Hopefully the Ultimates 2 HC will be released before then too, so I can read all the Ultimates issues back to back in time for the start of the new series.
Wizard Universe gave us the low down of Joe Mad!'s comic book life thus far:
JOE MAD 101
Joe Who? Here’s everything you need to know about Mr. Madureira, the superstar artist who returns to comics after six years with Marvel’s ‘Ultimates 3.’
By Jake Rossen
Posted October 9, 2007 9:20 AM
They are the seminal childhood fantasies: driving Optimus Prime, dodging boulders with Indiana Jones, or sitting in the Marvel bullpen. If you manage to do any one of these things (hi, Shia LaBeouf!), you’re usually too jaded an adult to enjoy it.
But über-artist Joe Madureira made the dream happen as a teen intern at Marvel. The slot led to a storied career both in and out of comics. Now Madureira (“Joe Mad” to his typing-averse friends) returns to the medium after a six-year sabbatical with Ultimates 3, the long-delayed successor to Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s variation on the Avengers in the Ultimate Universe.
Taking a brief respite from sketching out Jeph Loeb’s U3 scripts, Madureira helped us recap his career, one fulfilled fantasy at a time.
Joins Marvel (1991)
Marvel Comics plucks 16-year-old Joe Madureira from Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design and enlists him as an intern.
First Published Work (1992)
Though it was the actually second story he drew, Marvel Comics Presents #89 is Mad’s first published work. The first, a vignette with a pre-“Brokeback” Northstar, runs in #92.
Joins the X-Office (1993)
After Mad graduates, Marvel editor Bob Harras awards the prodigy his first book-length gig on the inaugural Deadpool miniseries.
Draws the X-Men (1994)
Harras offers him Uncanny X-Men, starting with issue #312. “I’m pretty sure I soiled myself right there on the spot,” Mad says. Mad designs and pencils hugely popular “Age of Apocalypse” arc.
Forms Cliffhanger (1997-2001)
Mad departs Marvel for creator-owned WildStorm imprint Cliffhanger, with his fantasy book, Battle Chasers. Battle Chasers suffers lag times of over a year between some issues. By the time #9 is released in September 2001, Mad has designs on another medium; #10 is never published.
Departs Comics for Video Games (2002)
Joe Mad’s passion for the pixels entices him to enter the video game industry as a conceptual artist. “I’d been doing comics for over 10 years, and I was starting to get burnt out. When I got the chance to work in games, I felt like I couldn’t pass it up.” Mad forms game company Trilunar in 2001; its first project is Dragonkind, an original property that never made it to shelves due to lack of funding.
Forms new game Company (2005)
After Trilunar folds, Mad works on NCSoft’s game, Dungeon Runners. Itching for more creative control, he founds a second company called Vigil, which is quickly acquired by THQ. Their first effort, Darksiders: Wrath of War, gets a warm reception at the 2007 E3 convention.
Returns with ‘Ultimates 3’
Loeb and Mad are announced as the team on the third Ultimates series during 2005’s Wizard World Chicago; their first issue sees print in December ’07. “I made it extremely clear that I already had a full-time job in the game industry, and the only way I was going to be able to do [Ultimates] was if the deadlines were extremely flexible. Marvel’s been really awesome and supportive.”
Life After ‘Ultimates 3’(2007)
After Ultimates 3 wraps in ’08, Mad plans to concentrate on his duties as Vigil’s creative/studio director. “I’d love to do comics again later on, but I’m definitely going to take a break for a while and focus on the games. Juggling the two is not something I’d want to do again anytime soon."