Pick of the Week Podcast

Pick of the Week #150 – Invincible #52

Show Notes

iFanboy celebrates its 150th episode with a double-sized all-e-mail spectacular! With no topic off-limits and a late night recording time, it’s iFanboy’s most personal (and awkward?) show to date!

Running Time: 02:07:39

Pick of the Week:
00:02:45 – In a week full of great books, Josh’s clear choice for Pick of the Week was Invincible #52.

00:12:50 – Ron breaks the rules and sneaks Secret Invasion #6 into the show while no one’s looking.

00:17:04 – Eric from Texas wants to know which books each iFanboy is alone in reading.
00:18:42 – A. Devlin asks about the Watchmen motion comic.
00:20:31 – Neal A. thinks DC is lagging behind Marvel in the talent signings.
00:24:10 – Terrence from Fort Worth, TX has a question about Marvel heroines.
00:25:21 – Mike G. from Ontario, Canada wants to know about iFanboy’s origins, trade rereading, and asks a classic versus question.
00:30:05 – Caroline wants to know what the iFanboys would retcon.
00:31:18 – Edward D. from Canberra, Australia asks about superhero religion and politics and then gets personal.
00:33:45 – Joe B. has an idea for a third Batman film.
00:35:15 – Dominick thinks that San Diego Comic Con is becoming too much.
00:39:05 – Jon D. thinks that certain characters just can’t carry a book on their own.
00:43:35 – Cleophus W. from Brooklyn, NY asks about Geoff Johns, Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb.
00:47:02 – Jenny Y from Boston, MA despairs over Fables news.
00:48:40 – Capt. Cool asks a point blank question about Sleeper.
00:50:32 – Gian Lije Garcia wants to know about American Virgin and rushed endings in comics.
00:53:40 – Adam says despite the dialogue, Crisis on Infinite Earths is his favorite event.
00:55:38 – Joshua from Florida wants The Amazing Spider-Girl in regular Marvel continuity.
00:58:03 – Rob in Tennessee asks about other comic book podcasts.
01:00:33 – Jen D. from Portland, OR misses the old comic book encyclopedias.
01:02:13 – Potter from Wisconsin is loving “Batman R.I.P.” and all of its tie-ins and wants to know why all the hate for Hush.
01:03:48 – Ray from Union, CT asks about statues, favorite superheroes, and favorite creative teams.
01:10:10 – Carter asks a very, very, very personal question.
01:11:55 – Mike B. from Ontario, Canada asks which comic character the iFanboys hate.
01:12:34 – David B. wants to know why the iFanoys whine so much.
01:13:57 – Meg from Pennsylvania asks about books that a high school history teacher can teach in class.
01:15:15 – KriederDesigns asks about short story books that a high school teacher can teach in class.
01:17:56 – Gabriel from Strangers with Comics remembers the Marvel 2099 line, asks about sci-fi TV shows, and scary things in the iFanboys’ comic collection.
01:23:34 – Jo-Rel R. ponders the trend of side characters being brutalized.
01:25:59 – Dave C. asks about inkers, foreign comics, which comic book the iFanboys would live in, which villain the iFanboys would be, what the iFanboys would do if they could reverse time, and asks for advice on what to do in college before graduating.
01:33:14 – excalipoor from Queens, NY wonders if Thanos is all that bad, asks about female super villains, asks if any other canceled TV shows can make it in comics, and reality TV shows.
01:37:35 – Lily wants to know if the iFanboy have ever put their comic knowledge to use in real world situations, and asks about embarrassing movie purchases.
01:41:36 – Vichus S. wants to know why the iFanboys don’t like Gail Simone’s writing, and asks about the new Marvel Noir comics.
01:43:26 – Joey from Cincinnati, OH wants to know if there are any books out there like Mutant X.
01:44:27 – Adrian asks about Robert Kirkman’s run on Ultimate X-Men.
01:45:03 – Cotton says Top Ten got him to appreciate lettering.
01:47:15 – Sam F. from Philadelphia, PA has a question about iFanboy staff writer Sonia Harris’ taxes.
01:48:14 – Aaron asks about the status of Fell and Shrugged.
01:50:16 – Stephen from Rancho Cucamonga, CA wants to know why comic book movies aren’t helping comic book sales.
01:53:16 – Steve wants to know if those comics from the bad ol’ 1990s were really all that bad.
01:56:31 – Mike from New Jersey asks about the prospects of the Punisher movie.
01:58:31 – Chuck from Downey, CA & Eddie from Glendale, CA & Eric all want to know how the iFanboy video show is produced.

“Back and To the Left”
Texas is the Reason



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:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

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. Congrats on 150 shows, guys!!!

  2. Here, Here…Congrats!

  3. Happy Sesquicentennial!

  4. @AugieDB

    Futurama fan are we?

  5. Yay! my question is in it. Can’t wait to listen

  6. That…that was more than I needed to know about Ron

  7. I love my episodes nice and juicy, dripping wet with content.  Can’t wait to listen.

  8. I almost shut it off when Ron suggested that Silverhawks might not be excellent.  

  9. Hey my question got asked, now I got a good reason to listen to this! lol jp

    Thanks for using my question guys, when it gets on my itunes cant wait to hear it. Although it’s kinda weird, my Punisher question wasnt for the show, but who am I to complain?

    Thanks again, and congrats guys! Here’s to another 150 podcasts!

  10. @Paul – I’m going to go watch Silverhawks on YouTube in protest right this very minute.

  11. "She probably has a different last name now.  That’s what happens to girls."



  12. "You’ve Got Mail" is a remake of "Little Shop Around the Corner."  It’s one of my all time favorite movies.  We should watch it one Christmas.  

  13. Still the best. Thank you ifanboy!!!

  14. Congrats on ep 150. Any episode where Canberrans are involved is an instant classic.

  15. huge fan of the show for a longtime. So i’m syked my question appeared. Can’t wait to hear all the letters and see what the responses were.

  16. SpPON!!!

  17. Damn you Ifanboys for not sharing your secrets, I have always wondered the three of you function.

  18. I lost it when Ron was pronouncing Spawn. Great show guys, here’s to 150 more!

  19. Great show!

     As for cancelled shows continuing in comics, i wanna see a Veronica Mars comic.

  20. Seconded on the Veronica Mars comic.  

  21. wow didnt even realize my question was on there until i heard it. thanks guys congrats on 150!! you guys are awesome

  22. Awww, I get all the way to the end of the show and you read my question and then you don’t answer it!  I thought you were joking around at first.  The anticipation, the excitement, then the disappointment.  Apparently you guys want to be mysterious or something. 

  23. Hey Josh instead of a Spider-Woman series written by Bendis, we get a Hawkeye series written by Bendis? He’s great when writing the guy, obviously just reading all the Avenger stuff lately, that would totally work. I’m with Josh on cancellations of titles, I normally check every issue to see if it’s rushed or the quality just dips, if it stays good threw the end then I stay with it til the bitter end…but of it sucks then I just dont even bother finish it with the last issue. Wikipedia is a great thing.

    I just dont like Hush only because he doesnt really have a big motive to hate Batman. Okay so he was jealous of Bruce, and Dini is trying to make this guy work…but is that really the only lame reason he hates him? Statue Shopping video? That would be awesome! killthesentry.com? Best website ever! You guys dont like Doctor Who? After all the love of Paul Cornell? For David Carr, Skydoll was a great french comic that Marvel translated….Gordon did a whole article on that and I’d totally recommend that as a foriegn comic.

    Reality Show? Survivor: Just to relive Season one of the winner who was in the nude half the time….Yes you can throw up now. I’m ashamed of you conor for owning Crossroads (hides his copy of Glitter)……Wait Joey Jo Jo!!…..DC printed out 300,000 new copies of Watchmen in wake for the film, I’d say that’s gonna be a lot new fans if they do get sold. Or at least we’re gonna get people like Ron buy 10 copies of the trade. Trade sales have gone up in my store at least, okay I dont have exact figures but I’ve been at my store a full year and comics/trades have gone up in popularity thanks to films and peak of interest.

    As for my question, I first got the indication about you not liking the new Punisher from your last film podcast. You said this winter would have Punisher, Spirit, and Whiteout as the next comic films….and I think either Ron or Josh groaned on how awful they look, dont quote me on that. I understand that Punisher is a one trick pony in terms of origin, and maybe it is hard to root for a murderer (But hello, Batman killed a ton of people in the Burton/Schumaker versions) But I say it time and again, why not use Garth Ennis’s stories from his MAX run? A ton of those arcs had nothing to do about his family and just dealt with politics, drug wars, and overall ton of weird s***. ‘Valley Forge, Valley Forge’ would totally work for a film…you just need to mix it up a bit to make it work…

    Congrads on the 150th podcast again, cant wait for your 300th. Plus thanks for answering my question again. Oh and do another e-mail podcast again sometime, even if it isnt a milestone….this was a lot of fun.

  24. Wow, I think you guys were right on 101 when I came across this podcast almost a year ago —

    Time flies, and it’s been great to see the site and community grow.  Congrats!

  25. Great music choice, whoever (Conor) picked it.

  26. Best Show Ever! I laughed so many times.

  27. I knew a Joe Buttice in high school; he pronounced it "boo-TEE-see."

    We didn’t, but he did.

    Joshua, while your man Hawkeye never had his own book, he nearly did; did you ever read Solo Avengers? It came out from roughly 1987-1991, and its format was basically one Hawkeye story and one backup featuring some other Avenger. I bought many issues of the book, and it was clearly great since I can’t remember a single thing that happened in any of them or who the creators were.

  28. Wow, the late-night party vibe of this show really came across, and was easily the most entertaining podcast I’ve heard yet. Major congrats on Episode #150, and to see things going from strength to strength. Totally deserved!

    I loved how feisty Ron got with a couple of drinks in him: "Just email me and I’ll try to fix the link… Fuckers!" Genius!

  29. Crap, I think I did read Solo Avengers, but haven’t thought about it since.  And no, I don’t remember a thing about it.

  30. Great episode and congrats. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who embarassingly watches Big Brother.

    I will defend the Vertigo Encyclopedia. I have both the Marvel and DC encyclopedias from DK (or whoever), and have to say I like the Vertigo one best of all. It’s very thorough in the titles it covers and devotes enough pages to the larger Vertigo books like Sandman, 100 Bullets, etc. while not shorting other books. It appears to cover all the books Vertigo has published, even some of the lesser-known or revered series. Looking through it, it made me sentimental for Spider Jerusalem, Tim Hunter, and America Century. It really is a great piece of work if you are a Vertigo fan.

    No Flex Mentallo, though. Not a mention, even in the Appendix. 

  31. This has got to be one of your funniest and best show. The Threesome question was freakin hysterical.

  32. Hooray for Sesquicentennial!  Congrats.


    Also, where exactly are all those ifangays?  I have yet to encounter one, but am glad they exist.  Total cop out with that last question by the way.  I totally wanted to know how you guys do this!!!  Tell us!

  33. @Dan: Vertigo Encyclopedia is the best one of the bunch. I mean it’s not like Marvel or DC are bad, but damn DK took a ton of time making all the titles mentioned and took a lot of care with them as well. Definitely recommend that encyclopedia. Plus it shouldnt be updated too often, which is a plus.

  34. Hilarious (and frighteningly personal) show! Thanks for answering my question.

    Congrats guys!

  35. If you don’t know how they orchestrate the video show, you probably haven’t thought about it.  How would you do it?  

  36. @PaulMontgomery   Well when you put it that way, it’s obvious.  Ron’s a Skrull, Josh is a Life-Model Decoy, and ‘Conor’ is actually Clayface.

  37. Since I like to procrastinate, and I missed getting my e-mail question in for the show I thought I could ask here for some help.  I was watching the season 7 DVD of Smallville with my girlfriend.  The episode we were watching was "Siren" that featured Black Canary.  She immediately became interested in the character and after explaining the character background to her she asked if there were any comics she could read about her.  I told her that she is in a series with Green Arrow.  She said she would like to start reading that series but she really wants stories where Black Canary is by herself.  So my question is, does anyone know any good Black Canary storylines (i.e. ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’)that could be found?  They can be issues or trades it does’nt matter as long as they feature Black Canary fighting crime solo.  Help me ifanboy community, you’re my only hope.

    P.S.- I really need to stop qouting Star Wars.

  38. You should film a video show from three different locations and splice it together.

    So who’s more powerful, Bad Roommate Black Pather, Maine Aquaman, Middle-Management Red Skull, or Anti-Abortion Hawkman?

    Isn’t it cool that you guys have your own continuity?

  39. If I was in an elevator with Ron and one other person I would get very nervous…

  40.  Thanks guys

    btw – Templesmith mentioned a new Fell issue for October 31st on twitter

     No idea if he was serious. 

  41. @EricE51 – October 31st of what year?

  42. Just started lstening recently. You guys and Quiet Panelologists at Work seem to be the only comics podcatsers that actually mean it when they say they talk about comics because they like comics. Thanks so much.

  43. Fantastic show.  Hated the cop-out on the last question; that’s been bothering me for a while!

    Congrats on 150.

  44. Finally got a chance to listen to the show, and I probably laughed through half of it.  As great as you guys are when you’re being smart and analytical, you’re even more fun when you’re punchy.  Congrats on 150!

  45. Congrats on the 150 guys.. that’s awesome! The iFanboy podcast really is the BEST out there for comics.

    To all the peeps that are curious as to how the guys hook up so much… can anyone say "sponsors"?  🙂

  46. @SunnyvaleTrash – sorry, but we’ve got to maintain the mystery a bit, right?

    @corpseed – I think you overestimate the value of comic book podcast sponsors.

  47. Congrats guys.

    I was listening to this at work last night, and could not stop laughing for most of the show. People tend to look at you strange when you just sit there and all of a sudden burst out laughing.  

    Great show. Can’t wait till the next email extravaganza.

  48. Ron has a twin brother.

  49. Hate to break it to you guys but there is no Ifanboy….it is actually just a set of three characters written by a struggling actor by the name of Nick Stevensen. He has cast three of his friends and they get together once every 6 months to record 200 video episodes. The audio show is done throw clever uses of filters on Audacity.

    I know this because the guy who plays "Ron" was confused when I mentioned Doug Ramsey to him in person.

  50. throw should be through…I have been drinking. Surprise!

  51. Re: There is only one Punisher story, "his family gets killed and wants revenge"

    That sounds a whole lot like Batman. And did’t Ellis do something interesting with Frank?

  52. @JumpingJupiter – On the surface, yes it sounds like Batman, but no it’s not.

  53. Very compelling argument. I’m sold.

  54. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to explain something that is plainly obvious.

  55. Would be so kind as to point out the plainly obvious for us of inferior intellect.

  56. Back and to the Left.  Good choice!

  57. I’ve never tried Invincible, but I like the idea of the Mahler Brothers. They should team up with the Fiddler.

  58. In regards to graphic novels in High Schools, my wife’s English Department uses American Born Chinese. I believe it’s with 9th graders.

  59. Well, Frank decided to kill everything that does wrong, and Batman won’t kill.  There’s a big difference right there.

  60. I almost forgot!: as the only person who ever read Marvel Comics Presents, it is my duty to let you know that Niko Henrichon has most recently been drawing a Machine Man strip in that book. Just when you thought there was nothing worth paying attention to in there.

  61. I meant to write this last night but then my internet got knocked out by Paul Newman and Robert Redford (a story for another time).

    The Punisher’s family was killed.  Batman’s family was killed. On the surface, yes they are very similar.  Many origins start that way.  The differences begin immediately following the killings.  Once the murders happen Frank Castle decides that he is going to have his revenge by killing all criminals.  Bruce Wayne doesn’t talk of revenge – he wants to save everyone.  He doesn’t want anyone else to die; he doesn’t want anyone else to go through the pain that he has gone through.  That’s a fundamental difference right there and it is fairly stark and very important.

    The differences continue on in that Batman as a character as been given many more layers than The Punisher.  He has a family.  He has friends and allies.  He is a member of multiple teams.  The Punisher, on the other hand, is a guy who mostly works alone (though sometimes with help) to shoot, knife, explode, or otherwise kill people who commit crimes.  That’s generally The Punisher’s story: "I must kill [insert criminal here]."

  62. Also, not for nothin’, but Frank was an adult with healthy family relationships when tragedy struck; Bruce was scarred as a child. Frank was a veteran who had already seen some things and developed the skills he would use in his crusade; Bruce was a blank slate that devoted his life to developing those skills for this purpose. Death gave Bruce a respect for life while having the opposite effect on Frank. To you Catholic school kids, one of them’s very Old Testament while the other is very Gospel.

  63. As for the last question. I asked them this very thing when I met them in a bar in Manhattan. I was sworn to secrecy, and they implented what I can only imagine is some sort of explosive device in my brain. Sorry.

  64. To me, the Punisher is basically "What if Travis Bickle decided after shooting Harvey Keitel ‘I could make it a mission doing this!’ at the end of Taxi Driver?"

  65. @Unoob – Don’t forget, my finger is always near the button.

  66. I’ll agree with Batman’s "extended family" making him different but other than that, it’s pretty much the same the same thing to me. They both just have one story "bad things happened to me, me fight crime now". But Batman has gotten more good writers than Punisher has. In my eyes that’s the difference.

  67. Writers who have written Punisher, just off the top of my head:  Garth Ennis, Stephen Grant, Chuck Dixon, Matt Fraction.

    It’s a thinner concept.  There’s no grey with Frank Castle.  Kill him, or don’t. Where’s the dramatic conflict there.  Batman is much more complex.

    But hey, think what you want. 

  68. Also remember that one of these men dresses as a motherflippin’ bat.  The other does not.  No contest.  

  69. "It’s a thinner concept.  There’s no grey with Frank Castle.  Kill him, or don’t."

    Yeah ok. That makes sense. But isn’t that the writers’ fault? Isn’t it the writer’s responsibility to insert those sophisticated layers? I think lots of good stories can be told with just about any character. Or is that a myth?

    There’s a show in there.

  70. I suppose there’s a legendary Frank Castle story out there, but maybe the writers haven’t put it into him, because he’s not worth it.  There have been Punisher and Batman movies.  Some are remembered and some are not.

    I, for one, do not believe all characters are as worth as any other character.  They’re not all created equal.  There’s good to be done with Punisher, sure, but he’s been extremely popular, and had lots of people work on him, and he’s not as interesting.  You want to prove me wrong, get your most amazing Punisher story ever published.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

  71. For me, Frank Castle is more of a catalyst.  A plot device.  You look at his appearance in Daredevil.  I clearly remember this moment from the POW show that covered it.  Frank Castle is ammunition.  Maybe he works better as a side character or as a hero of a mini.  There’s not much to him.  Not as versatile.  If anyone does something noteworthy with the character, they do so in spite of his shortcomings as a concept.  His is a limited tool chest, whereas Batman is rife with potential.  

  72. @Paul: I understand he can be good as a side character, no arguements on that. But Punisher MAX has been going on for a strong 62 issues (5 years) so obviously he has been writting as a great main character.

    Yes Batman and Punisher essential have the same origin/motivation, but both have had different stories with their past as the catalyists. Punisher MAX did have him talking about his family, but it’s not like he weeped everytime when he thought about them. Every story had a unique storyline to them and never used the same villians twice (mainly because they got shot in the face every arc). Valley Forge Valley Forge is the best example, to me anyways, that shows how Punisher can be written for film….That was my question anyways.

  73. This may be the nerdiest response here but here we go:

    How can Hawkeye like music, isn’t he deaf? (He may have liked music)

    I’m going to hang my head in shame. 

  74. "Every story had a unique storyline to them and never used the same villians twice (mainly because they got shot in the face every arc)"

    This comment particularly struck me. Hard to build the character a decent rogue roster if he keeps killing them off. And as the saying goes, a hero is only as good as his villains.


  75. @Jupiter: But that’s the thing, he isnt a superhero so he doesnt have recurring villians! I’ll say it for the 100x time, he fights thugs, rapists, drug dealers, mob men, and other ‘tame’ villians. The only villians he has is really Jigsaw and Barracuda…..although the latter got horrible killed in the 9thvol of MAX.

    Also I’ll be a man and correct myself: Barracuda appeared twice in Punisher MAX and that hurts my comment on not seeing the same villians twice….My bad.

  76. I meant hero as in protagomist and villain or rogue as in antagonist.

  77. Additionally, the fact that Bruce witnessed the murder of his parents when he was an innocent, naive child, and the fact that Castle witnessed the murder of his family as an adult that had been to war and seen the worst of it, might have something to do with the fact that their missions are different.

    Might Bruce have taken the same mission as Frank if the roles were reversed…?

    Just a thought.

  78. I still think Frank Castle has more potential than we give him credit.

  79. Wow, this has turned into the "hate on Frank Castle thread"? All you haters should read through Garth Ennis’ Punisher MAX run & then see if you’re so quick to write-off such an awesome character. Would one of the best writers in comics spend 60 issues (plus more) on a character who is "not worth it"?

    Anyways … here’s to 150 more shows fellas!

  80. 150!! Rock on! Awesome show.

  81. Hey ifanboys–great article and info on the sale of trades and graphic novels from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/08/22/ST2008082201503.html

  82. Thanks for that article.  It was very uplifting.

  83. @Josh: I can’t tell if you are serious or taking the mickey!

  84. BTW, I was thinking about your assertions about the Punisher this morning whilst in the shower, and you guys are dead on.  Other than the origin, their really isn’t anything to the character.

  85. I wasn’t being sarcastic.  It was a good article about comics that didn’t make me roll my eyes.

  86. Bah has anyone even read Punisher MAX except for the people in favor of my point!? Seriously, no offense to you guys at Ifanboy, but conor said none of you read the book! So how can you judge on something when you never read it?

    Sorry I dont mean to be a jackass, just I think people are thinking in the mentally of the films. In the films Frank Castle is a one-dimenson guy, but in the comics he’s so much more.

  87. @TheNextChampion – That’s not exactly true.  Ron and I (and possibly Josh) read Ennis’ PUNISHER for a few years in the beginning.  i dropped it out of repetitiveness.

  88. @conor: Your right, my memory just slapped me in the face when I asked you that question when the 60th issue came out….Do I have alztimers or something? Still, you should really try and read it again, cause I didnt find repetive things going on with the series. Maybe it got better to you after you dropped it? Eh? EH!?

  89. @TheNextChampion – Having heard so many good things about it in so many places I think I might check out the Omnibus when it comes out.

  90. @gOofgnewt: you’re so right. Any show with Canberrans rock… and isn’t Floride delightful this year?


    and Josh, you totally piked out of that question. Ron or Conor! you have to choose! Now!

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