By Todd Allen
You can’t accuse Rob Liefeld of shying away from work. While his old Extreme characters are getting relaunched over at Image, Rob’s just been announced as taking over no less than three titles at DC.
Deathstroke effectively replaces Hawk & Dove in his schedule with Liefeld as writer/artist:
Liefeld will be writing and illustrating DEATHSTROKE, a perfect pairing of the edgy industry bad boy and the baddest bounty hunter on Earth. Raising the ante on the action for Slade Wilson, Liefeld kicks off his run in issue 9 by pitting Wilson against fan-favorite mercenary Lobo – who will be making his first appearance in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52. But Lobo is just the beginning, and Liefeld shared some of his plans for the series.
“Deathstroke is tasked with the greatest challenge of his life, taking on the most dangerous prey in the galaxy…LOBO!” said Liefeld. “The galactic criminal has escaped from his terrestrial prison where he has been housed for years. He is free and ready to settle the score! And what is the secret of the OMEGAs and what role will they play in the deadly showdown?”
Deathstroke and Lobo?!? Kind of sounds like a little more cosmic-oriented Deadpool to me. The Terminator hasn’t traditionally been a humorous character, but I would’ve said the same thing about the Punisher before Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon turned up with “Welcome Back, Frank.” Deadpool’s been a draw for Marvel and a surprisingly prominent performer in their book wing. Not the most obvious choice, but I can see where they might be coming from here and what audience they might be targeting.
Next up, Rob’s plotting Hawkman:
Liefeld will be plotting THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN, catapulting the story into the intergalactic arena and pitting the Thanagarian warrior against alien foes in extreme gladiatorial combat. HAWKMAN fans can look forward to a cosmic mystery with plenty of action. Liefeld shared a hint of what’s to come.
“He wields the powerful Nth metal and, as Carter Hall is about to find out, it is a weapon coveted by the deadliest players in a game that plays across the ages,” said Liefeld. “New enemies and allies emerge as Carter Hall travels across the globe in pursuit of the answers to his heritage and the Thanagarian connection.”
This is going back to the science fiction side of Hawkman. “Extreme action.” Was that a pun? No word on who’s scripting this one.
And, finally, Rob’s also plotting Grifter:
Liefeld will also be plotting GRIFTER. He shared his plans to tighten the screws on Cole Cash, expanding on the cosmic consequences of his battle against the Daemonites. Liefeld even hinted at the possible inclusion of a fan-favorite WildStorm character, newly re-imagined and re-introduced as part of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52.
“Grifter has been targeted for extermination! The time is now for Grifter to embrace his destiny and lead the insurgence against the impending Daemonite threat,” said Liefeld. “He has spent his life running from his true destiny, but he must embrace his role in the coming conflict or worlds will fall. Familiar faces emerge warning Grifter that nothing can prepare him for what is coming. His true destiny is revealed and a reluctant hero emerges to lead a strike force of human allies that will deliver the ultimate DEATHBLOW to the impending invasion.”
There’s a certain appropriateness to an Image founder working on the integration of Wildstorm into the DCU, though Rob is a decided shift from previous writer Nathan Edmundson. I’m guessing “DEATHBLOW” in all caps means that character is being re-introduced. “Impending invasion,” eh? W.I.L.D.Cats returning during a Daemonite Event looms larger with each press release. No word on who’s scripting this one, either.
Interestingly, all three books have a cosmic angle. Then again, Deathstroke is the only one where that would be unusual.