The Loeb I've Been Looking For.
Jeph Loeb has been a polarizing writer these days, it's hard to imagine that the man who wrote The Long Halloween also wrote Red Hulk and Ultimatum.
However, Loeb writes for his artists, so anything with Tim Sale is good and his New Ultimate Avengers run with Frank Cho have been pretty decent. And here he really hits it out of the park with Art Adams.
With this issue, I can somewhat forgive the massive delays (Adams just had a kid), Jeph Loeb writes with his heart in this series. The last issue was a bit repetitive but it really captured the fresh take on the X-Men that made the Ultimates series so popular. The book had been a series of slow character pieces and finally it all converges together. It's just great to just see the collected characters just share space together and interact. While the situations are as comic book as it gets, Loeb writes with so much intimate detail with this particular book, a key to this series's success is that its slow and Loeb benefits in writing these small moments. For example Derek Morgan's outrage at Sabertooth's attack and Liz Allen's fear of being caught show how well the characters are defined and that they have voice in this issue. The ending is a bit anti-climactic, for the man who had seriously shook up the Ultimate Marvel universe, but it's nice to see the story reach to this point.
It appears that this is not an ongoing but a miniseries that will lead in to the next relaunch of the ultimate books, I'll miss Loeb and Adams and just wish there were more issues. It does succeed in tying in deeper to the new Ultimate universe and the other titles and the ending sets up multiple future storylines that could be very interesting.
It's simple, Jean Grey (or Karen Grant) is collecting a unit of mutants to save the world. This isn't a school but more of a strike force with young mutants. Loeb deals with the characterizations wonderfully, while Jean has a darker outlook, he also gives more depth to the new Brotherhood. They're violent and seek to oppose a mutant cure, but they're not as militant and single-minded as Magneto, Quicksilver is indeed a villain but it's important to see how different he is from his father.
The first person narration is a stellar trademark by Loeb and the reveal here is a great twist. Loeb also has a penchant for random fight scenes with no lead in. But here it works well and it does so because he shows us the pains of the aftermath and cohesive turn of events headed by Jean Grey.
Here we get the return of Bruce Banner as Hulk and he actually fits in with Jean Grey. I must really give credit to Art Adams who is able to render vast emotions, detailed pencils, and incredible fight scenes. Sabertooth vs. The Hulk is something I'll always remember. I haven't been a real fan of his until this issue. I think this issue is proof you should've given up on the series, while the team might not go on their story will and Joeb and Adams really help re-define the post-Ultimatum universe.