Editor’s Note: To tie in with the question we posed to readers earlier, we’re giving our very own Marlowe Lewis a chance to slip into the Marvel Editor in Chief chair and have an imagined conversation with Jeph Loeb over the latest issue of Ultimatum #4.


Mr Lewis. Mr. Loeb is on line two.

‘Hello Jeph. What happening?’

‘Hi boss man. I am just calling to get your reaction to the latest issue of my world shattering extravaganza.’

‘Well Jeph. That’s actually a bit spooky, because I was planning to contact you anyway and give you my thoughts on how the whole thing has been going so far.’

‘Lay it out for me chief. I can take any amount of praise!’

‘Well you see Jeph, that’s the thing. I am a bit concerned about the total quality of this book. People are sending me e-mails and some of them compare your current work to what was happening here at Marvel in the nineties. That’s not a good thing Joe. What they are saying is that this comic is a mess, and that reflects badly on me Jeph because I got the Editor-in Chiefs job in the first place, on a crusade for renewed merit here at the House of Ideas.’

‘You’re kidding, right?  How can you even say that to me, head honcho? Didn’t the first issue of this book top the sales charts and the ordinary comic reading public are still shelling out $3.99 for each and every fabulous issue. That’s a major hit in anybody’s terms. I’m shocked that you don’t like this story because I am really pulling out all the stops here. This is high calibre writing at its absolute best.’

“Is that right, Jeph? Then perhaps you can explain to me how it is that all the comic writing awards that you have ever won were for stories that you wrote over at D.C  That’s seems a bit strange to me. Now I am sure Jeph, that you have heard the theory that there are some writers whose style fits more comfortably with a certain comic book publishing company. I am just saying that after this event is over maybe its time you gave Paul Levitz a call and see if they have any free slots available over there for you to fill.

Plus on that sales thing you quoted, it is true that the first issue was box-office boffo but the sales have been dropping for each and every subsequent issue, and that’s called the law of diminishing returns. I have bosses as well Jeph and sales figures are all they are ever concerned about, especially in these difficult financial times. This mini-series was supposed to be the relaunch vehicle of the entire Ultimate universe, but instead it’s turning into a damp firecracker. I can’t allow that to happen Jeph.’

‘Oh come on, my omnipotent overseer, the story isn’t over yet. I still have one final issue and I plan to go out with a cosmos crashing big finish. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you but there are guest appearances from Galactus, the Watcher, the Gamesmaster, the Ancient One, Archie Andrews, Sonic the Hedgehog, President Obama (he really sells comics these days), Rush Limbaugh, the Punisher, Stan Lee dressed as Hugh Hefner, Keith Olbermann and of course the  biggest hero of the Ultimate universe, Mr Brian Bendis himself. God, if that’s not a great closer then I just don’t know how to write an interesting Marvel story, and we both know that’s not true. Honestly I can do this. I won’t let you down. I promise.’

‘All right then Jeph. Let’s see what you come up with but it’s on the final understanding that if you fail to provide me with an ending that is an absolute smash both financially and critically, then you should perhaps start sending your C.V out to the other companies.’

I read you loud and clear, my superb superintendent, but that won’t be necessary. This series will conclude in a manner that will be a credit to the company which you currently head and will also be a shining beacon for other Marvel writers to follow in the future. Bye.’


Marlowe sits back in his big easy chair, tosses Ultimatum #4 aside, giving it 2 out of 5 Stars.



About Author

Marlowe Lewis is old. I mean really, really old. So old in fact, that the first ever sequential art that he ever saw was when his lifelong friend in their small clan began painting bison on the cave walls. This was a true turning point in his life. Firstly, he was immediately and irrevocably hooked on the visual arts, and secondly he discovered another use for dried bison dung. Marlowe Lewis is British. This is not an apology.


  1. Add a couple threats of breaking legs, you can never go wrong with that.

    Nice first review, I think it’s first, very original.

  2. Big Money B.G. on

    Thank you, GOD!!! I know the Loeb-hatred isn’t exactly an exclusive club, but to see how I feel about him being translated so well, by someone else entirely, is a sweet thing to see.

    And yes, I wonder how Jeph’s “Eisner Award-Winning” status would hold if he had JUST his Marvel work to show for himself.

    “Rulk: The Convoluted Halloween”, on sale now!

  3. Good point about his award-winning days being at DC. I’m not a Leob hater, but the trail of dead bodies he leaves – from Heroes to Ultimatum – is started to get kind of worrisome.

  4. I don’t know what the heck you guys are talking about…I thought this issue rocked….can’t wait for next issue!!!!

  5. Golly Gee Willickers! You write like Christopher Marlowe & have the wit of Lewis Carroll. If I didn’t know any better I would say that you were a comic book industry insider. Great Job.

  6. Between Hulk, Ulitmates 2, and this nonsense, I’m really going to have to consider buying anything Jeph Loeb is writing these days….

  7. I just want to compliment you on the review. This was a lot of fun to read. It is nice to through in different styles into the reviews.

    And yes… this wasn’t a good issue.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.