Friday, January 2, 2009

Jeph Loeb

Wow, have I complained about Jeph Loeb. Let me make my position on Loeb as clear as possible:

The first thing I really read by Loeb (with the knowledge that Loeb was writing it) was Batman: Hush. It is amazing. One of my favorite DC storylines. It is really good. Other than that, I've known he's written other things, but I never really paid that much attention until Ultimates 3 was going to come out. Ultimates 2 is my favorite storyline ever, followed closesly by Ultimates. I loved Millar and Hitch. Going into Ultimates 3, I was excited. I like both Loeb and Madureira. Madureira was interesting, as I like his art, but don't feel it was appropriate for something like the Ultimates. Loeb I felt could pull off Ultimates based off of my expectations following Hush. Well, Ultimates 3 was bad. It wasn't as horrible as I originally was saying, but it was bad. With the expectations I had, it felt so much worse. It took me 2 issues to start downplaying the expectations which allowed me to tolerate issues 3 and 5 (not 4). Ultimates 3 failed for so many reasons, the main being the storyline, another being that the art didn't fit. Hulk came out around the same time, and following World War Hulk and Planet Hulk, I was really excited about Hulk. Loeb? Well, at that point he had written Hush, but he also destroyed the Ultimates. Hulk was amusing at first, but not great. Then, he ruined continuity to such extremes that I was forced to drop the book before I started hurting people (me, for buying it, random strangers for reasons unknown, the people who sold me issues, for not stopping me). Ultimatum has sucked so far although that also could have to do with me being upset about the general concept (and not being a huge David Finch fan) although it does have a lot to do with the story.

Loeb infuriates me so much because he's written stuff like Batman: Hush, Superman/Batman, Fallen Son, Emperor Joker, and Heroes. All things I've liked a lot. Then he's done stuff like Ultimates 3, Hulk, Ultimatum, and Heroes. All things I despise. If everything he did was like Ultimates 3, Hulk or Ultimatum, I wouldn't care, as I'd then expect bad things from Loeb, but with the other stuff he's done that I like, I get ridiculously confused. I'd be fine with him if what he did always sucked or was always mediocre and sometimes amazing. Instead, he does nothing mediocre and instead makes everything awesome or sucky. It is ridiculous.

What does Loeb do? Well, he lives in his own world, where he feels he can do whatever he wants. In everything that I mentioned (aside from Fallen Son, which was also somewhat a group effort), he decides that what has taken place is irrelevant and he is going to make it up as he goes. Take Hush for example. He makes every character act strangely and differently, he throws in a brand new character, with Hush, who (spoiler) used to be Bruce's childhood friend. He does explain it all, but along the way, you are very confused. The good thing is that Batman recognizes how strangely they are acting (which means it was on purpose), so you can be sure that Loeb has his own plans. Sure, I enjoyed it, but he threw his own stuff together and tried to cram it into continuity. Hulk has so much wrong with it. First off, you have Hulk Red and Abombination Blue. If gamma radiation had turned people other colors aside from shades of grey and green in the 65 year history of the Hulk, I'd be fine and say that it was fine to have a red Hulk. Since almost every character has been green, and the others have been grey, I'd have to say a bright red Hulk and a bright blue Abombination don't make any sense whatsoever. The Wendigo is an individual, but Loeb's turned the Wendigo into a pack. How stupid. Uatu is ridiculously powerful, as are all Watchers. They are also careful to not interefere, meaning they wouldn't get involved in battle, and if someone attacked them, they'd teleport or phase or something else to not interfere (as much as possible). Only the worthy can lift Thor's hammer because of magical properties, not physics, which means that someone not worthy cannot carry Thor by the hammer into space, where he then proceeds to hold and wield the hammer. Loeb likes making his own stuff up. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

I don't hate everything Loeb has ever done. I hate the disregard for continuity, but can live with it. But his good stuff makes his bad stuff suck even more, and makes me hate his bad stuff all that much more.

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