For fans of Sam Humphries, this interview with CBR about his upcoming Ultimates run is good stuff:
When I came on to it [outgoing writer Jonathan Hickman] did a really generous thing and said, “Here’s where I wanted to go with this book. You can use these plans if you want, but you need to focus on what you want to write. Make this a book that you want to write. Find the characters that mean a lot to you.” Even though I came in and put things on a different path than he would have on his own, he’s been very supportive. He’s given me a lot of freedom to inject my own voice into the book, and for someone who’s put as much thought and planning into the book it was a very cool thing for him to do.
Reading the above, though, I started to wonder how fans who were reading the book for Hickman feel about the change. As Humphries himself points out, Hickman’s writing is all about the long-term planning, and I wonder if knowing that his plans and schemes won’t be coming to fruition even under a new writer feels… disappointing, or retroactively making his nine solo issues a waste of time or whatever. I’m not reading Ultimates, but I have read books before where writers have left the series for whatever reason before they’d finished their storylines, and there’s always been a sense of frustration when that happens – but with a writer like Hickman who is so about planning for the future and the slow build, is that magnified because the immediate payoff is always delayed in his early issues…?
I imagine if Morrison had left Batman after ten issues, say; without even Batman RIP, the whole run would have felt far different to the way it does now that we’ve reached Batman Incorporated. I’m genuinely curious, Ultimates fans: How do you feel about Hickman leaving, and does it affect your feeling about the issues he wrote?