The Ultimate Taboo: How Jeph Loeb Broke the Comics Taboo

For every fan of Ultimate Marvel Universe, Everyone knows that everything changed with Ultimatum. And every fan of Ultimate Marvel HATES Ultimatum and Jeph Loeb because of what he did. He broke the status quo in such a way that even till this day in 2012, it comes as a shock and disbelief. And we hate him for doing so. But the truth of the matter is that in retrospective he broke the ultimate taboo (pun intended) by showing us the end battle of the heroes in which the dark future starts and the heroes fell. It’s true the in Ultimatum the heroes won, but at a high price. The X-Men were decimated, the Fantastic Four broken (turning Reed Richards mad) and severely injuring the Ultimates.

And looking at the Ultimate Universe today in the Post-Ultimatum world, things are not getting better. But lets be realistic, the regular 616 Marvel Universe started to suck since Civil War. Not because of the repercussions of the event but how Marvel Comics have mitigated and in some cases erasing the consequences (One More Day for Spider Man fans). And Fear Itself was a hell of a letdown. Plus the X-Men have become a disappointment (Schism and Uncanny X-Men) with the exception of Wolverine and the X-Men. Jeph Loeb did what many wanted but at the same time did not wanted to see: the end battle. Cause to be honest, 616 Universe always, always, ALWAYS gives us one variation or another of the dark and dystopian future in which everything is screwed up and yet it never happens no matter how bad the situation gets. But by breaking that taboo and showing us just how the world went bad, and the consequences of such actions. THERE IS NO TURNING BACK (for the bastard that wrote OMD) and seeing the world forward, it’s pretty cool. A new Spider Man (black/Latino), the X-Men managing thru the ugly truth ( the x-gene was created by the government and not evolution) and the Ultimates getting their asses handed to them by crazy Reed Richards (now the Maker) and his Children of Tomorrow (an evil Future Foundation). It’s a world that is going to hell quickly, but with the taboo broken, they can do awesome stories such as this. And even though we hate Loeb for Ultimatum, in retrospect, it was the next logical step. And breaking taboos is what comic books are all about. To tell stories that often needs to be heard and told in an awesome way. The truth may free us but it hurts like hell. And that’s what happened in Ultimate Marvel Universe. I still dislike Ultimatum. And my first comic I bought is Ultimate Spider Man #2 and Ultimate X-Men #4 so trust me when I say that I HATE ULTIMATUM, but to be honest, looking back, it was necessary. What you guys think of it?

13 Comments
13 Comments
Posted by Inverno

I am also a huge Ultimate Universe fan. I stopped reading when Loeb ruined the Ultimates vol. 3 for me and I had the misfortune to pick the Ultimate Universe again with this disaster.

Posted by airbound_dude

yup, the less we say about ultimates v3 the better.plus the art was beyond ugly

Posted by Onemoreposter

Hated ultimatum when it came out, but yes, in retrospect I like the way it changed the universe. Plus, in comics everyone and everything is subject to resurrection. I really dug the Ultimate Doom trilogy. "Reed is more dr doom than dr doom ever was." Genius. If anyone has left Ultimate comics or has never tried it this is a good time to jump on the band wagon.

One thing though. I really liked having an evil magneto around again. 616 Magnus hasn't really been much of a villain since at least the late 80s (I haven't read much of bronze age marvel though so it could be even longer) baring Morrison's stint(which was awesome. stupid retcons). Too bad he's gone.

Posted by Phaedrusgr

Well, that's an interesting point of view. Nevertheless, I'm not a fan of the Ultimate Universe, so the Ultimatum had no serious effect on me. But, as I said, I do get your point and to be quite honest, I think you're probably right.

Posted by inferiorego

@Onemoreposter said:

Hated ultimatum when it came out, but yes, in retrospect I like the way it changed the universe.

I agree with this

Staff
Posted by Duo_forbidden

I hate Ultimatum with a passion, but I think it changed the Ultimate Universe for the better. I wrote back in a blog right around the time of The Death of Spider-Man about the changes in the Ultimate Universe, and a lot of great stuff came out of it. Now, the greatest factor about the Ultimate Universe is that anything can happen.

Posted by odysseyuwrf

I also hated ultimatum. Ultimate comics were the only thing I enjoyed at the time, and the destruction of the whole thing was terrible. My biggest issue down the road, was how bad the story telling was for a while. Ultimate Avengers, all of them, we're not very good. Ultimate spiderman seemed completely changed for a time. Only Ultimate Thor and Armor wars were any good. Tis latest revamp, following Peter Parker dying, is awesome though. Still, his death is probably only possible after killing off some many other prominent characters. So I guess I would agree. Ultimatum sucked, but looking back several years now, it made the current stuff possible.

Posted by Scodaillest

Ultimatum was stupid point blank end of story. I get the whole "silver lining at the edge" arguement but it does change the fact that ultimatum was complete dookie. That is the 'how not to do a superhero death' sequence. It was rushed. Characters were poorly written. It was tottally ridiculous. ( a wave killed nightcrawler for ex. Waitaminute? Cant he teleport?) It was utterly stupid. On the other hand i loved ultimate spiderman death. I do not in any way feel that event owes any of its greatness to ultimatum whatsoever. Ultimatum did no great thing for the ultimate universe. Marvel could of cleared house a lot better than that. Loeb should be ashamed of himself for that garbage.

Posted by Scodaillest

Im sorry. Its not letting me edit it and That line was supposed to read doesnt... It doesnt change the fact ultimatum was complete dookie!!

Posted by airbound_dude

@Scodaillest: Ultimatum sucks I know and it's sad that Jeph Loeb did a crappy job, since I admire his early work in The Long Halloween. But the Ultimate Universe has managed to move on from that and for the better. Of course we can agree to disagree.

Posted by Scodaillest

I loved long halloween too. Smh

Posted by frochez

Ultimatum sucked, its true, but what came out of it has been almost constantly border-line brilliant. Finally, we're seeing some proper, lasting character development and changes to the status quo. Personally, I'm sick of the fact that there can't seem to be a single x-men book that doesn't feature Wolverine, or revolve around Cyclops. Also, the fact that characters' deaths are never permenant in the main book is just plain annoying; it completely removes any pathos when you know that they'll come back to life in about 3 months time.

Posted by chuckzana

This is my first comment on this page, actually this blog invited me to suscribe the page because I just want to tell you this:

I completly agree airbound_dude, ultimatum, at the time totally sucked to me, because, come on Cyclops killed??? what happened to this Loeb guy, I use to love his Hush, Superman n For All Seasons, his Marvel´s color works, but since then, all his work at Marvel has been crap.

BUT (n here come the but) it is rigth, ultimatum is a logic the Anhilattion that had to happen in ANY comic book of ANY company, and I´n not saying that I like it (because there are such pathetic deaths in the series), IF thre are villains is because they are mad, real badasses, insane, and there come the time at the regular universe when all come ciclycal, ok first come Magneto, the the Brotherhood, the Juggernaut, Sentinels, Apocalypse, Sinister, and then.... oh I got it, Magneto an then the Brotherhood, and things goes by on EVERY title( Avengers, Spiderman, SUPERMAN JUSTICE LEAGUE AND THE HUNDRED OF RECICLED BATMAN TITLES). But the way the Ultimate Marvel is doing is awesome, no more Wolverine, no more Peter Parker, no more things going in a vicious circle that is tiryng the audience, on contraire you got fresh caracters with new problems , with new enemys, with a real insane Magneto as painful father with nothing to loose n doing all this crap at the miniseries.

My point is, when I read Ultimatum I HATE IT because he killed characters that I met when I was a kid and loved since then. BUT life is passing to me and to the risked life of the superheroes too, so it is logical that no many of then are gonna make it it is???. So it was a big fat kill, yes, maybe a stupid one, yes, but it has to happen to any superhero if you dont want to be borred at "x" time of a title. So, again, Ultimatum was "un mal necesario" (or an necesarry bad thing to happen if I explain) to keep the Ultimate Universe fresh and surprisly as it was The Ultimate titles in general and very apart of the 616 universe.

I wait you guys to keep in touch about this and to recommend other blogs. Thank you.

P.D. Ultimates 3 bring back MASTER JOE MADUREIRA who revolutioned the comics industries in the 90´s with the X Men and his Battlechasers, since the we have guys like Mcguiness, Roger Cruz, Pat Lee replicating his style, and stories like Soul Saga, Warlands or other titles in this medieval style, so apart of the story I LOVE THE ART OF JOE MADUREIRA.