The iFanboy Letter Column – 12/04/2009

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means it’s searching for the ultimate party where on the way, you and your friends get stuck in a 1980s movie-esque adventure. For others, Friday is the day things get weird.

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 —



Here’s a question that will let you hypothesize about one of your favourite topics: The X-Men. Specifically, I’d like to hear your thoughts on Nightcrawler’s powers.

When Nightcrawler teleports, does he continue moving with any momentum (a la the video game Portal), or does he essentially reappear at a standstill? If he were falling from thousands of metres in the sky, could he bamf just before hitting the ground and land safely?

(Did I spell bamf right?)

Kyle (SunnyvaleTrash)

Look at you Kyle, trying to work your way into the letters column by baiting me with an X-Men question. Well played, sir! Everyone should take note, THIS is how you get me to pay attention to your questions! Make them hypothetical/real world applications of scenarios involving the X-Men. Brilliant.

Now to answer your question. I’ve never played the video game Portal, but I think I understand what you mean.  Basically, if Nightcrawler is running, and gaining momentum, and then teleports, when he reappears, does he still have the momentum he was gaining? My gut instinct answer is: Yes. I suppose it depends on how you view the act of teleporting occurring. The way I see it is Nightcrawler is opening a window, going through it, and then back out that window in his proposed destination. (And we all know that he teleports through another dimension, but that’s another discussion completely.) Despite the horrific make-up job and stupid scars on Alan Cumming, this was one of the few things about Nightcrawler that I think X2 got right. He moved with grace and momentum as he worked his way through all those Secret Service guys in the White House. So yes, I think that Nightcrawler carries whatever momentum he had going into the teleport.

Now for your other question, you did indeed spell BAMF correct, although you should always capitalize BAMF. Unfortunately you did not spell “favorite” and “meters” correctly.

Ron Richards


Whose art do you guys love so much that you would frame it and hang it around the house if you could? Why do you suppose that publishers don’t do more of this kind of thing to feature other popular artists as well? I feel like there’s a wealth of untapped marketing potential here.

For instance, when Heroes first came out I would have given anything for a print or a poster of any of Tim Sale’s paintings from that show. Alas, no such luck. And last year, my boyfriend and I matted and framed three issues of 100 Bullets because he loves Dave Johnson’s covers so much he wanted to be able to display them.

So what gives? I can’t possibly be the only person out there who ever thought Darwyn Cooke’s art might look great in my dining room. Or that Mike Allred deserves better than the long box where all my boyfriend’s issues of Madman currently reside.

Lexi from Ambler, Pennsylvania

There are plenty of guys out there whose art I would love to have displayed. The problem is almost that there’s too much. Every single week there are at least one or two covers that stand out. But that said, between Darywn Cooke, Dave Johnson, and Jock, I could plaster my walls for sure, much to my spouse’s dismay.

Personally, I’d love to see more covers done in larger print size, but with full trade dress. Instead, there are alternate covers, and a few collections of covers (Sandman, Preacher, Fables), and Marvel puts out lots of posters of their cover images, but they never look like covers. They just look like pinups. Skottie Young alone has done quite a few covers this year that all deserve framing and display. But for me, the beauty of the object also has something to do with the form. I love the things as comic book covers, so that’s what I’d want. I guess you could put up a bunch of framed comic book covers, but that’s not really what I’d want.

One thing that might be overkill, but is kind of neat is the custom wall art from a UK company called Surface View. They’ve got a bunch of vintage Marvel stuff that would look supercool on a wall… depending on your particular taste. You’ll have to click around a little to find them, but we’ve talked about a big ol’ Jack Kirby Captain America on my son’s wall. Oh we’ve talked about it.

Josh Flanagan


I have been a comics reader since 1985. My mainstays back then were The Punisher, Sandman, and X-Men. Nowadays, my mainstays are Green Lantern, The New Avengers, and Captain America. I never even thought to read these titles back then (I know there was no The New Avengers back then. I did not read any Avengers (A little West Coast, though). Are these titles that much better now compared to twenty years ago?  Also, can you recommend trades from these titles back in the day that you feel are outstanding?

Jon S. from Forked River, New Jersey

Green Lantern Then and NowIt’s really hard to do a straight up comparison of comic books from different eras. The modern standards for mainstream super hero comic book stories are different now than they were 20 years ago. Are Green Lantern, The (New) Avengers and Captain America that much better now than they were back then? It’s hard to say because the standard varies. What are you basing “better” on? They are certainly generally more realistic, grounded, and gritty now than they were then. Does that make them better? Depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Personally, I prefer the Avengers books from the late 80s to the Avengers books now (though I quite enjoy the modern The New Avengers). I prefer the modern Green Lantern books (by the end of the 1980s there wasn’t even really a Green Lantern book, it became Green Lantern Corps) and I’m split on Captain America, I absolutely love the book in both the modern are and in the late ’80s but, again for entirely different reasons.

I suspect that if readers conditioned on modern story telling styles went back and read the books from 20 years ago they would probably not enjoy them. Times were different then, story telling was different. Art and production were different. It’s kind of like comparing modern films to those made in the early part of the century. I love both Goodfellas and The Public Enemy, but their styles are wildly different because the sensibilities of the times in which they were made were so different.

As for outstanding trades from that era, that’s really tough because, generally speaking, there aren’t a lot of trades from that time. They certainly weren’t really putting out collections back then like they do now (the market was in back issues, not collected editions), and when they did put them out it was for really special work like Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns. The only Green Lantern trade that I can think of from that era is Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn, which was a retelling of Hal’s origin in the post-Crisis DCU. I don’t know that I would categorize it as outstanding, though it’s quite good. There are a few Captain America trades from that era. Two new volumes that came out this year, and one out of print. Avengers trades from that era are pretty haphazard as well.

The late 1980s is a gold mine of great stories that has, for now, remained virtually untapped by Marvel’s grand trade printing machine. I would like this to change. Hear that, Marvel? I’d like my Mark Gruenwald-era Captain America Omnibus now, please.

Conor Kilpatrick


  1. Whoa, did Jon S just find another way to ask the Green Lantern question? 🙂 

    Seriously, I appreciate the thoughtful answers for all of these.  I always look forward to letter-column Fridays!

  2. As a Gordon fan, I would love to have this cover by Dustin Nguyen as a poster: 
    It works even if the person viewing it has no knowledge of Batman.  A lone cop in the spotlight.  Standing against the evils of the city.

    "Unfortunately you did not spell favorite and meters correctly." That sentence is funny on multiple levels.

  3. I always wondered if Nightcrawler could, essentially, fly. I mean, he can continually teleport through the sky and, therefore, never has to touch the ground…right? The biggest hurdle would be him getting tired, which happens far too easily.



  4. I’d pretty much like to have any Mike Mignola Hellboy cover framed as a poster.

  5. Unfortunately, Ron’s joke was ruined by the fact that he legitimately spelled it "unforutnately".

  6. Jon, if you have no resistance to staring at screens, both Avengers and Captain America have been released in their entirety on DVD-ROM from Git Corp. They are also "out of print," of course, but easy to track down at Amazon and elsewhere.

  7. …and conveniently broken down into decades and years

  8. They actually used to make a big deal about the fact that Nightcrawler’s momentum was conseved whenever he teleported. For instance, if he was falling out of a plane and tried to teleport to the ground after picking up much speed, he would slam into the ground at the same speed when he reappeared. He has used this to his advantage, by gaining momentum and then teleporting into a situation with that momentum to slam into someone, as recently as Uncanny X-Men 501 & 502 when he and Wolverine went to "save" Karma from the Hellfire Cult.

  9. But if he conserves his momentum, then in issue #516 when he teleported out of the plane, he should have smashed into the ground.  He was moving at the same speed as the plane, even if he was only on it for a second or two, therefore he should have asploded upon teleporting back onto land.

  10. Yeah, it was established very early on in the X-Men relaunch in the 70s that Nightcrawler keeps any momentum that he has before teleporting. It was like his 3rd appearance when it was brought up. 

  11. It was not a good idea to click on that Surface View link.

    …where is my tape measure…

  12. I have three framed comics hanging in my office because I love the artist and feel they are great displays: Amazing Spider-Man 24 and 27 by Steve Ditko and Tales of Suspense 74 by Jack Kirby. I Have thought about adding Captain America 109, which seems more and more like a good idea. It’s not just comics hanging up, there are also several framed black & white baseball posters and a Marx Brothers movie poster. Yay!

  13. I just saw a Darwyn Cooke cover for Invincible that i’d love to frame and put on a wall.

  14. That Surface View stuff is amazing.  I hate their website design, but the product seems amazing. 

  15. Hate myself for pointing this out but: Ron favourite is just as correct a spelling as favorite. And was Connor in a hurry (or possibly slightly inebriated) while writing his answer there’s a huge amount of spelling mistakes in that answer.

  16. @Vuk: Ron knows, he was kidding, and yes, I was in a hurry. 🙂

  17. Favourite is THE correct spelling. Foavorite is gross perversion invented by the uncivilized and uncultured Americans.

  18. Wow! ironic misspelling.

  19. dont forget metre and meter Muddi990!

  20. The Essential X-Men and other Essential titles from Marvel crossed well into the 1980s.

  21. When it comes to the Nightcrawler question, I suppose the real answer is his powers work however the current writer wants them to work.  But, Ron’s answer makes the most sense.  By the way, that opening scene in X2 really was the highlight of the movie.

    Onto the old trades question, I have to say that EMERALD DAWN I and II were just okay.  Geoff Johns’ take on the same story, SECRET ORIGIN, was better.

  22. This thread is chock full of ironic misspellings.  I think it’s cursed.

    Also, no one can answer this for me.  Who the hell is Connor?!

  23. he’s the overly sensative bald fellow. i mean, one "n" it’s not the end of the world

    I have a few framed second hand Graham Greene paperback covers in my house. Not because i particularly like the author or the artist but because of the textural, stained and pulp quality of the actual material it’s printed on. It looks very nice plus i think it’s a little unusual. Adds a little personality to the house

  24. Now, what was wrong with the x2 nightcrawler?

  25. I’ve been experiementing with Block Posters — Free, but the quality is what you make of it and maybe super expensive if you go to someone else or have a printer that wastes too much ink. The results have been alright though — a friend put up a psychedelic fractal image and Frank Miller’s Wolverine cover up in his apartment with pretty decent results. I’m going to give Frank Quietly’s Superman a shot on a 10 ft. by 8 ft. square in the game room when I get some time to breathe.

  26. I see the Surface View website provoking a major fight with the girlfriend in the not too distant future.

    I think she’s threatened by the fact that Phoenix was here first and she’s got that bad girl side…

  27. I shit you not, my wife is totally jazzed about a big Marvel comics wall in my son’s room.

  28. Connor is the evil twin brother of Conor. They look exactly the same, except that Connor has long flowing hair like Fabio.

  29. Son’s room eh?  That’s a good angle.  I’ll work that one.