Monday, May 21, 2012

Animation Abomination - Ultimate Spider-Man

A few months ago I did a post on the future of Marvel animation and based on my drunken assessment, I deemed the future awesome. Well much like the stock market, those futures crashed and burned harder than Vanilla Ice's rap career. In the time since the debut of Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heroes Season 2 and the debut of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, shit has not only hit the fan. It's clogged the intake of a jumbo jet and spewed diarrhea all over every time zone in the Western Hemisphere.

I've avoided talking about it because it often leads me to go on benders that result in me waking up in another state naked with an empty bottle of whiskey shoved up my ass, but there's no use avoiding it now. Ultimate Spider-Man sucks dinosaur dick. It's the kind of show that even a mental patient off their meds would watch and say "What the fuck is this shit and why the fuck haven't the elves smashed the TV yet?" I won't go over all the ways as to why it sucks. Not because I don't have the energy but because so many people have already done the work for me. The fine folks at Comic Book Movie have already compiled some angry comments regarding how fucked this show is. But at the risk of just too much copying and pasting, I found a video from the fine folks at Bleeding Cool that offers a much more sober assessment than I could ever manage.

Is it harsh? I say fuck no. These are the people that Marvel actually wants to watch this shit and they're not satisfied. Now I flunked economics, but even I know that when your customers aren't happy that usually means you're doing something wrong. Apple fired Steve Jobs back in the 80s. Their company sucked for over a decade. And if it took Apple that long to figure out what they did wrong, what hope do we have for Ultimate Spider-Man?

The look on Peter Parker's face from seeing his own show is the same look a child gets when they walk in on their grandparents fucking.

I think most would have been okay with Ultimate Spider-Man being horrible. At least we still have Avengers Earth's Mightiest Heros, right? Right?! Well bend me over, shave my ass, and fry an egg on both my butt cheeks because Marvel has decided to cancel that shit. That's right. A show that scores a pretty impressive 8.2 on Metacritic is being canned in favor of the bastard love child of Family Guy and Spectacular Spider-Man. Instead, they prefer that the Avengers line up with the same 4th wall breaking, immature, plot-free bullshit that dominates the Ultimate Spider-Man universe. That shit may fly in Bizarro world, but in this cozy little place we call reality that's more fucked than Bankok whore on coupon day.

Naturally, fans aren't responding well to this news. In the past they really didn't have many options for venting their frustrations aside from writing strongly worded letters that Marvel or Disney probably used to roll joints with. Well this is the era of social media, motherfucker! That means fans have options and they know how to use them. So much so that the head of Marvel's TV division, Jeph Loeb, had to close his Facebook page because too many people were giving him the finger and then some. I imagine he already had his share of detractors after he flat out butchered the Ultimate universe, but when you fuck with cartoons then that's just going too far I guess.

Jeph Loeb. Will butcher your favorite comic characters and do it with a smile.

Yet in many ways, this is the ultimate act of cowardice. See no criticism. Hear no criticism. Accept no criticism. That appears to be Marvel's motto now. When the fans get upset, just ignore them and shrug your shoulders. I mean you can't please everybody, right? Well that's true, but that shit becomes a lousy excuse when you're getting the kind of crap that Ultimate Spider-Man is getting. Now I'm sure there were some assholes on that crossed lines that even I wouldn't cross on my worst benders. Comments about his son, who died tragically, are way over the line. But anyone who is in a position of power like Jeph Loeb has to understand that they are going to face asshole like that. They have a responsibility to go run and hide from criticism when the response isn't all hookers and cake. Great power and great responsibility...sound familiar? Those comments that cross the line can be flagged and deleted. But deleting the whole page is like fixing a TV with a few dead pixels with a sledge hammer. It causes more damage than necessary and generally sends the message to the fans that you don't give a shit about their sentiment. That may be okay when you're the only game in town, but when you have competition like DC's animation block with Green Lantern and Young Justice (two cartoons that are awesome by the way) then that's a problem.

It takes a special kind of arrogance to ignore fan outrage. It takes even more arrogance to pretty much toss it aside and continue this shit that really isn't jiving with the fans. Rumors that haven't been confirmed have already hinted that Marvel doesn't give a shit about the negative response from Ultimate Spider-Man. They're not only going to continue this shitty style of animation. They're going to use it in future cartoons like a new Avengers cartoon and a new Hulk cartoon. Albert Einstein himself said that the definition of insanity is doing the same shit again and again and expecting a different result. Marvel can justify all the shit they want, but they are NOT smarter than Einstein.

In the end, it all comes down to power and responsibility. Guys like me are just fans. We have zero power over how Marvel uses these characters we love so much. If we don't like it, we can't do anything aside from get drunk until Marvel does something different. Guys like Joe Quesada and Jeph Loeb have serious power over these characters. They have the licenses to do whatever the fuck they want with them. They can make Captain America a Nazi, they can make Spider-Man gay, and they can give Emma Frost a sex change. That is their right under the law. That right includes making a shitty cartoon that clearly isn't going over well with fans. But fans don't have the power to change this shit. Marvel has that power and like the shitty show says, with great power comes great responsibility. And as it stands, Marvel and everyone in their animation division is being pretty fucking irresponsible. That doesn't just make them assholes on a cosmic scale. That makes them hypocrites. We can deal with assholes. Hell, some of them get their own reality shows. But we can't deal with hypocrites. They are as close to real life super-villains as it gets and if Marvel doesn't understand this then they might as well send DC all their blow and hookers because it's game over. When the company that coined the phrase "With great power comes great responsibility" starts acting irresponsible, then shit has gone horribly wrong.


  1. It's sad, because Jeph Loeb is one of the greatest Batman writers ever. Hell, he's written my two favorite Batman stories, Long Halloween and Hush. He was also a great writer on Superman/Batman.

    But he's just been awful since moving to Marvel. He ruined the Ultimate universe, apparently, and he 100 percent ruined the Hulk. Now he's ruined the company's animation division.

    Is it possible Loeb is a sleeper agent for DC?

  2. I'm not sure if it's entirely Jeph Loeb's fault. That's the prevailing opinion, but there's really no way to verify it. For something as fucked up as Ultimate Spider-Man, it takes more than a single sleeper agent from DC. It takes a whole team of people willing to fuck up in ways that have not been contemplated. And like any fuck up, it only reinforces itself. The same applies to the Ultimate Universe. One person can fuck up. But it takes an entire team to utterly fuck something like this.


  3. Marvel has been shitting on thier animation for a long time now. If its good, cancel it.

  4. I wouldn't go that far. X-men Evolution, Wolverine and the X-men, Hulk Vs, and Avengers EMH were pretty fucking awesome. But when shit like Avengers and WATXM get canceled while Ultimate Spider-Man is allowed to propagate something done gone horribly wrong.

    1. Don't forget the Spectacular Spider-Man!

  5. Anything related to Ultimate is shit those days look Ultimate comics and this cartoon is a insult to any Spider-Man fan.

  6. Agree completely. I have nothing else to add to that other than simply giving myself another reason to take a shot of bourbon. Hell, that will do less brain damage than this shitty show.