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Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Shawn Hopkins, May 22, 2010.
I totally agree with everything you said.
And for me it's just butt ugly to look at. It's still art and it needs to be pleasing to look at but I can't fathom anyone liking it. I don't really like Miller's art even back in his early days( although I like the early part of DKR artwork ) but this was just horrific and I think this was the kind of early with digital coloring and it just looked bad along with the random pages of photoshop effects.
Ultimates 2 is the better one. The characters get better developed, there's more humor and Hank Pym actually gets likeable in kind of a sad sack, still can't forgive him way, and there's a better-defined political statement. Well, more like a political question, maybe. You might still hate it, but it's the superior work.
And that's the funny thing about Authority. Authority imitators, including later writers on the Authority book, took something the comic wasn't necessarily rooting for as a good thing and started promoting it. I think Authority is at its heart Warren Ellis wish fulfillment. What he and I have to admit a lot of others would like to see superheroes do even if it would never work in the real world. It's Superman picking up Hitler and Stalin and delivering them to the League of Nations, except with lots of explosions. I think Warren himself summed the Authority's ideology up as "There are bastards. Let's kill them!"
Anyway, when I acknowledge that that's where he's coming from, it's really hard for me to summon up the lack of self-awareness and sense of irony that would be necessary to criticize a superhero comic for containing a wish fulfillment fantasy.
It isn't Neal Adams in that it tries to be smooth and realistic and attractive, it's kind of funky and experimental. "Ugly art," as defined by David Wolk in his "Reading Comics" is probably too strong a term for it because there are some scenes where it still tries to abstractly evoke the awe of a superhero's rippling physique, but it does have elements of that. I personally tend to like this kind of out there art, I was a big fan of Keith Giffen's weirdo period and I like Sam Kieth.
You can't lay it on the early days of digital coloring, though, they had been doing that for years when this came out in 2001. Somebody did go nuts with the Photoshop effects, though.
Can I nominate Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler's death as being over the top and part of a cheap gimmick to shock the X-men/Marvel comic fanbase?
Oh, I actually kind of like Ellis' run on The Authority. I should make that clear, and I get where he's coming from and can even get behind it in some ways. I just don't even think that anybody who came after him had that much thought in it. If there was still wish-fulfillment after that, it was only of the variety that said, "If I had all this power, I'd use it to be a complete and total putz to people I don't like just because I could," which is a pretty venal and stupid wish to have no matter how much we may wish that.
A question for anyone who knows.
Is Marvel's Ultimatum mini-series by Jeph Loeb and David Finch really as bad as everyone says?
I hear this series is absolutely terrible. I've read enough about it to know what happens in it and I never really cared about the Ultimate Universe anyway, so I'm not sure it'll bother me as much as it did some, but as an alternate What if-type story, I think I may like it.
The main reason I ask is because I'm attracted to dark, end of the world stories, and I really love David Finch's art.
Just to give you an idea of how I view things sometimes -- Like many fans, I loved Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, but absolutely hated The Dark Knight Strikes Again, yet as equally bad as his All Star Batman and Robin is, I can still read it over and over again and accept (or ignore) just how bad it is, simply because the artwork by Jim Lee is so amazing.
I love David Finch's art almost the same way as Jim Lee's, so I'm tempted to buy Ultimatum just for the art, but I'd still like to know if there's any redeeming factor to the story at all.
I've flipped through Ultimatum, and what I could see was gawdawful. When Jeph Loeb was good, he was very good indeed. But when he was bad, he was horrid.
Gotta agree. Loeb took a long slide downward in quality years back and this wasn't a gem. I don't know what caused him to turn to crap. Maybe taking lessons from Chris Claremont?
Well, his son's death must have done something to the poor guy. And a few of his stories seem to hint at this.
Wow, I suppose unlike The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman and Robin, Ultimatum isn't even worth viewing as a parody.
Okay, so I guess if I do decide to pick it up, I should do it only for the not-so-pretty, but still admirable pictures.
Be prepared for superhero/supervillain cannibalism and other sorts of goofy fun .
I liked some of Finch's stuff in the past, don't care too much for it now, but I wouldn't call this one of his prettiest books by any means.
By the way, when he mentions both superhero and supervillain cannibalism, that's because it contains instances of both.
I would ahve said that myself, but even a good 2 or 3 years beforehand the cracks started showing. This has been going on longer since before he knew his son was going to die, it's just something like Ultimatum or Ultimates 3 brought it to a complete head. They were just garbage.
You mean like this?
The Blob meets Hank Pym. Yum!
It may be ridiculous on Loeb's part, but didn't Millar's Ultimate Hulk eat people, too?
Ultimate Hulk is an actual monster so him eating people (not sure if he actually did, however he did eat an alien) makes more sense than Ant-Man eating the Blob.
Hulk did eat a fat man and stole his pants early on in Ultimates (#4 or 5 maybe?) It was off-camera though and only mentioned as happening, so it just felt more comedic than shock-value.
From what I've seen of this shot, Pym doesn't actually eat Blob, he just bites his head off and spits it out, because he found Blob eating Wasp! Blob's the cannibal; Pym's just making sure the punishment fits the crime.
Well, at least some decent jokes can come out of these "Dark" stories.
I wonder if anyone at editorial realized this before OKing it
I saw that and thought it was great. I guess the Bizarro element is that they are live cats.
The worst part of Ultimatum was the death of Doctor Strange in such a randomly violent way (and with such a ridiculous facial expression) after Bendis spent an entire issue of Ultimate Spider-Man trying to save the guy.
Bendis was basically getting slapped in the face by Loeb the whole time, now that I think about it.
I'm not a Bendis apologist but his work has always been golden in the Ultimate universe for some reason and the Ultimatum issues of Ultimate Spider-Man are quite decent work and do a much more credible job with the all-out destruction than Loeb does. There's some actual feeling there too, especially in the last issue of the arc which is completely silent without dialogue or SFX.