Home News Comings & Goings Liefeld Uber Alles: Rob Liefeld Helming Deathstroke, Hawkman _AND_ Grifter

Liefeld Uber Alles: Rob Liefeld Helming Deathstroke, Hawkman _AND_ Grifter


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.

  1. The one series Liefeld was working on was cancelled, so DC rewards that book’s failure by giving him three titles? That’s corporate executive logic for you.

  2. I’ve always been a fan of Liefeld’s art (no booing please!), but most of his current stuff (H&D, The Infinite) has been so minimal… I’d like him to actually put some detail in the pages (backgrounds, less pinup pages). I’m just tired of zipping through comics in a few minutes.

  3. When Bob Harras became EiC every friggin joke was about him hiring Lobdel, Mackie, Liefeld and every other hack that made 90s Marvel such atrocity. Too bad that joke comes to life.

    DC just gets completly harrased.

  4. I’m not a fan of Liefield, but I’m actually interested in Hawkman now. Sounds like an original angle with many possibilities, especially the historic angle. I’ll certainly check it out.

  5. @Dennis V. When has Lielfed ever put details in the background of his art? I seem to recall Alan Moore calling him out for ignoring whole swathes of his scripts that pertained to backgrounds.

  6. @Mark Way, way, way back when he did New Mutants and the beginning of X-Force (for a few issues at least). I’m not talking super detail but he just put more effort in the overall artwork/number of panels per page.

  7. @Dennis V.: Liefeld put more effort into the overall artwork when he was doing New Mutants and X-Force?! Yep, lifting a double-page spread directly from Ronin is a whole lot of the opposite of putting effort into his art. Admitting in a People magazine interview of the time that he didn’t see the point in using any sort of anatomical references for his figure drawing? Yep. That’s a whole lot of the opposite of putting effort into his art.

    Dude, his compulsion to swipe other artists’ work was so pervasive during the time that you cite — and really, beyond, seeing as how his swiping was a point of contention in his expulsion from Image Central in the mid-2000’s, 20 years *after* his New Mutants/X-Force period — that it’s still considered sloppiness, laziness and theivery rather than homage. IMNSHO, if he had been a reporter for the New York Times and his art were reporting, he would have been blackballed from the entire industry for plagiarism.

    But, hey, okay, let’s say for the sake of argument that he put more effort into that lazy, dishonest work two decades ago than he’s putting into his lazy, vapid work today. Forget damning him with faint praise — you’re damning him with damns.

    OTOH, as comics’ version of Ed Wood, minus the naivete, the ethics and the cross-dressing, Liefeld continues to produce “work” of the hilariously awful, trainwreck variety. Stuff that drags his otherwise good writers down to his level of awfulness. Stuff that I’m compelled to pay waaay less than cover price for just so that I can have the cheap thrill of telling other comics fans, “Yep, it’s still crap. The kind of crap that becomes more and more unintentionally entertaining the more and more you realize that in his quarter of a century of comics work, *he’s done absolutely nothing to improve the quality of his art beyond its customary awfulness.*”

    It takes a weird kind of psychosis to be *that* bad at *anything* for *that* long, with no real signs of improvement. Especially when Liefeld set the bar for himself so low to begin with.

    PS: That still doesn’t excuse the infamous, indefensible conduct certain idiots committed against Liefeld at a convention a few years back. There’s no point in making a martyr out of a person who has no business appearing at any convention as anything other than a regular pass-holder, much less as the “professional” Liefeld claims to be. For cryin’ out loud, DC and Marvel, just stop hiring him! You’re embarrassing yourselves

  8. Okay so Deathstroke is morphed into Deadpool from the art above and the story is taking a 180 change from what I am reading and enjoying now. So much for that one on my pull list.
    Looks like DC management are giving Rob some of the low performers and hoping for a sales boost to see if they can make a year before getting the axe.

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