Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artist: David Finch
Inker: Danny Miki
Colorists: Aspen's Peter Steigerwald & Steve Firchow
Story - Heaven on Earth
Review Special (aka The Jeph Loeb special) - Before I start my review for this issue I have decided for Ultimatum #3 to split it into two different reviews for reasons that will become obvious. ENJOY!
I like to send a thank you to Jeph Loeb for his writing. No your eyes aren't deceiving with what I just wrote in my previous sentence. Hear me out!
Most of the comics that I have gotten over the past two months since the second issue of Ultimatum has come out most of the comics I have gotten I have found to range from good to near perfect. Even the issues that I found average or boring I was able to get some entertainment from each issue. While this has been great for my wallet since I haven't had to question many of my purchases. But while it is good for my wallet it is not to great for my blog.
Because I haven't much to complain about most of my recent post I have been more on the positive side and I have actually taken a bit more time to write my comic reviews since it is hard to continue to write one positive review after another without sounding repetitive. But now with Ultimatum #3 I feel a bit rejuvenated as now I have something to completely bash on writing side. So all that negativity I have not been able to use I have finally found an outlet for that negativity. Because of that I thank you Jeph Loeb for your continued lack of competence as a writer over the past few years. Thank You!
If this was any other writer after reading the second issue of Ultimatum I would say that this series can't get much worse and that it can do nothing but go up from there. But again Jeph Loeb, as he has been doing for the past few years, continues the a downward trend that just when it looks like a writer can't present a reader a more of incoherent mess that lacks complete respect for the characters and the writers that built the universe long before he/she came along Loeb finds a new lower level. Not even David Finch's fantastic art can help salvage the mess this mini-series has become.
It is hard to believe with his current work that there was a time when Jeph Loeb wasn't a bad writer and that he actually did work such as Spider-Man: Blue, Batman: Long Halloween, Batman: Hush, and the initial first two arcs in Superman/Batman. But his work on Ultimate Power, Hulk, Ultimates 3, and now Ultimatum it is hard to sometimes remember he was the same writer that wrote those stories.
Whether it is the 616, Ultimate, or any other Universe have I seen from a comic use of one "shocking" scene after another used so unnecessarily that as a person I am offended by this tactic used by Loeb. When using "shocking" scenes in order to just be shocking it is easy to tell that Loeb has no game plan for what he is doing with Ultimatum. Loeb probably didn't even bother writing an outline for the series. All this, and the other, issues have read like they are outlines of ideas of what a writer would like to do but still has not found a logical way to write to get to those scenes. To say Ultimatum #3 is void of logic would be offensive to all of the illogical ideas that people have come up with. I honestly feel that a first grader would do a better job presenting a more coherent story than this one when they are scribbling stuff on their wall to piss off there parents.
From the characterization of Pym, Blob, Hawkeye, Thor, Magneto, Mystique, the X-Men, and so on I can't really say which character I find more annoying. But if I had a vote I would say Loeb's version of Ultimate Pym has become the most annoying character I have ever read. I get that scene was suppose to be "extreme" but you know I would not have been as offended if Pym would have just picked up Blob and his ass by ripping him in half similar to what Hulk did to Wolverine in there Ultimate version of their fight. I would have actually accepted it if that was what Loeb actually had Pym do. But no that is not "extreme" enough for Loeb that we must have Pym bite of Blob's head in order to show how much pain he is in. The whole act negates anything heroic Pym does in this issue that I could care less if Pym lives or dies.
Then there is the X-Men who instead of listening to Prof. X's direct instructions that he gave back in Ultimatum #1 to split up to help gather the remaining heroes to fight Magneto they all decide to gather together to stand and look at the bodies of their dead teammates. That is the mark of true heroes: don't pay attention to the millions of lives you can be saving that barely survived the disaster instead just sit around a camp fire pouting over what happens. Good work X-Men you are the greatest heroes on the planet. We should just be lucky that this isn't how Loeb wrote Ultimates 3 (oh wait never mind!)
I don't know which scenes are more uncompelling those two or the one involving Thor and Cap fighting of the army of the dead. Why the hell does that scene belong in this series. Seriously I find no point to this scene other than to allow more blood to be spilled without having our heroes actually "kill" in the general sense. Also when did Ultimate Thor all of a sudden become 616-Thor? If Loeb had decided to start the series off with this scene I think it would have made much better sense, or at least as much sense as Loeb's writing can get, as we could question why Thor and Cap are fighting off an army of the dead and then have a flashback to the flood. See I just wrote an outline to one issue. How hard was that Loeb?
Also the sadness that Loeb tries to have Magneto show for the death of his kids and that being the catylist to Magneto's plan couldn't have been more purely executed than it was. At no point was "damn, only Magneto could have done this. There really is no stopping him now and all the heroes are going to die." For all I know Loeb could have stuck Doctor Doom or a villain that has yet made an appearance in the Ultimate Universe and it would not have made a difference in the story. In the 616-universe Magneto is probably the most sympathetic villains Marvel has but here I see no emotional connection to Magneto or any of the characters involved in this series.
All Loeb has done is kill of one A-list character (Thor) and a bunch of B-list and lower heroes and villains in a way that the reader does not care at all even for a character death like Thor. Thor's death perfectly illustrates the lack of respect Loeb has for all the characters as not even Thor, a character who is part of Marvel's Trinity, isn't allowed to have his death to be shown on a panel but somehow Blob getting his head bitten of does. Ya great.
Honestly if anyone wants to read Ultimatum in a way it is supposed to be told than read Ultimate Spider-Man. Bendis does an infinitely better job showing how horrific the Ultimatum disaster is and presenting it in a way the reader feels emotionally connected to the event.
I'm sorry if someone might have come up with this already, but in order to come up with a rating that is worse than zero I say this issue deserves the rating of: Loeb-it. Yes now anytime a comic, a book, a TV show, or a movie should get a score less than zero than I say we give it a Loeb-it to represent anything that deserves a score below a zero. I can see the t-shirts now "I Loeb-it the issue."
Story: Loeb-it/10 - Loeb does nothing to impress but does everything to offend with his writing.
Art: 8.6/10 - David Finch does a great job giving this horrible story a blockbuster feel that I can still appreciate the cinematic feel Finch gives this story.
Overall: 1/10 - Not even Finch's artwork could save Loeb's Ultimatum #3. The only thing that can be worse than this issue is issue #4 and #5 of this series.
Friday, March 20, 2009