A word of warning, spoilers ahead, not that it matters.
Low expectations can work in a couple of ways. Sometimes, like with the first Pirates of the Caribbean, low expectations can be good. You aren’t expecting much so you’re pleasantly surprised. But the flip side of this is when your expectations are low and so things done poorly are emphasized, leaving an even poorer impression than it probably deserves. Last month I gave Jeph Loeb’s Ultimatum the benefit of the doubt, now I’m just going be offended.
Professor Xavier is trying very hard to tell you not to buy this book. With his mind!
It really wasn’t like I was expecting anything, but Loeb does the same things wrong he did with Ultimates 3; shove things in readers faces instead of using any semblance of subtlety, not helped by penciller David Finch’s ridiculous pencilling, and take things way too far way too quickly. He did this with Ultimates and he’s doing it here. It’s offensive, it really is. First off, his title “Death Becomes Her,” doesn’t make any sense unless you are counting Thor’s bang buddy, Vakyrie as the central focus of the story. Or maybe it’s the giant evil death lady Thor goes and visits, in another dimension, to get her back, but only through fighting zombie skeletons. Either way, a series about the end of the Universe is instead focusing on the death of a character who was intentionally made to be pathetic and then transformed into sex appeal to compensate for Loeb’s disastrous writing. And the brief points away from Thor’s plot, not subplot, are equally ridiculous. From the Blob eating the Wasp to Hawkeye suddenly shifting from stereotypical angry grieving man to relating to another character on an emotional level, the issue is a train wreck. That’s probably one benefit of terrible characterization, any character can fill any role needed. Oh, and Professor Xavier dies, again. All Loeb needs to do to become the Ultimate version of stereotypical bad comic book is bring him back to life, again; just like Robert Kirkman did in Ultimate X-Men about a year ago. As described, the scenarios Loeb puts these poor card-board cut-outs through points out everything keeping comic books back from being seen as nothing more than mindless drivel designed to show off women in tight clothing and burly men killing things.
And this is not helped by David Finch’s pencilling which can only be described as attempts at creating masturbation material for thirteen year old boys. As soon as the panel depicting Carol Danvers, full-length, with her massive breasts and impossibly white blonde hair, I started rolling my eyes at the art just as much as the story. It’s insulting, offensive, misogynistic, and pathetic. It just adds to increasing the setbacks comic books need to get past.
1/10 Pathetic, the reading equivalent of snorting concentrated floor cleaner and feeling your brain cells slowly and painfully die.