The iFanboy Letter Column – 11.05.2010

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means movie night. For others, Friday means pure unbridled hedonism. For some, it’s both. For others, neither.

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 –

In the episode where Josh talked about the end to Daytripper and how family things tend to make him a big mush ball now that he’s a father I completely relate. Schlocky power ballads, episodes of TV shows about kids and families, stories, anything makes me well up with big ol’ bitch tears these days.

What I was wondering is if you could recommend anything else in that same vein. Stuff that’s connected to the family and the heart. Maybe kids. It sort of corresponds to my wheelhouse as it is anyway. I’ve already pre-ordered the trade of Daytripper and I’ve loved things like I Kill Giants which seems to fall into a similar vein for me.

I’m a casual comic reader at best and I tend to gravitate toward graphic novels and indie things in my tastes. Any help would be appreciated.

Travis V. from Lansing, Michigan

It’s a good question, and I’ve been scanning my shelves trying to find something that would tug thy supple heartstrings. I came up with two answers. One is easy, and the other will take a bit more effort.  It’s your call.

Easy: Too Cool to be Forgotten by Alex Robinson floored me when I was reading it. I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. The story is pretty simple. An older guy goes in for hypnotism therapy to stop smoking, and SOMEHOW he is transported back to his own body as a teenager. He deals with the issues of the day, but still has the mind of an experienced adult. I don’t want to explain anymore, but Alex made me weep, with the parental issues therein. It’s not exactly the same as with Daytripper, but it’s related.

Hard: Starman by James Robinson, Tony Harris, Peter Snejbjerg and many others. While it seems like Starman might just be another superhero book, it’s actually an antidote for that, and the whole thing is a treatise on fatherhood and lineage. It’s a slow burn. The whole thing goes for 80 issues, but that build has a huge payoff by the end, and when you go through the journey with everyone of personal growth and acceptance, the end socks you sorely in the heart-gut (which is not a real thing). It’ll take you time, and cost you money, but man, is that some legendarily good comics!

Josh Flanagan

We’re about halfway through the Brightest Day storyline at DC and I was wondering about your thoughts on both the main series and the tie-ins. It seems that there are few tie-ins that any of you are reading. Ron recently dropped Green Arrow and I believe all of you dropped Justice League of America. However, you’ve all had nice things to say about Justice League: Generation Lost and The Flash. Are any of you reading Birds of Prey? And what about the three Green Lantern books? And, of course, Brightest Day itself? Do you think this story is working?

Jeff R. (JeffR) from Dayton, Ohio

You know, it’s funny, Jeff. Until you mentioned the tie-ins I completely forgot they existed. It’s not that I’m not reading them, I am reading a few, but I completely forgot that books like Justice League: Generation Lost and The Flash and Birds of Prey ARE tie-ins to Brightest Day. As someone who is reading all four books I just mentioned, I don’t really see the first three as tie-ins. I mean, sure, they all are about or feature characters that came back to life in Blackest Night and thus they probably will have something to do with Brightest Day, at the very least thematically, but right now I couldn’t tell you what The Flash has to do with Brightest Day, story wise. So until they start having some demonstrative impact on one another I’ll probably just continue to live with these books in blissful disconnect.

As for the books themselves, I’d put The Flash in my Top 5 and Justice League: Generation Lost in my Top 10. Birds of Prey I’ve haven’t been that thrilled by.

Oh! The Green Lantern books! That’s a whole other kettle of fish. Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, and Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight are probably the only books that I think about as straight tie-ins to Brightest Day inasmuch that they are all dealing directly with fallout from Blackest Night in much the same way that Brightest Day is. And you know what? I’m kind of totally bored by the Green Lantern books right now. I think I’m done with that story. As our esteemed Mike Romo so eloquently put it in one of his columns a while back, “I just want Hal Jordan to be a space cop again.” I’ve dropped Green Lantern Corps and I’m on the fence about the other two. It would be hard to drop Green Lantern, I’ll be honest with you.

Brightest Day itself? I’m loving it! I love it in the same way I loved 52. It is plotted completely differently than a monthly book is and I see from comments here that some people aren’t into that, and that’s fine, but I am. I like that there are multiple mysteries going on in each characters’ story line and that it is slowly unfolding. That’s pretty much the same way 52 worked. Now, is it perfect? No, of course not. When you’re dealing with so many characters and so many plot lines you’re bound to get at least one clunker — in this case Hawkman and Hawkgirl. But that’s to be expected. There were clunker plot lines in 52 and I think 52 was one of the best things to come out of comics in the past ten years. I think that Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi are doing a great job and the art is wonderful. I’m really happy with it.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. Is the Hawkworld in Brightest Day the Hawkworld from the late 80s miniseries that rebooted the alien Hawkman?  I see Johns is trying to tweak the history somewhat (though what it’s fixing, I’m not sure).  If I think too hard about it, my eyes become crossed.

    I’m down with the whole reincarnation storyline with Hawkman and Hawkgirl (their deaths in Blackest Night worked), but I also really like it when Carter Hall just beats up people with his mace and flies.  I also like my steak rare.

  2. Brightest Day is consistently bringing solid writing/story line with awesome art teams. The Aquaman arc and the Deadman arc are my favorites, and I love the fact I get two issues a month!

  3. I agree with you Conor about Brightest Day. I read the main title, The Flash and Generation Lost and i don’t really ever see a connection, besides the banner on the cover. I still love all 3 and am having lots of fun with them. 

  4. I’ve been reading the Starman Omniboo that my library has graciously been buying for me and I absolutely feel the family dynamic.  It works very well.

    I’ve dropped GLC, too.  I still enjoy the other two GL books, though.  And I’ve been enjoying Brightest day quite a bit.

  5. I have 4 months worth of Green Lantern related books I haven’t read. I’m on the exact same page.

  6. Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors is pretty good.

    I dropped birds of prey after issue two.  

  7. I agree with everything that everyone has said about Brightest Day and its tie-ins.  I had dropped all of the Green Lantern titles from my most recent DCBS order, but when I got my box this month and read last month’s issues, I quickly added them back to my order.  GLC had been the most boring, IMO, but I really like what they’re doing with the Weaponer of Qward.  What?!? He created Sinestro’s yellow ring?  Whoo, that’s going to be interesting!  And, Larfleeze’s real name is not Larfleeze?!?  That’s got me intrigued.  Yeah, so just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

  8. I’ve been totally digging Brightest Day.  The story has been good and each of the plots has worked its way up to an interesting point.  The art has also been very consistent and well done which 52 and Countdown both struggled with.

  9. I believe I am with most readers on Brightest Day. I think it is excellent… Except when Hawk people are in it. This last issue with them wasn’t horrible but it was still a step down from other issues recently.

  10. On comics with a family theme — you’ve gotta go with Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa, which is very much a allegorical tale about parenthood and loss. One of the best things I read last year!

  11. the only brightest day tie ins i am reading are the lantern ones, but im thinking of picking up Flash in prep for Flash point.    But I LOVE Emerald Warriors.  I think it is just tied in enough with brightest day to have the banner at the top, but at the same time it is Gardner (& a few others), doing what space cops do best, being cops (or at the moment, preparing to be cops).  Also, the battle with Bleez in issue 3 was pretty exciting. Dont get me wrong, it still could fall flat on its face, but so far its the DC book i am most excited for each month. 

  12. @ Travis Valentine

    Some other good graphic novels in the same vein to check out are:

    Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson from Top Shelf

    Freddie & Me by Mike Dawson from Bloomsbury

    Palooka-ville by Seth from Drawn and Quarterly

    Maus by Art Spiegelman from Pantheon Books


  13. "And you know what? I’m kind of totally bored by the Green Lantern books right now. "  That’s how I feel.  I was thinking I was the only one.  I dropped Brightest Day and very bored with GL.  I’m hoping Emerald Warrior can inject life into the GL Universe.  

  14. I dropped GLC in a heartbeat once Bedard went off the rails and Kirkham started as artist. I could be dropping Green Lantern proper too soon…..I want to read a book about Hal Jordan. But it is coming apparent that Geoff Johns is hiding his lack of good writing for Hal by turning the series into a ‘Color Lantern Corp’ book.

  15. Appreciate the reccomendations. I love Alex Robinson but have only read Box Office Poision so I’ll check out "Too Cool to Be Forgotten" without a doubt. I’ll also definitely look into Starman, I really appreciate the advice.


    Also thanks @daccampo and @StormingtheCastle, I’m definitely putting those on my wish list. 



  16. Thanks for taking my question, Conor! The BRIGHTEST DAY tie-ins seem tangential at best and outright unrelated at worst. But, we’ll see if this is all leading somewhere. As to the main series, I’ve found myself bored with most of the Martian Manhunter and Hawkman storylines, so I hope those rap up sooner rather than later. They won’t, I know, but one can hope.

    I agree that, overall, STARMAN is so good. However, the fifth omnibus has a plot point that I originally reviled when I first read it, but I’m looking forward to rereading the whole thing to see if that part works better for me. It didn’t help that I originally read the Starman-in-space story right after I’d read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing-in-space story and found the Starman story wanting in comparison. Again, maybe distance will help me respond to it better.

  17. @ Travis Valentine:

    I’d definitely recommend the Essex County Trilogy and Blankets.  Both were moving and family / relationship oriented. 

    Personally, Box Office Poison is about the only book from this genre that I’ve tried and haven’t enjoyed.  In fact, I didn’t even finish it.

  18. I dropped Green Lantern at the beggining of the most recent arc. I was just getting completely bored by it. However I have been enjoying Emerald Warriors. Three issues in and it’s an exciting book.

    Loving Generation Lost. I agree with, I think everyone has said this, that I wish that this was just the Justice League book. How is JLA? Is anyone reading it? What’s going on with that book?

  19. I’m actually loving the main Green Lantern book at the moment. Throughout his run so far, Johns has intoduced alot of great supporting characters to the title, and is now doing an amazing job in fleshing them out with this current story. Plus, Doug Mahnke is killing on art.

  20. @ comicBOOKchris

    i agree.  I thin in General, Johns has added some great characters the past year.  I think the reason Hal isnt just being a "space cop" right now is because of these characters.  If they were just dropped on the wayside, then they would likely fall into obscurity.  Hal will be a space cop again soon, lets just hold on tight and see this one to the end.

     but that’s just me…

  21. @comicBOOKchris @ed209AF – I’m on board with both of you here.  Green Lantern still continues to entertain with me Hal interacting with all of the different Corps characters.  Granted, the plots and pacing have gotten a little chaotic, but Johns still makes up for it with building up these characters.  One thing we can say at least is that it brings something different than the usual "space cop" routine.

    Having said that, I’ve dropped Green Lantern Corps.  I gave Bedard 3 issues to convince me to stay onboard and it hasn’t worked.  I’m almost at that point with Emerald Warriors, though the whole pact thing with Gardner, Ganthet, and Atrocitus keeps me hanging by a thread.

  22. Speaking of comics with a family theme, Superman: Secret Identity more than fits the bill. Though that’s probably an unfair recommendation because even though it is easily one of the best things DC has ever put out – no exaggeration – it seems to be entirely out of print.

  23. I love GL, I really like the ideas johns has and his mini brain trust with tomasi and now berdard is great. The reason there are 3 main GL books is because each offers something different but together make a beautiful tapestry.

  24. @TimmyWood: I’ve been reading the regular Justice League title by James Robinson. His "Cry For Justice" mini was awesome, and I had high hopes for the monthly, but it just ain’t there. Let me say Robinson’s Starman run is one of the best comic series I ever read. In my top 5 for sure. It appears he’s lost his magic. The characterizations are poor, the dialogue is poor, the stories are for the most part boring. Even the JSA crossover story was boring, although he did a better job on the JSA characters. Now, granted, he’s working with a JLA that doesn’t have any of the real "Big 3" – he’s got the Dick Grayson Batman, Supergirl, and Donna Troy, who are stand-ins for the real Big 3. And that is a challenge, because without them, the series is meh. Congo Bill is pretty cool, but that’s about it. I don’t care about the book and find it boring. I should drop it, but I would feel like a traitor!