Jeph Loeb interview (2007)

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(WoW NOV 07)

Jeph Loeb is the popular writer of such comics as DC's Batman: Hush and Superman/Batman, and Marvel's Spider-Man: Blue and Fallen Son. This month, he and artist Ed McGuinness take on Marvel's Hulk #1. Westfield's Roger Ash contacted Loeb to learn more about his plans for the series.

Westfield: How much will events from World War Hulk be driving the new Hulk series? Will anyone from World War Hulk be joining the cast?

Jeph Loeb: It comes directly out of the events of WWH #5. There'll be a change in the status of the Hulk and Banner and other than that I don't wanna ruin anything that Greg Pak is doing. We start some time after that. Our cast to begin with is She-Hulk, Iron Man, Leonard Samson, General Ross and a few other surprises. If you read WWH #5 you pretty much understand why it's that cast.

Westfield: Why was the decision made to start this as a new #1 issue?

Loeb: It has a lot to do with the story. My feeling was when Ed McGuinness and I started Superman/Batman, there had been a long, long history (which I loved) with World's Finest. Our hope was to find a new audience while welcoming the fans that were already there. When Marvel first talked to me about doing this book, this became one of the immediate topics of discussion.

Westfield: What can people look forward to in upcoming issues of the book? Any story teasers you can give us?

Loeb: Well, we always get a smile when we tell folks that there's a scene where the Watcher shows up and the Hulk looks at him and asks what he wants. The Watcher says he's just there to watch. So the Hulk punches him in the face and knocks him out. Knocks out a Watcher! And tells him he doesn't like being watched. McGuinness pitched that to me Day One. Had to do it.

Westfield: Ed McGuinness' art style seems to be a perfect fit for the Hulk. Are you enjoying working with him?

Loeb: MC2 (as I refer to him) and have worked together - get this - since Wolverine Annual '96. It was his first job at Marvel. He was like 12 at the time. I was... older. [laughs] We've done so much together since then - Superman/Batman really tied us together and he's wanted to draw the Hulk all his life. When you work with that kind of passion, it really pays off for everyone.

Westfield: You're also writing Ultimates 3. Is there anything you'd like to tell us about that series?

Loeb: Just that Joe Mad and Chris Lichtner are kicking ass on it. To bring those two out of retirement (they're both like 22 anyway!) and have them on such a high profile book - it's a joy. We're going to take some very bold steps with that cast and how they act with each other. It's different from what Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch were doing - it has to be - and so far, from what people have seen, its been pretty wild.

And it's a definite lead in to Ultimatum which will really, truly change the Ultimate Universe. So keep any eye for books that have the logo: March On Ultimatum. Those are the lead-ins. There aren't that many... but it starts with Ultimate Power #8 and #9. It's cool, fun stuff.

Westfield: Are there any other projects you're working on that you'd like to mention?

Loeb: Just how much I'm looking forward to Ultimatum. I haven't done a big crossover thing in a long time (Age of Apokolypse, Our Worlds At War were some of them). This is Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four, but it'll drag everyone into it. Having Dave Finch as my partner in crime - it's the best. He's amazingly talented and we've only done one other thing together (Fallen Son #4 - Spider-Man) and it was such a wondrous experience that I had to work with him again on something huge. This presented itself and I bit hard on it.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Loeb: Only how much I appreciate the support that retailers and fans have showed my work through the years. From The Long Halloween to Fallen Son, it's been a wild ride and I'm looking forward to adding to those stories. Thanks!