tying Michael Jackson, Jeph Loeb, and homosexuality in comics together, but I just couldn’t find a way to string it all together. So I’m just going to write about one of those hot button topics. Find out which one after the jump!
Okay, just so you don’t die of suspense, it’s Jeph Loeb. Specifically, I’m going to “review” Hulk 7-9.
I put that in quotation marks because, really, Loeb’s work is pretty well review proof. As 2/3rds of all comment sections on this website prove, you already know whether you like him or think he is a welt on the genitals of sequential art. Or the Michael Bay of comics. Those are kind of interchangable, aren’t they?
Let me lay my cards on the table before I get to these comics I’m supposed to be writing about; I haven’t liked Loeb since Hush. I was really hyped up for that, because I enjoyed the Long Halloween (it was one of the first trades I ever bought when I got back in to comics in 2001) and Jim Lee was my favorite artist when he was on X-Men. The fact it bored me after six issues pretty much slapped the scales right off my eyes as far as Loeb goes.
That said, he’s written some stories I’ve enjoyed, all of them with Tim Sale. Superman For All Seasons and Spider-Man: Blue * were both okay in my book, although a lot of that is Sale’s art and the stories Loeb evokes that I have fondness for (the Lee-Romita Spider-Man and the Timm, Dini, and friends cartoon, respectively). So, I’m not a fan of the guy’s, but I don’t hate him with a passion, either. I’ve kind of ignored him since Hush, really.
But I’m not made of stone, and these stupid Hulk comics are drawn by Frank Cho and Art Adams. That’s a trump card for me.
Stroywise, they’re not good in any real measurable sense. If you’re the kind of person that wants to sue Loeb for being a blight on society for writing bad comics*, they’d be pretty good evidence. They illustrate his tendency for excess (if one Wendigo is a threat, why don’t we turn everyone in Las Vegas to one), gratuitous guest stars, deus ex machine endings (Brother Voodoo actually fullfills the last two by himself); name a cliche, you can probably find it in here.
That said, who cares? The Adams drawn story doesn’t take itself seriously, is drawn by Art Adams, moves along briskly, is drawn by Art Adams, features at least one memorably amusing exchange between Moon Knight and the Sentry, and is drawn by Art Adams. That’s all I ask for, especially when back issue diving during a sale.
The Cho drawn story does take itself seriously, and serves as both an excuse for him to draw every major female superhero they can cram in there and for Loeb to try and make Rulk** look like a cunning villain by outsmarting the dumb girls (and offering Thundra a job helping him do whatever it is he’s meant to be doing), so it’s less entertaining. But still, Cho’s work is nothing to sneeze at, if you have a tolerance for his excesses.
That leads to why I think Loeb keeps getting work; he lets his collaborators show off. He gives everybody he works with ample room to draw all the splash pages, fight scenes, and ass shots they want. He’s not alone there, sure, but I do think tailoring his scripts to his collaborator’s strengths as artists is at least part of his appeal to editors and fans.
Also, these comics feature Mini Marvels backups. It’s hard to begrudge all that brain melting excess when those are the last things you see.
*That said, I think the color scheme Marvel stuff has hit its nadir. If they do Iron Man: Gold, Black Panther: Black, or Quicksilver: Silver, I fear for us all.
**I’m talking about T. there, because I don’t pay enough attention to the Loeb debates to know who else hates him that passionately. To be fair, our surly consonant really did hate him before it was cool, so he deserves credit there.
**That kind of makes me want to be co-council with T. if he ever does bring that suit against Loeb. It really irks me, just like babyman and comix. At least no one will combine those words in one sentence in the comments because I said I didn’t like them!