Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #169 – Battlefields: Dear Billy #1

Show Notes

In which the iFanboys can’t remember what anyone’s doing or what their names are.

Running Time: 00:53:06

Pick of the Week:
00:01:18 – Josh says that his emotionally devastating Pick of the Week, Battlefields: Dear Billy #1, put all the others to shame.

00:10:27 – Final Crisis #7 is a little book you might not have heard of.
00:17:02 – The art in The New Avengers #49 made enjoyment difficult.
00:20:31 – Erik Larsen bends time to his will in Savage Dragon #144.
00:24:05 – Punisher: War Zone #6 reveals Josh to be a man of low character.
00:27:33 – Josh and Ron split on Runaways 3 #6.
00:29:26 – Josh and Ron agree on Nova #21.
00:31:18 – Proof #16 provided an excellent breather.
00:33:16 – Josh loves him some Invaders camaraderie in Captain America #46.

User Reviews:
00:35:12 – coltrane68 really enjoyed Fantastic Four #563.
00:37:42 – Templar had too high hopes for Justice Society of America #23.

00:40:12 – Logan D. from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada is torn between mini-series and money.

Voice Mail:
00:42:42 – Josh from Portland, ME wants to read comics written by some dude named Geoff Johns.

00:45:45 – If you’re going to New York Comic Con you’ll want to come party with iFanboy!
00:47:30 – Become an iFanboy Member and get the official iFanboy Member T-Shirt!
00:48:03 – Coraline giveaway only for iFanboy Members is still going on! Six winners will randomly be chosen from our members. Sign up for an iFanboy Membership, and you’ll be eligible too! Free Neil Gaiman download from Audible.com. This one’s for everyone who wants it.ย For more on both Coraline giveaways, please go here!
00:48:16 – The first limited edition iFanboy t-shirt is here! The HURM shirt is something you may want to pick up in time for the Watchmen movie!

“Pour Some Sugar On Me”
Def Leppard



Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

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Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. Freakin’ Def Leppard! Yes!

  2. Thanks for answering my voicemail, guys!  Like I said, I know Geoff Johns is good – I just didn’t want to pick up something where I’d be completely lost in DC lore.  Thanks for all the great ideas!

    Oh, and sorry about the sound quality.  Cell phone and all.

  3. No mention of Batman?!  I thought this week’s Faces of Evil was so good!!  I guess I’m the only person who likes Batman anymore?

  4. About Final Crisis, you guys really do need to read the whole thing through from beginning to end. I don’t know whether it will change your mind about it or not but it is an extremely different experience reading the whole thing through in one go and reading it months or even weeks apart. Not only will you understand it way better, you will also get a bigger feel of its epicness and just what Grant was trying to do with it. Ultimately, I loved Final Crisis, flaws and all but the (semi) monthly format did it no favours.

    Also, Josh and Ron, I hate to say this guys – and this is totally wrongheaded on DC’s part – you really should read the two Last Rights issues of Batman that Grant just wrote and, most crucially, you HAVE to read Superman Beyond. The latter really needed to be included in the miniseries in a way that none of the other spin-offs did. 

    And yeah, Battlefields sounds superb. I’ll have to try pick it up or at least the eventual trade.  

  5. The best part of New Avengers was when Norman debuts the Dark Avengers, and Spider-Man is watching his greatest nemesis make a mockery of everthing he stands for… and he’s holding a baby rattle the entire time.  That’s just classic.

  6. Also, I love that Cage beats up Bullseye while the guy’s eating Cheerios.

  7. ^Yeah, I second llash about Josh and Ron "having" to read Superman Beyond (and to a lesser degree the Batman issues) before they do the video show.

    Good, respectful discussion of Final Crisis nonetheless. I’m with Conor in that the online bickering/ranting/preaching annoyed me, even though I probably contributed to it. "I don’t understand it–therefore I hate it and it’s bad" was unfortunately met with some comments of "I don’t understand it–therefore it’s awesome and revolutionary"–yuck. Maybe you could say that if nothing else FC got people talking, tried to get them to think differently, and that’s always good–but I’m actually not sure about that, because it probably turned off a lot of people who now might NEVER give unconventional superheroics a chance. I applaud much of what Morrison did, and what he was *trying* to do, but on the other hand–I’m sorry–if you don’t make the difficult reading experience a little more "WORTH IT" than was the case here, then you might do more harm than good to the impressionable readership. If that makes any sense. I will say this: FC, flawed as it was, improves after every rereading; the more effort you put into it, the more you get out of it…but what you get out of it isn’t necessarily *enjoyment*, per se.

  8. You could read it a thousand times, it’s still not going to change the way it’s written.   

  9. great podcast. im still confused on Final Crisis and look forward to your show on it to help me out

  10. @FACE


    You could read it high. That helps a lot. I loved the issue.

  11. Is it odd I was a bit aroused with the music in this episode?

  12. Very much so.

  13. Hopefully I wasnt the only one who had those ‘special’ moments with that song….

    Anywho….So was our epic Final Crisis bickering a good thing or a bad thing?

  14. Seriously, let’s not argue about Final Crisis here too. 

  15. Cool show guys, I liked your answer to Logan’s question.

    Wish I could go to NYCC.  Would love to meet Jay Faerber and Paul Cornell.  But mostly I want to meet Tom Katers.  ๐Ÿ™  Sigh, maybe some day.

  16. Agreed, keep that to the FC thread if you insist on doing it.

    And what the hell was with that song at the end?  Ugh

  17. No No No, I dont want to argue about it anymore either….well at least until the video show for it comes out.

    I just mean that conor said that the ‘continually schreeching online discussion’ and felt ‘annoyed about the whole thing’…..Did we cause that reaction for him and the others? Or was it just the issue itself that made you feel blah about it?

    Normally I would do a dance when my opinions helped influenced someone…..but if it caused a negative reaction for this then I feel afwul about it.

  18. Listening now, but just as a note: I think it should read ‘Runaways 3 #6’

    Thanks for the podcast guys!

  19. The "rigamaroll" is funny. ‘Sall in good fun.

  20. P.S: Regina is pronounced RegIna. Rhymes with vagina.

  21. I am an avid fan of Garth Ennis’ war stories.  I also loved his Hellblazer, Preacher and Punisher MAX.  I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that Battlefields and Marvel Knight Punisher is written by the same writer.  It just doesn’t compute.  ????

  22. Ron’s assessment of Final Crisis #7 was AWESOME.

  23. @FACE: You could try doing a big math problem a thousand times too, and it’s not going to change the problem. But you might eventually solve the problem, or come closer to solving it, and also learn a little something in the process. It’s understandable that not everyone likes math, of course, but it’s dismaying that so many seem to resent all invitations to learn or be interested in complexies. Of course, we all know Morrison’s complexies ultimately prove gibberish, but still… :*(

  24. @cannabis – bob marley called. he said he wants his personality back.

    @flapjaxx – it’s a ‘comic’ book, not coltrane, not nietzche, not metaphysics and not a dissertation. i know that we hold these things in high regard, but when everything’s said and done it’s still just superman no matter how the story’s told.

  25. @FACE – I can’t believe I’m entering this discussion again, but saying something is "just a comic book" is pretty limiting, and sounds exactly like the attitude I work very hard to dispell by doing this site.  You wouldn’t say, it’s just a "novel".

    The only limits to comics are the ones we put on them.

  26. @josh – i hope by now you know that i respect your opinion as much as anyone here.

  27. @josh (cont’d) – as a fan of auto racing i can tell you that there’s more to it than cars turning left, but the argument continues. i would tell you that greg ginn’s solos are genius, others would call them a disaster. it’s tough adjusting to a world inhabited by donkey kong experts, gossip gurus and professional comic book readers. don’t assume that i’ve said these comics have no more to offer than sally forth or the family circus (which have their merit too), because i believe they do. my statement was that it’s still superman

  28. Anyway interested in learning more about the Japanese in WW2 could do a lot worse than pick up the book ‘Nemesis’ by Max Hastings. Very highly recommended.

  29. I loved Final Crisis. It’s twenty-first century Kirby on drugs. It has more than one idea in it. It struggles at times to bring everything together, but I would still rather see more stories like this than muddle through decompressed stories with characters that I personally don’t have much of a history with that don’t have alot of room for change.

    I really like how the story was told, as well. The emotional arc or tone of the story was great all the way through, I thought. Now, I couldn’t tell you what actually happened in the story, but I would have trouble recounting an average issue of spiderman. I just don’t pay attention to the casual chain of events as much as I someone like you, FACE, would.

    Also, Crossed is worth a look if you are liking Battlefields. The last two issues have raised some interesting moral questions. 

  30. I have come to the conclusion that if Bendis and Morrison wrote a book together it would either one of the best comics ever written or really, really bad.

  31. @DrkN –  That would be awesome.  For me Bendis’s plotting is his weakness and I hate Morrison’s dialogue.  That would be a great story.

  32. Leppard? Seriously?  Nooooooooooooooooooo!

  33. Final Crisis gets way better after a second reading. The problem with what Morrison was trying to do was that it is unfit for the current format of 22-page-a-month. Had it been a OGN or something like what Alan Moore is doing with LXG:Century, many of the finer details wouldn’t have bben cut, it would’ve been a lot better story!

    But what was the point of FC? Was it to spread the Kirby love? Apokolips Now from the Superman cartoon series did a way better job. It certainly didn’t do anything radical for the DC universe, except the return of Barry Allen and the death of Bruce Wayne.

  34. Bravo on the music choice.

  35. @UMFskibum a solid Geoff johns pick would be the first couple of trades of his run on JSA and an excellent arc w/Thy Kingdom Come

  36. @Josh – i think that the word you were looking for to describe the art in Battlefields may have been, "ICONIC." Especially when you were saying in terms of the Scott McCloud way of looking at it. Iconic is the perfect way to describe the paired down and simplified art style in Dear Billy.

  37. I think that’s part of it.  Sometimes, brain no work good. 

  38. I want to enter into the record that I offered to pay the iFanboys twenty American dollars if they went through the whole podcast without mentioning Final Crisis at all, as if it didn’t happen, just to see what it looks like when a web thread has a seizure. They took the high road and did the right thing, which is how you know they love you.

  39. @Jimski-Maybe they do love us, but Conor doesn’t say it enough.  Its nice to hear it sometimes ๐Ÿ™

  40. We just want conor to give us warm milk to bed and tussle our hairs.

    Are we asking too much!?

  41. You guys mentioned iVerse in this podcast and I checked out some of the offerings. I’m very impressed so far with the images on my iPhone. Can’t wait for more. Thanks!

  42. Since we’re talking digital comics, you guys should definitely chck out the Old Man Logan "widescreen" comics. A very different experience from what I read in issues.This is what digital comics should be.

    Keep in mind though that they are illegal. Of course, if you own the issues, then you should have no moral qualms about them. And If you do, well then, keep them to your self as these discussions never go well and I’m just a messenger. 

    Just think of them as Fan edit movies or fan remixes.

  43. I think the reason that Bucky having funny lines in ‘New Avengers’ felt off is that so far, he’s mostly been written by one writer, in one book where he hardly ever interacts with anyone in a ‘normal’ social context.  Bru’s Bucky/Cap has probably had more interior monologue than actual dialogue.  That works great in his own book but the result is that he basically has a lot of character development but not much personality (if you define personality as how people interact with each other).  Because of that, I really liked the funny lines in NA — if the character’s going to be part of a team book, he needs to develop more, outwardly.  It would be one thing if Bendis had him cracking Spider-Man-style jokes, but the humor here really came out of the awkwardness of Bucky not really knowing how to deal with this large group of people.  I thought it was a really good way to integrate him.   

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