Jeph Loeb is a comics/film writer and TV producer. He started as a co-writer of Teen Wolf
, then wrote Commando
and a few other movies. While working on the script for The Flash
movie, he got an opportunity to write for DC Comics
The most acclaimed stories from his first foray into comics were the critical hits Batman: The Long Halloween
(one of three titles that were inspiration for Batman Begins
), Batman: Dark Victory
and Superman For All Seasons
, which he created with artist Tim Sale. Later, also with Sale, he wrote three mini-series for Marvel Comics
, Spider-Man: Blue
, Daredevil: Yellow
, and Hulk: Gray
each telling early stories of the title characters, centered around their relationships with now dead Love Interests
(respectively Gwen Stacy
, Karen Page and Betty Banner).
One of Loeb's greatest successes was bringing his children — Sam and Audrey — into comics. Loeb was also a producer and writer for Smallville
, and Heroes
. Back at DC, he created Batman: Hush
with Jim Lee and started the latest Superman/Batman
ongoing series. He got multiple awards, including the Eisner Award for a Batman and The Spirit
crossover.And then, poor Sam got cancer and died.
Jeph, who had already left Smallville
to take care of Sam, finished his son's last comics story together with many writers and artists, and published it in Superman/Batman
. Then he decided to retire from comics. However, his friend, Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada
, convinced him to come back and write for him.
But Jeph, understandably, wasn't the same man he was before. While his titles always
had flaws — Critical Research Failure
and Continuity Snarl
among others — after coming to Marvel, his work was quickly criticized by many fans as some of the worst in current comics. Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America
, where superheroes come to terms with the death of Captain America
is considered the best of these recent works. His runs on Wolverine
are infamous among most fans for introducing two Villain Sues
who, confusingly, predate the origins and adventures of the main characters — Romulus
and Red Hulk
. His run on The Ultimates
has been labeled as full of Character Derailment
is generally considered to rival Countdown to Final Crisis
, Amazons Attack
, and Justice League: Cry for Justice
in terms of quality. He was also forced to leave Heroes
because NBC didn't like the course of the story (and because according to some, Loeb was stealing series writers for Ultimate Marvel
Loeb has since taken over as the head of Marvel's animated division
, acting as an executive producer for Ultimate Spider-Man
and the second season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
, the former of which has developed a serious Broken Base
. He is also producing Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
and Avengers Assemble
, the latter of which is heavily influenced by Joss Whedon
's The Avengers
However, despite fan backlash and criticism, Loeb's comics have never sold better and he's considered one of the nicest guys
in the industry; even his most devoted haters admit they can't bring themselves to hate him the way they hate his comics. Many people hope that one day he will become great once again and some even think he just needs a hug
. It seems he may even be getting back on track, as his recent run on Nova
has been fairly well-liked.
He shares his workplace with Geoff Johns
and Allan Heinberg.
Tropes asssociated with Jeph Loeb and his works:
- Animation Age Ghetto: He admittedly believes in gearing Marvel cartoons to children, hence his efforts to invoke this with the single-episode storylines and comedic overtones of Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble.
: (...)The reality is that we're on a network, Disney XD, which is largely known as being a kids' network. We're not going to shy away from that. We want to be able to bring that audience in, because in many cases, it's going to be their first opportunity to get to know the Marvel Universe. And that's a pretty big thing. We want to be able to share our universe with the next group of Marvel fans, however they're going to come in.
Our movies, believe it or not, are PG-13. While everybody can and should go to them, there are families out there who feel like maybe they're a little too old. What we wanted to do is create an opportunity where it absolutely is a four-quadrant: We want women, we want families, we want kids, and we want men to be able to watch the show. But if at the end of the day, the good news that we get is, every single kid in America is going to be watching the show, and throughout the world? I'll take that.
- Beyond the Impossible: What Red Hulk's doing is, in a nutshell, this trope gone wrong. An example is lifting Thor's hammer without being worthy.
- Creator Breakdown: It's obvious he still hasn't come to terms with his son Sam's death. The title of Fallen Son hints it strongly. In Ultimatum, Magneto is murdering people to avenge Quicksilver's death. The ending also has Ben Grimm killing Doctor Doom, saying that "someone must pay..." It's pretty clear where this is coming from and why. Now Loeb is working on a new "color" miniseries — Captain America: White — which will feature Captain America coping with the loss of his teenage sidekick, Bucky.
- Creator Cameo: Well, not quite the creator as much as his children. Especially noticeably in one instance where Iron Man talks about "a brave little boy named Sam." and the newest Nova, Sam Alexander.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Our Worlds At War came out in the middle of 2001. By the end of the story, it is in many ways The DCU's 9/11.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Hiro "Toyman" Okamura (who may have inspired Hiro Nakamura on Heroes).
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: He wrote four series for Marvel titled Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, Hulk: Gray, and Captain America: White. Together, they form a Thematic Series.
- Inner Monologue: He's this trope's poster boy.
- Kicked Upstairs: In regards to his promotion as Marvel's Head of Television.
- Kill 'em All: Ultimatum.
- Signature Style:
- Loeb seems to like having superheroes disguise themselves as other superheroes. For example:
- In Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Bats dresses up as Hawkman and Supes as Captain Marvel. Actually kind of disturbing if you think about it; they had to undress Hawkman and Captain Marvel, even more disturbing is the fact that Captain Marvel is essentially a kid inside a grownup's body.
- In Batman And The Spirit, Bats and the Spirit switch costumes.
- In Ultimates 3, Captain America disguises himself as Black Panther for no discernible reason. (explained in Ultimate Captain America Annual #1)
- In Onslaught Reborn, Wolverine disguises himself as Hawkeye.
- An unrelated but equally noticeable style of his; when he creates a new villain, that villain will be inserted into the past of the hero, and will instantly have deeply personal relationship with the hero to the point of becoming their new Arch-Enemy; Hush, Bruce Wayne's childhood best friend (who had never been mentioned before), Romulus, who had secretly been manipulating Wolverine all his life. Red Hulk subverts this trend by being revealed to be longtime Incredible Hulk supporting character General Thunderbolt Ross the whole time.