type.” Any others you guys can think about?

Dave S.

I’m really glad that you are enjoying X-Men: First Class! It really one of my favorite books and more people need to be reading it.

Are they really expanding to Excalibur, New Mutants, and X-Factor (which wouldn’t make much sense because the first X-Factor team was the original X-Men, so it would be the same book as X-Men: First Class)? I hadn’t heard about that. The only other “First Class” book that I can find that is coming out is Weapon X: First Class, which is kinda dumb, I think. The two books that you definitely won’t see are Avengers: First Class and Spider-Man: First Class. Why? Because the “First Class” branding is X-Men specific. They are all in school and thus they are classes and this is the original first class. I’m not sure how Wolverine: First Class fits into that as I don’t read it, but I imagine it’s his first year on the team? I dunno. Regardless, the “First Class” branding is specific to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

You’ve made some very astute observations about the similarities between the characters in the Ultimate and Marvel Universes. I wonder if anyone else can find some others.

Conor Kilpatrick


What’s your favorite pre-iFanboy story?  A story about each other or themselves before iFanboy was created.

Chris from St. Louis, MO (Lantern4life)

You’re looking for dirt. Is that it, Chris? You want some embarrassing story about a donkey show, and a lost weekend? Well, sure those exist, but if you think I’m gonna put them in writing, then you must think I’d waste 80,000 pesos springing Conor from a Oaxacan work farm.

But, if you want some backstory, as all comic fans undoubtedly do, I’ll share some memories of my good friends, on this the day of Conor’s birth. It’s funny because there’s been an iFanboy longer than theres’ not been when it comes to our relationship. Lord knows what I’d talk to these guys about if not for iFanboy. Certainly not baseball.

Some of my earliest bonding experiences with Ron took place between tapings of Frequency, the college TV show we worked on, where we showed music videos, and generally filled the airwaves with time wasting nonsense. Between segments, they’d bring in pizza, and Ron, Gordon the Intern, and myself would abscond with several slices, and go away from the rabble. At some point, it became de rigeur to get the other person to spit up their beverage by making them laugh. As soon as someone started the process of trying not to launch their beverage, a chorus of “SPIT!” would begin to be yelled, until there was a fabled and awesome spit take, or the victim managed not to suffocate and actually swallow. I remember very distinctly the phrase “Who brought the fat kid?” uttered with mock disappointment as the first to make me nearly chunder. Gordon can say that to me this day, and if well timed enough, liquid might very well shoot out my nose.

Conor, I first got to know when he came to stay with my roommate when I was doing a semester in Los Angeles. All of a sudden, there was this big Vince Vaughan looking dude in my living room 24/7, and he didn’t go to sleep at night, or do anything during daylight hours. We hung out all week, and got along really well, as it seemed we had much in common, but not comics, yet, because I wasn’t reading them. I began shortly thereafter. A year later, we both found ourselves in Los Angeles again. I had been stuck in an airport with the flu, stranded for 24 hours, and arrived in LA to spend a week with my then girlfriend, who dumped in me in the parking lot at the airport shortly after my arrival. Having nowhere else to stay, I still had to go with her so I could sleep somewhere. Conor, who I’d become friends with, called me the next morning, having no idea what had transpired, and when I picked up the phone, he said “Kubrick’s dead.” in his matter of fact intonation I’m sure you’ve heard many times on the show. That’s all I remember of the conversation. He knew that Stanley Kubrick was my hero at that point in life, and while he certainly wasn’t trying to rub it in, he needed to deliver facts, then as now.

Josh Flanagan


With the ending of Noble Causes a spot is opening in my pull and I was wondering about picking up Savage Dragon. So, is there a trade to get me up to speed on the “current” continuity or should I just jump in the deep end and pick up the latest issue?

Chris from St. Louis, MO (lantern4life)

Savage Dragon has been one of my favorite comics as long as I’ve been reading them. I’ve been on board since issue #1, and I’ve never missed an issue, and there are a lot of issues. Savage Dragon is well into to the hundreds on the run. The great thing about Savage Dragon is that there is this rich history of characters and storylines, but Erik Larsen has done it in a way that I don’t think you need to care about that. In each issue there’s a summary of what you need to know going in, and then that issue is a fun romp in the Dragon-verse. Erik Larsen loves comics and loves doing comics stories and he’s able to craft them in a way that you don’t need to know every little detail.

If you DO want to know all about Savage Dragon, they have black and white reprints of all the previous issues in the Savage Dragon Archives that you can pick up for cheap. Kind of like the Marvel Essentials. They’re a lot of fun to read and if you can spare the cash, I would recommend them, but by no means are they required reading. Just pick up the latest issue and have fun!

Ron Richards



  1. "if you think I’m gonna put them in writing, then you must think I’d waste 80,000 pesos springing Conor from a Oaxacan work farm."

    Best.  Line.  Ever. 

  2. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Why is Josh wearing a wig?  

  3. wow.  Those are some great pics.  Hahahahaha.  Holy cow that is some funny stuff.  Thanks for that.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    "Kubrick’s dead" is the funniest thing ever.  I’m still laughing as I type this.  

  5. Forget the letter column.  I want to see the video they were shooting in those pictures.

  6. Unfortunately, you never will.  The show that Josh mentioned in his response, Frequency, was our college music video show and at the end of every year we did a live 14 hour marathon where basically anything went – like us hosting one hour as the JLA.  That particular episode was hour 13, and the 12 hour tape in master control was not replaced and no one noticed until it was too late, so there was no official recording of it.  Those two pictures are the only known visual evidence of the legendary "Thirteenth Hour" that still exist.

  7. Those are amazing stories (and pictures).  Thanks for the glimpse of "iFanboy: First Class," Josh.

    And happy birthday to Conor.  I think it was his birthday last year when I first visited the iFanboy website.  Wild.

  8. @Conor – Like the Thirteenth Floor in office buildings.  Never seen, only whispered about.

  9. Wolverine: First Class is not in a direct line from XM: FC, exactly. It’s really just Wolverine and Kitty (and occasional guest stars). Is it supposed to be read as Wolverine’s First Class? Like Kitty is his first student? Or mentoree? Is mentoree even a word? I’m guessing not. But W:FC does share some of the same spirit. I would say that it’s best moments rival XM: FC, while at the same time it’s had some so-so issues.

  10. @patio  It’s really "Kitty Pryde: First Class," featuring Wolverine.  It’s great.  I think Fred Van Lente is demented in the best possible (yet family-friendly) way.  I do tend to agree that we don’t really need a glut of First Class titles, but I like seeing books in the same spirit.  There’s suppposed to be a mini with Spider-Man & the X-Men coming out soon, which isn’t part of the FC line, but chronicles some of their early adventures together.

  11. Whoa. Nice archival photo. I love that everyone’s wearing their respective iconography.

  12. Hehe, I love seeing those photos and so cool that you’ve all got your favourite character t-shirts on in the first one.  ;o)

  13. To my knowledge, there are no other X-book First Classes coming out.  I was only predicting them speculatively.  Sorry for the confusion.

    My understanding is that X-Men First Class was originally supposed to be part of the Adventures line, but has morphed.  The books do have a feel similar to Marvel’s Adventures line.  As such, I doubt that we’ll see "Avengers: First Class" or anything that implies that it’s a secret "Year One" kind of line.  Especially because it might conflict with the Adventures line.

  14. that picture is old school!

  15. I love that Conor’s head is covered in all the pictures.
    The world may never know what he looked like with hair.

  16. Those are awesome pictures!!  Conor has hair!!!!  I just assumed it all fell off because he had to deal with idiots at work and the stress got to him.  And look at Gordon and Ron!  Totally bitchin’. 

    Anyone else remember the Savage Dragon cartoon?  I believe it was on USA network in the late 90’s.  I don’t remember specifics, but I do know it existed.  I watched it a few times, along with Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

     @dshramek- First Class feels like the Adventures line because it is written by Jeff Parker, who writes many of the Adventure titles.  It has always been slated as taking place in the current continuity, even way back a few years when it first came out.  So I’m not really understanding what you mean when you say it "morphed."  The only sort of morphing it did was instead of only being a mini series it got turned into a monthly.

  17. @drakedangerz – I mean that it morphed during the creative process and before the first book came out.  It was planned at some point as X-Men Adventures and instead it became X-Men: First Class.

  18. Your Podcast is so good, and the ones from Mexico so bad, that i’m gonna reccomend you here!

  19. @dshramek  That would explain why there haven’t been any Marvel Adventures X-Men books.  And yeah, there’s a significant difference in that First Class more or less fits with established canon (other than being updated for modern technology, cell phones, etc).  Marvel Adventures retells established stories and changes some significant things like the lineup of the Avengers.

  20. Not 1 but 2 e-mails from me.  I’m amazed do I write that interesting of e-mail questions?  Or is iFanboys inbox just empty?  I did love that story from Josh. I felt so sad about his compounding sadness with the ex girl and Kubric. 

    @drakedangerz- Yes I loved that cartoon.  It was on USA Cartoon Express with WildCATS and Ultraforce. Sadly, only WildCATS has been brought to DVD.

    @dsharmek-  Nothing could ever replace the Ultimate Line in sales or in my heart

    Thank guys for answering my questions all the time.

  21. Young Gordon looks so… Young. And Conor with hair? Even beneath a hat it looks weird.

    Awesome pictures. I really wish footage of this was out there. 

  22. @lantern4life – Oh, definitely NOT empty… sigh… anyone want to be our e-mail intern?

    Josh’s story leaves out a lot.  It was a rough week in LA for both of us.

  23. I always assumed Conor’s hair fell out when he and Superboy were working on something…

  24. Well, if it isn’t the cover to iFanboy: First Class! Heh.

    Until I saw that picture, I never realized how much I wanted to be in a picture like that. I’ve never even run into a familiar face at a comic shop.

  25. Those pictures are priceless.  As in, they may very well end up in a faux mastercard commercial. 


  26. There’s something very Watchmenesque about that posed shot in front of the comic book store.  If there was an iFanboy comic book, the drama would come from the stories of all the people in that picture who didn’t go on to fortune and glory.  Like, Green Lantern in the picture, lost an internal power struggle and quit the League, to be replaced by Josh-Lantern. 

  27. @Crippler  I thought that WAS Josh.  Now I’m confused.

  28. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    That’s Josh.  

  29. @Conor-What does e-mail intern intale?  I have possible interest in the job.

  30. My hair was bleached a la Sick Boy for the last year of college.  Not saying it was a good decision, but it happened.

  31. @Josh~  Dumpage at the airport after getting there is way harsh.  I mean, she couldn’t even wait until you were about to leave or something?  Is that the most awkward moment ever?  I know it would be my top 1.

  32. @Conor-I place my name in the hat for email intern as well!!

    @Josh-I thought it MIGHT have been you, but then I thought to myself "no…Josh wouldn’t do that to his hair…never"  *Sigh* college life

  33. @josh  So, by "a la", do you mean "happens be like" or "was chosen in imitation of/homage to"? 

    Either way, you have much more/better hair than Jonny Lee Miller does, these days — so there’s that.


  34. Well, whaddya know.  See, that would have been one of the big reveals! 

    "Wha..?  That’s the same guy?  Daaaaaamn!  I was still thinking it was going to be Col. Mustard! 

    Now only the story of big S and little s Supermen needs to be told. 

  35. I think it’s cool that ya’ll have developed this awesome website out of almost casual college aquatence 

  36. @SixGun – It’s true.  We were barely friends in college.  We all ran in different circles.  I’m honestly not sure how it happened.  Especially after that one time Ron left me in the snow waiting for the bus after we ran into each other at the comic store.

    Yeah, that’s right – I said it!

  37. These were my two reactions from those old pics:

    From the group photo (I recognize Ron, Conor, and Gordon….but who the hell are the other three? That cant be Josh in the bottom with the GL shirt…He looks like an American Eagle Model.)

    From Conor as Batman (That is the saddest Batman I’ve ever seen…..)

    Love the early days, oh god the horror stories I could tell you in my TV Broadcast classes in High School. Oh I dont even want to think about it. Just think about it: There are some awkward early shots of Hitchcock and D.W. Griffen in the days of not being famous. When your famous, your all kinds of sexy. 🙂

  38. Somewhere I have a picture of us shopping in the store but who knows where the hell that ended up.

  39. Honestly, Josh, that bleached hair looks pretty cool. 


  40. @Diabhol – This must be some strange new definition of the word "cool" of which I was previously unaware.

  41. That picture was priceless.

    I remember reading Savage Dragon back in late ’93 early ’94 and loved it.  I recently made room on my pull list to start checking it out again because I have been feeling very nostalgic lately.  I’ve also been listening to a lot of Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam.  Man, the ’90’s were awesome.

  42. PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    @Kory .. . Those are some of my favorite bands, too.–EhOi6dP0 

  43. aww, iFanboy Secret Origin,

  44. Savage Dragon was so good, especially from about issue 25-75. It really was on of the absolute best titles published by any publisher in the mid to late 90s.  It’s a title that all three iFanboys, all the interns and most of the of the iFanbase would enjoy once they get past the initial 20 run of typical early 90s Image content (though it was certainly as good as, if not better than, Spawn.). It’s true, just ask me!

  45. My favorite part of that first picture? All those "Hot" Episode I toys. Man, those are probably worth a fortune right now…

  46. @Nate – And I bought every damned one.  And then some.

    A waste now, but way fun then.  We went to see the movie within a matter of weeks after this picture actually.  It was then that the innocence was shattered.

    It should be noted, I suppose, that we specifically wore those shirts that day, because it was our last trip to the comic shop in college, and we said we’d all go as the JLA.  So we piled into Ron’s battle grey station wagon, and made the trip, feeling quite conspicuous, to be honest.  Or this is some made up story to disguise our nerdlinger ways.

    Also, way up at the top @RaceMcCloud…thanks!  I was proud of that line.

  47. @Josh

    Don’t feel bad, the McFarlane Halo 3 toys broke my checking account 

  48. Hey it was 1999, it was a strange time for all.

    A new Star Wars film, great economy, a competant President….Ah what almost 10 years will bring into the future. If I can ask Josh, or anyone else….Other then that bleach haired god on the bottom row, I dont recognize the two with the Superman shirt. Who are they? Are these your ‘friends’ that abandoned the site when it came up and running?

  49. That’s the elusive Simmons, standing, and playing the part of Superman, while proving that we do in fact have "some black friends."  I lived with him in college, and he was a good friend.  Playing the part of Beppo the Superchimp, kneeling in the front is Thom, who I lived with after college for some time, and who introduced me to Sandman and Sin City.  Good blokes those.

  50. @josh: Sounds like good mates, guess the allure of the internet back then made them scared huh? I remember back in 99′-00′ the internet was a new and scary thing, and that anyone could be rich if they had a website. ha ha, oh we couldn’t have been more wrong.

    Oh and that ‘some black friends’ line josh. Made me get milk all over my keyboard, thank you 🙂

  51. That picture is pretty epic.

  52. The other photo from that day at the comic store has been scanned and uploaded here.

  53. which robin is that supposed to be, tim, or dick, or jason? 

  54. It’s the joker and the robin that was in the cartoon series after the joker made him look like him… not the best theme for a photo with friends.

  55. @RaceMcCloud, are you not a Trainspotting fan?


  56. @conor: I know it’s like a million years ago, but what comics are you look threw in that pic? I would love to know what ifanboys picked up in 1999.

    All I see in the is that female ninja teaming up with Vampirella…..oh…oh I see you we’re in THAT section. 😉

  57. I think this will give you all an idea of what happened to Simmons and Thom…

  58. @Josh

    I bought them all too. In fact I worked at Toys R Us at the time and was working the "Midnight-Madnes" opening. I was made to dress up like Darth Vader that night (I know, it doesn’t really make any sense) *the shame*. Good thing that came out, I met my wife there a few months later.

  59. Wait, you mean the black guy isn’t Darryl?

  60. That story about being dumped post-flu and spending all that time in an airport sounds like the worst thing ever.

  61. I’d totally read early Savage Dragon if I had anything other than the #1’s (for the ongoing and the original mini). Wonder how much those sell for? $5 together? Anyway, its good to hear that one could pick it up at any point.  Thanks for the info.

  62. I swear, Ron’s had those sideburns since he was born..

    Gordon got the whole Dick Grayson, "I love being Robin" look really dead on.

  63. It made for an ugly baby, that’s for sure.

  64. @josh: Awww…..geez….that’s just….rude…but hilarious….but definitely rude….but still hilarious

  65. That group photo made me chuckle.

  66. This is the kind of stuff I was begging for in the conversation following the Mini that featured Conor fixing Ron’s hair.  This is gold.  I demand that you all wear these costumes in the next Video podcast.  I demand it.

  67. If I had to guess (I don’t), I would say that Josh is conjuring some sort of hair gel related construct with his ring in the third picture.

    Also, Gordon is really, really excited in the first picture.  I will be very suprised if he doesn’t attempt to kill Josh in his sleep in the near future.