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Subj: I'll play
Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 at 01:38:00 am EDT (Viewed 48 times)
Reply Subj: Ultimatum discussion (spoilers for Ultimate books) or Why does Loeb keep ruining comics?
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 at 09:54:05 pm EDT

> The Ultimate line was basically what got be back into comics. I can read Ultimate Spider-Man, and most of the issues of Ultimate X and the FF, back to back, and still greatly enjoy the stories. In fact, I'm currently doing that now.
> But to truely understand and be able to state my concerns for the state of the Ultimate Universe, I think I should lay out how it started:

Well to be fair, it didn't just start with one writer. Bendis and Millar were to two main writers, both coming on at about the same time. UXM and USM were both announced at the same time, and were suppose to come out at the same time as well.

There were 3 ideas behind the Ulimate line 1) retell classic stories with updated characters, 2) only use top level talent 3) tell stories that didn't rely on continuity. Over time, the Ultimate line began to fail at all three ideas.

> And then Ultimates 3 hit. Nevermind that it shows blatant disregard for continuity and characterization. That characters are just randomly thrown in for absolutely no reason at all. That it follows the same murder mystery plot that every Jeph Loeb story follows. Or that it just spells out creepy incest scenes. Or that it's just plain bad. But as a build up to Ultimatum, it serves as a beginning point to destruct and (hopefully) re-build this universe, but re-building isn't exactly what's needed. Just some restructuring.

I've already stated that I don't see the value in trying to redeem the Ultimate line, but just to play your game, I will give ideas on how to fix it.

> 1. The minis have been good, sometimes bad, but most of them lead nowhere and are never heard from again. Keep the minis to a minimum and make sure that they're released in a timely manner and the writers and editors of the mini know what is going on in the Ultimate Universe at the time.

This is has been a problem but it's not one of the bigger ones. I think all of the minis have pretty much been failures, from the Galactus story to the IM minis. The problems were that they were using bad creators, telling bad stories, and making the stories and characters more complicated. Take the original Ultimate Iron Man series. The character origin because extremely confusing (Tony Stark can heal his body and had brain tissue throughout his body?), the talent involved weren't top level (Orson Scott Card and Pascul Ferry aren't popular), and the story was just awful.

> 2. Find a good writer and quick, decent artist for Ultimates, or short of that, stop publishing Ultimates. I hate this new trend of having an all star creative team that's constantly late and has almost no relevant interaction with the rest of the universe (see Astonishing X-Men). Timelieness needs to be emphasized, and you can't have interaction if one creative team is dragging everybody else down.

Let Loeb finish up his mini, and then give the team a rest for a little while. Comics, and especially the Ultimate line, need to be produced way ahead of schedule. When you eventually start a new series, get a up and coming popular writer (like Gage?) and team him up with a popular and reliable artist (Garney?).

> 3. Keep writers for the long term and have their run tie in to some way to previous runs. Kirkman, Bendis, Vaughn, and Millar all dealt with Wolverine's past in Ultimate X-Men, for example, and quite well.

Good idea, but there needs to be more. The Ultimate line was great when we had "architects" behind the series navigating the series, but once you brought in Carey and Kirkman, the line started to lose direction. The line needs someone to direct it. Once Millar left the line, no one took his place, and Bendis is just happy doing his USM title. Ideally, there only needs to be two writers on the line for 4 series. Bendis can do USM and UFF, and someone else can do Ultimates and UXM.

> 4. And for Pete's sake, get rid of Loeb. We don't need the same crap that's being pushed in (Red) Hulk and that crappy Wolverine arc into the Ultimate Universe. It doesn't need to be decimated, it just needs consistent support.

Loeb has been a disappointment pretty much in all of his Marvel work. But you can't blame Marvel for giving him the titles, since he was a popular writer when he started them. And the sales really prevent Marvel from taking action. But yes, his books are bad.

Marvel needs to re-evaluate the line and redefine it's purpose. Maintaining the three original ideas just isn't practical now. Every title besides USM is in pretty bad shape, and even USM is losing its positives. So the first step would be to cancel all Ultimate titles except USM.

The next step would be to decide how many titles you want out in a month, and four seems to be the most popular answer. So I think the best course of action would be to create an Ultimate Wolverine ongoing. The character has proven his popularity.

The next step would be to create the other two titles. My idea would be to create two 12-issue maxi series staring popular characters. Ultimate Iron Man seems to be the natural choice. Ultimate Hulk would be the second. After those series end, evaluate the titles to see if either one has proven good enough to give another series to. If not, and Ultimate Thor and Ultimate Captain America titles would be next.

After UFF and UXM have cooled off for a bit, think about restarting those titles.

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