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Former Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb says the company discouraged him from writing comics while he was there

Sometimes you have to focus on the task at hand.

Marvel Television
Image credit: Marvel Studios

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Over the years, Jeph Loeb has been one of the most prolific comic book writers of all time. He has written some of the most iconic stories for both DC and Marvel, but there is a significant gap in his resume. While he was the Head of Marvel Television from 2010 to 2019, Loeb didn’t work much on comic books and the reason seems to have been a mandate from Marvel itself.

When fielding a question and MCM London in May 2024 about his writing process for comic books, Jeph Loeb found himself drawing a bit of a blank on how he usually worked. “I haven’t done this in about 12 years because I was running this thing called Marvel Television. While I was running Marvel Television, Marvel preferred that I did not write because they wanted me to run Marvel Television. So it's been a while.”

The reasoning behind Marvel’s request wasn’t made clear, but it could probably stem from wanting to focus his creative energies on producing shows like Daredevil, Punisher, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that cropped up during his time heading up Marvel Television. 16 shows were produced by the company during his time there (but sadly not Kevin Smith's Howard the Duck), so it is hard to argue that Jeph Loeb wasn’t kept busy.

Loeb did manage to get some comics writing in during that time: he finished the long-delayed Captain America: White miniseries, wrote the first arc of a new Nova series, wrote several small stories for the company, and did a well received run on the Hulk which included the creation of the Red Hulk (soon to be a MCU character) - but according to Loeb he wanted to do more, but was prevented by others at Marvel. While from time-to-time Marvel has precluded staff from being creator on comics, this was at a time when the highest person in Marvel Comics - then-editor-in-chief/CCO Joe Quesada - was himself writing and drawing for Marvel.

However, Loeb has made good use of his time since the department closed, with a follow-up to Batman: The Long Halloween officially announced at MCM London in May 2024. Presumably, writing an award-winning, influential comic book is just like riding a bike and he remembered the process after a while.

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