Jeph Loeb has had a great career in both Hollywood and comic books. He wrote such 80s classics as Commando and Teen Wolf and, more recently, became a producer/writer on TV's Smallville.
He has written some of the best, most iconic stories about heroes from both Marvel and DC, including Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, giving each character a deft, human touch which most writers simply gloss over, and he does it with a style, an old-fashioned fondness, rarely seen anywhere in the written word today.
In June 2005, Jeph lost his 17-year-old son, Sam, to a foe unbeatable even by the stoutest, strongest, most pure-hearted superhero: cancer.
Sam, who was, according to those who knew and loved him, nothing but a joy to be around, was on his way to becoming quite the talented writer himself, having penned a story for Joss Whedon's Dark Horse-published Tales of the Vampires anthology series. As Whedon put it, Sam was "not without the Funny."
Shortly thereafter, the Superman group editor at DC, Eddie Berganza, asked Sam to write an issue of Superman/Batman, a title conceived and created by his father.
Sam died before he was able to write the script.
Fortunately, he had fleshed out a plot well-enough that, with the help of a few talented folks, 26 of the best and brightest of the comic book industry to be exact, his story will be published this April, in Superman/Batman #26.
In addition to this star-studded story, Jeph wrote, and his longtime collaborator, Tim Sale, illustrated, Sam's Story, a short, six-page tribute to Sam Loeb, which will appear as a back-up story in Superman/Batman #26.
Available online (scroll down toward the bottom), it's a story about Clark Kent and the impact a young Smallville High classmate had on him during their all-too-brief friendship.
Give it a read. It's good stuff. Almost hard to believe it was written by the same man who once burdened us with Whoopi Goldberg's Burglar.
Some members of "the 26" share their thoughts and memories about Sam Loeb.