About a year or so ago, I recall explaining Jeph Loeb to somebody. The guy I was talking to only read Marvel, so he didn’t understand why I found Loeb’s writing so annoying. The only thing he knew of him was Loeb’s old Batman stuff, which of course, was very good. This was before Fallen Son, Wolverine and it’s not like he was going to read the then-new miniseries Onslaught Reborn anyway.
I explained it via Superman/Batman and how ridiculous it got after Jeph’s son tragically died of cancer. Loeb’s writing took a turn for the worse to the point that he only relies on his whole “Toss everyone into the mix and watch it sell despite quality” gimmick to get by. He still gets high profile comic jobs that will continue to do well based on both the topic and the great artists he’s usually paired with. No matter how bad his Hulk run is, it will capitalize on both the McGuinness art and the phenomenon of Greg Pak’s amazing Planet/World War Hulk epic. Wolverine was unreadable, but it’s Wolverine and the pages looked amazing.
My friend didn’t care much about Superman or Batman, so my explanation of why it was so bad towards the end of Loeb’s run didn’t work. To better explain, I jokingly came up with Jeph Loeb’s Spider-Man/Wolverine. A hypothetical comic where in one story they would face Doctor Octopus, who has for some reason taken over the Hand. Or a story where Ben Reilly returns with an adamantium skeleton. Or a story with Mary Jane becoming the new Phoenix. If anything else, I knew that there would be some kind of story arc where Venom and Magneto would team up. Such a concept makes no sense in any way, but that would never stop Loeb from shoehorning those two popular villains together for the sake of another epic crossover filled with random guest appearances.
I was only half joking when I suggested it, and yet here it is. Much has been said about Jeph Loeb and MAD!’s Ultimates 3 #1. Very few of it good. It’s nice of them to wait until December to release this, as we can be sure that this is really the worst comic of the year. In a year where Mary Marvel turned slutty and fought a demon made of dead babies who threatened to eat her poop, it was still toppled by this muddy comic that can only be considered the Ultimate line’s first great step into self-destruction.
This comic needs its own special take. Much like Christopher Bird‘s deservingly popular take on Civil War, I teamed up with Something Awful forum member ManiacClown to create Ultimate Edit. Speaking of Mr. Bird, he was gracious enough to help me find a font that doesn’t scrape the eyes. Nice guy.
That’s it for today. Join us tomorrow for the next three pages.