Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Alright Jeph Loeb, are you ready to save the motherfuckin' Ultimate universe?! HELL YEAH BRO LET'S DO THIS THING.
First we are treated to an intimate moment with each character, where they are placed in a setting that allows them to explain, out loud, whatever Loeb feels is their defining character trait (helpful for the reader who is maybe not familiar with, say, Spider-Man). Tony Stark is given room to celebrate his alcoholism, Johnny Storm screams petulantly that is father will "never get" him, the Thing lifts something heavy, and so on. Suddenly it gets a bit dreary out, and New York is destroyed by a tidal wave that kills roughly half of the superheroes. I know it's a tidal wave only because Mark told me so -- the art does nothing to convey this, and the book leaves us with the impression that Earth's Mightiest Heroes have been done in by a rainy day.
The book is structured in such a way that when Magneto is revealed as the culprit on the last page, it's meant to be a surprise -- and it certainly would be surprising, considering Magneto is not known for his ability to create fucking tidal waves -- were it not for the fact that his face is plastered over all of the advertising for this stupid comic. In his address over the Emergency Psychic Broadcast System, Professor Xavier informs the remaining heroes that Magneto had long spoken of his "doomsday plan" to kill everyone on Earth(!), but apparently Charles never believed he'd go through with it. Really now, Professor, you are a doctor of psychology. How could you disregard such a blatant cry for help? Shame on you.
Jeph Loeb had, at one point, been a perfectly competent hack, producing some pretty decent sequels to Batman: Year One, but this... this is not good. The plot is the absolute dregs of hackneyed superhero crossover fare , the dialogue is beyond preposterous, and the art is both ugly and confusing. It almost seems an excess of charity to call this "shit", but I'm at a loss for something more repellent to compare it to. If you can think of something worse than shit, please let me know.