An American master is returning to the house that he built. That’s right! Rob Liefeld coming back to Image is akin to Eddie Murphy returning to SNL for the 40th anniversary! And it is happening!
Liefeld created modern iconic characters such as Deadpool, Cable, Stryfe, Domino, and Supreme (ok, the last one was popularized in a great run by Alan Moore where the greatest writer of all time wrote the best Silver Age Superman stories of all-time). Liefeld was SO popular in the 90’s that Levis even featured him in their “interesting people who wear pants” commercials.
Now he’s back:
Two years ago, Rob Liefeld announced a Kickstarter to fund the return of his Extreme comic book titles, specifically Brigade. The plan was – and still is – to print the comic book for free and distribute for free, funded by that Kickstarter. It raised $35,000.
At the same time, he was meant to take over the Bloodstrike series as Image Comics with issue 34. Both it, and issue 35 were solicited, but were never published.
Well, it appears that both may, finally, be coming along at the same time,Bloodstrike #1 from Rob Liefeld from Image Comics in July. And the free Brigade #1 to accompany its release.
This comes after years away from the label he bolted Marvel to found alongsideTodd McFarlane, Jim Lee, and other hot artists of the day. The circumstances of his departure were not pleasant. Per Wikipedia, the trusted source of amateur websites everywhere:
In June 1996, Marc Silvestri temporarily left Image with his Top Cow imprint, allegedly because of disputes with the other partners over Liefeld’s status in the company. Among the many accusations against Liefeld, which came to light in subsequently filed legal complaints, was the charge that Liefeld routinely used his check-writing powers to cover personal debts from Image funds. Other dissatisfaction with Liefeld ranged from his alleged habit of copying art from other partners’ comics to his plans to move titles that had been established at Image to the non-Image Maximum Press. Image Comics Executive Director Larry Marder is quoted as saying “He [Rob] was making an increasing number of business decisions that were counterproductive to being a business partner”.
In addition to allegedly siphoning funds, he was said to have used Image staff to do promotional and production work for Maximum. In early September, Liefeld issued a press release stating he was resigning his position at Image and leaving the group. Nearly simultaneously, the Image partners issued a press release stating that they had fired Liefeld. The other partners had already voted once to remove Liefeld from the group, a move he protested on the grounds that he was given too short a notice period. His resignation came only minutes before the second meeting that would have forced him out.
So, maybe he wasn’t the guy you wanted managing the cash register at the snack bar. But he was still an artiste. The usual knock on his unique (not used as a pejorative) style was his lack of basic anatomical proportion. Fanboy griefers usually focus on the chests (barreled) and the ankles (teeny tiny). But you know who else eskewed your fascist rules of body shapes? Picasso! That’s right. Rob Liefeld is the Picasso of comics and his return to Image is welcome news indeed.
And just in case Jimmy Impossible is not completely pissed…. Spiderman.