Maveric Universe Wiki

{{Infobox comics creator

| image         = Rob Liefeld, Amazing Arizona Comic Con, 2014.jpg

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| caption       = Liefeld at the 2014 Amazing Arizona Comic Con at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

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| birth_date    = {{birth date and age|1967|10|3}}

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| nationality   = American

| cartoonist    =

| write         = y

| art           =

| pencil        = y

| ink           = y

| edit          = y

| publish       = y

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| alias         =

| notable works = ''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]''<br /> ''[[X-Force]]''

| influences    = [[John Byrne (comics)|John Byrne]]<ref name=CBGreats/><br>[[Frank Miller (comics)|Frank Miller]]<ref name=CBGreats/><br>[[George Pérez]]<ref name=CBGreats/>

| awards        =

| website       =

| sortkey       = Liefeld, Rob

| subcat        = American


'''Robert "Rob" Liefeld''' (born October 3, 1967) is an [[United States|American]] [[comic book creator]]. A prominent writer/artist in the 1990s, he has since become a controversial figure in the medium .

In the early 1990s, the self-taught artist became prominent due to his work on Marvel Comics' ''[[New Mutants|The New Mutants]]'' and later ''[[X-Force]]''. In 1992, he and several other popular Marvel illustrators left the company to found [[Image Comics]], which started a wave of comic books owned by their creators rather than by publishers. The first book published by Image Comics was Rob Liefeld's ''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]'' #1.

==Early life==

Rob Liefeld was born October 3, 1967.<ref>[[Spurgeon, Tom]] (October 3, 2011). [ "Happy 44th Birthday, Rob Liefeld!"] [[The Comics Reporter]].</ref> He grew up in [[Anaheim, California]],<ref name=OfficialAnaheim>Liefeld, Rob. [ "Anaheim Comic Con"]. Rob Liefeld Creations. May 2, 2010. Note: Although the source does not explicitly give the year, 2011 is given because Liefeld mentions that [[Wizard World]]'s first convention in Anaheim took place the previous year, which was in 2010.</ref> and has a sister, seven years his senior.<ref>[ "Exclusive Hilarious Interview With Rob Liefeld Creator Of Deadpool"]. [[YouTube]]. January 10, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.</ref>

Liefeld's love of comics began as a child, which led early on to his decision to be a professional artist, a practice that began with his tracing artwork from comic books. As a high school student, he took basic fundamental art courses,<ref name=CBGreats>''The Comic Book Greats'' Episode 2: Rob Liefeld. 1991. Starbur Home Video.</ref> and attended comic book conventions at the nearby [[Disneyland Hotel (California)|Disneyland Hotel]], where he met creators such as [[George Pérez]], [[John Romita Jr.]], [[Jim Shooter]], [[Bob Layton]], [[Mike Zeck]] and [[Marv Wolfman]].<ref name=OfficialAnaheim/> Liefeld cites Pérez, along with [[John Byrne (comics)|John Byrne]] and [[Frank Miller (comics)|Frank Miller]], as major influences.<ref name=CBGreats/>


===Early career===

After graduating high school, Liefeld took [[life drawing]] classes at a local [[junior college]], working odd jobs for about a year, including as a pizza delivery man and construction worker, while practicing his artwork, samples of which he would send to small comics publishers, as he was too intimidated to send them to the "Big Two" companies of [[Marvel Comics|Marvel]] and [[DC Comics|DC]]. Learning from a friend of a comic book convention in San Francisco where a large number of editors would be in attendance, Liefeld and his friend drove several hours to San Francisco, where they would stay with his aunt and uncle in order to attend the convention. At the convention, he showed editors his samples, which consisted of 10 pages of sequential art featuring his own characters. Editor [[Dick Giordano]], to whom Liefeld showed his samples at the DC booth, requested that Liefeld send him more samples. Although Liefeld was apprehensive about approaching the Marvel booth, he did so at his friend's urging, and as a result, editor [[Mark Gruenwald]] offered Liefeld a job illustrating an 8-page ''[[The Avengers (comics)|Avengers]]'' backup story featuring the [[Black Panther (comics)|Black Panther]], much to the 19-year-old artist's surprise. Though the published story was ultimately illustrated by another artist, Liefeld was later given character design work by the publisher. His first published story, however, was the five-issue miniseries ''[[Hawk and Dove]]'' for DC Comics, the first issue of which was published with an October 1988 cover date.<ref name=CBGreats/><ref name=DCVisualChronicle>{{cite book|last=Manning|first= Matthew K.|last2=Dolan|first2=Hannah, ed.|chapter= 1980s|title = DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle|publisher=[[Dorling Kindersley]] |year=2010 |isbn= 978-0-7566-6742-9 |page= 234 |quote = Written by Barbara and Karl Kesel and drawn by future superstar Rob Liefeld, this five-issue miniseries reestablished the famous pair for a new generation.}}</ref> That same year, Liefeld drew a [[DC Comics Bonus Book|Bonus Book]] insert in ''[[Warlord (comics)|Warlord]]'' #131, as well as ''[[Secret Origins]]'' #28.<ref name=DCVisualChronicle/>

Liefeld's layouts for ''Hawk and Dove'' #5, which took place in a chaos dimension, were oriented sideways so that a reader would have to turn the comic book at a right angle to read them. Because this was done without editorial input, editor [[Mike Carlin]] cut and pasted the panels into the proper order, and Kesel [[lightbox]]ed them onto DC comics paper to ink them. The letters column of ''Hawk and Dove'' #5 mentions that Liefeld "showed something new to an editor who thought he'd seen everything." In his defense, Liefeld offered that that was how the dimension had been drawn the only other time it had been featured in the book, although [[Karl Kesel]] has stated that this is untrue.<ref name=CBGUrbanLegends>{{cite web|url=|title= Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #36!|author=Cronin, Brian|date=February 2, 2006|publisher=[[Comic Book Resources]]}}</ref>

Shortly thereafter, Liefeld began doing work for Marvel Comics as well, his first assignment for them being ''[[The Amazing Spider-Man Annual]]'' #23.<ref name=CBGreats/> In 1989, Liefeld became the penciller for the Marvel series ''[[New Mutants|The New Mutants]]'', starting with issue #86.  He is generally credited for turning this lowest-selling title of the ''X-Men'' franchise into a financial success.<ref name=TheImageStory2>Dean, Michael. (May 2000). "The Image Story: Part Two: The Honeymoon". ''[[The Comics Journal]]''.  pp. 3 - 6.</ref>

With ''The New Mutants'' (vol. 1) #98, Liefeld assumed full creative control over the series, penciling, inking, and plotting, with [[Fabian Nicieza]] writing dialog. The ''New Mutants'' series ended with issue 100, and replaced with ''[[X-Force]]'' (vol. 1), whose 1991 debut issue sold four million copies, setting an industry-wide record later broken by [[Chris Claremont]] and [[Jim Lee]]'s ''X-Men'' (vol. 2) #1. The sales numbers were propelled by 1990s direct market sales strategies; [[Variant cover|variant editions]] were issued to encourage sales of multiple copies to single collectors. Lee's ''X-Men'' was published with five variant covers, and ''X-Force'' relied on multiple variant trading cards [[polybag]]ged with the comic itself.

In mid-1990, [[Levi Strauss & Co.|Levi's]] began producing a series of TV commercials directed by [[Spike Lee]] for their 501 button fly jeans,<ref>Elliott, Stuart (July 22, 1991). [ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS: Advertising; Levi and Spike Lee Return In 'Button Your Fly' Part 2"]. ''[[The New York Times]]''.</ref> which included an onscreen 800 number that viewers who worked in unique jobs could call in order to appear in the company's commercials. After calling the number and leaving a message describing himself and his career, Liefeld appeared in one of the commercials, in which Lee interviews Liefeld about his career and his creation, ''X-Force''.<ref name=CBGreats/><ref name=ComicsAlliance>Sims, Chris (October 26, 2009). [ "ComicsAlliance Video Vault: The Comic Book Greats: Rob Liefeld"]. [[Comics Alliance]].</ref>

Liefeld was subsequently interviewed by [[Stan Lee]] in the second episode of the 1991 documentary series ''[[The Comic Book Greats]]'', in which he discussed how he broke into the industry, demonstrated his drawing technique, and talked about his Levi's commercial.<ref name=ComicsAlliance/>

===Leaving Marvel Comics, co-founding Image Comics===

Liefeld's relationship with Marvel began to break down in 1991 when he announced plans in a black-and-white advertisement in the ''[[Comics Buyer's Guide]]'' to publish an original title with competitor [[Malibu Comics]]. The exact title is unknown, but according to journalist Michael Dean, it was something to the effect of ''The X-Cutioners'', a title whose similarity to Marvel's X-Men family of titles evoked the ire of Marvel editor [[Bob Harras]], who threatened to fire Liefeld if he used that title.<ref>Dean, Michael. [ "Story: A Four-Part Series"], (Part 1 of 4) ''The Comics Journal'', October 25, 2000</ref>

[[File:10.2.10LiefeldMychaelsByLuigiNovi1.jpg|thumb|left|Liefeld and [[Marat Mychaels]] share a laugh as they sketch at the [[Big Apple Convention]] in Manhattan, October 2, 2010.]]

Liefeld and several other popular young artists including [[Jim Lee]], [[Todd McFarlane]], [[Erik Larsen]], [[Whilce Portacio]], [[Jim Valentino]] and [[Marc Silvestri]] left Marvel in 1992 to form [[Image Comics]]. Each co-founder formed his own studio under the Image banner, such as Liefeld's [[Extreme Studios]]. Liefeld's superhero team series ''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]'', which is loosely based on a 1991 ''[[Teen Titans]]'' series Liefeld had proposed to [[DC Comics]], was the first comic Image published.<ref>{{cite web |url= |title= Liefeld Talks Titans |accessdate= July 14, 2006 |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date=April 28, 2005 |year= |month= |work= |publisher= [[Newsarama]] |pages= |archiveurl = |archivedate = June 18, 2006 }}</ref> He appeared on an episode of ''[[The Dennis Miller Show]]'' to promote the book.<ref>Nadel, Nick (November 4, 2009). [ "Retro: Liefeld Meets Dennis Miller In a Perfect Storm of ’90s Cliches"]. Comics Alliance.</ref><ref>[ "Rob Liefeld On Dennis Miller"]. YouTube. April 15, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2014.</ref> His other titles included [[Bloodstrike (Image Comics)|''Bloodstrike'']] #1, which was released in April 1993.<ref>''[[Bloodstrike]]'' #1; Image Comics; April 1993</ref>

In an interview in ''Hero Illustrated'' #4 (October 1993), Liefeld conceded disappointment with the first four issues of ''Youngblood'', calling the first issue a "disaster". Liefeld explained that production problems, as well as sub-par scripting by his friend and collaborator Hank Kanalz, whose employment Liefeld later terminated, resulted in work that was lower in quality than that which Liefeld produced when [[Fabian Nicieza]] scripted his plots on ''X-Force'', and that reprints of those four issues would be re-scripted.<ref name=GiveCredit1>[[David, Peter]]. [ "Giving Credit Where Credit is Due, Part 1"]. August 20, 2010. Reprinted from ''Comics Buyer's Guide'' #1033 (September 3, 1993)</ref>

In 1996, Liefeld's and Lee's studios signed with Marvel to re-envision several of the company's core series, an event called "[[Heroes Reborn]]." Liefeld was contracted to write twelve issues of ''[[Avengers (comics)|The Avengers]]'', co-written with [[Jeph Loeb]], and was to pencil twelve issues of ''[[Captain America]].'' Marvel terminated the agreement after six issues, and Marvel reassigned the two series to Lee's studio.<ref name="Wiz72news">McLauchlin, J. (August 1997). "Lee Extends 'Reborn' Run," ''[[Wizard (magazine)|Wizard]]'' no.72 p.18. Excerpt: "Marvel...[asked artist Jim Lee to]... take over the two former Liefeld-helmed books after six months; Marvel cited low sales as the reason for ending Liefeld's contract early."</ref>

===Departure from Image===

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".<ref name=TheImageStory3>Dean, Michael. (July 2000). "The Image Story: Part Three: What Went Wrong". ''The Comics Journal''.  pp. 7 - 11.</ref>

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.<ref>"Chapter Three: Image Litigation, Cont.", ''The Comics Journal'' #192 (December 1996), pp. 17-19.</ref> His resignation came only minutes before the second meeting that would have forced him out.<ref name=TheImageStory3/>

The comics press variously reported several underlying issues: the effect of Liefeld's erratically published and critically derided lines on the company's reputation, his supposed misuse of his position as Image [[CEO]] to unfairly benefit his own publishing efforts (including Maximum Press, which was not a part of Image) and attempts to recruit artists employed by his Image partners, a violation of their informal agreements.<ref name=TheImageStory2/><ref>"News Watch: Image, Liefeld Settle Lawsuit, if not their Differences". ''The Comics Journal'' #195 (April 1997), p. 12.</ref> As further financial reversals followed, Liefeld moved all of his publishing ventures into a new company, [[Awesome Comics]]. This new enterprise, announced in April 1997 as a partnership between Liefeld and [[Malibu Comics]] founding partner [[Scott Mitchell Rosenberg]], concentrated its efforts on newer properties.

===Awesome Comics===

At Awesome, Liefeld and Loeb modified their unpublished ''Captain America'' plots and art pages in order to publish them as their own character, Agent America, which was nearly identical in appearance and background to Captain America, but Liefeld canceled these plans under legal pressure from Marvel, over similarities between the two characters. Thinking that it would be more feasible to use the pages by modifying them into an established character, Liefeld attempted to acquire the rights to [[Fighting American]], another patriotic-themed character created in 1954 by [[Jack Kirby]] and [[Joe Simon]], but when the rights holders offered the rights at a price Liefeld thought was too high, he created a similar character, Agent America, in order to compel the Fighting American rights holders to acquiesce to Liefeld's offered price. The rights holders considered taking legal action over the similarity of Agent America to Fighting American, though it was Marvel who eventually did so, contending similarities between Agent America and Captain America. Before the lawsuit went to trial, Liefeld finalized the licensing deal to Fighting American. Marvel's suit against Liefeld was settled with the provisions that Liefeld's version of Fighting American would undergo some cosmetic changes to his costume, and could not throw his shield (a signature trait of Captain America), in order to distinguish it sufficiently from Captain America.<ref>Cronin, Brian (May 1, 2008). [ "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #153"]. Comic Book Resources.</ref>

Liefeld also hired comic book writer [[Alan Moore]] to revive many of his creations. Moore wrote a few issues of ''Youngblood'' and ''[[Glory (comics)|Glory]],'' but his most lauded work for Liefeld was on ''[[Supreme (comics)|Supreme]]'', as his work on that title won Moore the 1997 [[Eisner Award]] for Best Writer.<ref>[ "1997 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners"]. Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved March 2, 2013.</ref>

Awesome's initial releases included new properties like ''Kaboom!'', created by [[Jeff Matsuda]]. However, Awesome eventually ceased operation in 2000 due to the departure of its primary investor.<ref>Thompson, Luke Y. (October 11, 2007) [ "Rob Liefeld shoots on Alan Moore"]. ''[[OC Weekly]]''.</ref><ref>Brice, Jason [ "Cancellations And Consolations"]. "All the Rage". [[Comics Bulletin]]. Retrieved March 2, 2013.</ref><ref>[[Johnston, Rich]]. [ "Tieri vs Liefeld vs Fraga - Now With Added Monarchic Goodness"]. "All the Rage". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved March 2, 2013.</ref><ref>Amacker, Kurt (2012). [ "Interview with Alan Moore"]. Retrieved March 2, 2013.</ref><ref>McCulloch, Joe (April 3, 2012). [ "THIS WEEK IN COMICS! (4/4/12 – Hottest Game of Thrones Recaps Inside!)"]. ''[[The Comics Journal]]''.</ref>

===2000s work===

In the 2000s, Liefeld returned to his former characters in the [[X-Men]] franchise, providing pencils for the occasional cover and/or interior of ''[[Cable (comics)|Cable]]'' and ''[[X-Force]]'' until the early 2000s, when both were canceled.

In 2004, he reunited with Fabian Nicieza for an ''X-Force'' [[limited series]] and illustrated the early covers for Nicieza's ''Cable and Deadpool''. In that same year, Liefeld formed [[Arcade Comics]] and once again announced plans to revive ''Youngblood''. These involved reprinting older material<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Maximum Rob – Liefeld Talks 'Old' & New Projects|publisher=Newsarama|date= July 11, 2005|archiveurl=|archivedate=February 1, 2009}}</ref> and providing the art for two new series<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Youngblood-A-Trois I: Rob Liefeld|publisher=Newsarama|date= July 2, 2003|archiveurl=|archivedate=February 1, 2009}}</ref> ''Youngblood: Bloodsport'' with [[Mark Millar]]<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Youngblood-A-Trois II: Mark Millar|publisher=Newsarama|date= July 3, 2003|archiveurl=|archivedate=February 1, 2009}}</ref> and ''Youngblood: Genesis'' with [[Brandon Thomas (comics)|Brandon Thomas]].<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Youngblood-A-Trois III: Brandon Thomas|publisher=Newsarama|date= July 4, 2003| archiveurl=|archivedate=February 1, 2009}}</ref> Although the former only published one issue, Liefeld expressed hopes to finish the series.<ref>Furey, Emmett. [ "Rob Liefeld Talks 'Youngblood: Bloodsport'"]. Comic Book Resources. June 19, 2008</ref>

Liefeld and writer [[Jeph Loeb]] returned to the Heroes Reborn Universe with ''[[Onslaught Reborn]]'',  a five-issue limited series that premiered in November 2006.<ref>{{cite web|last=Taylor|first= Robert|url= |title=Reflections: Talking With Jeph Loeb| publisher= Comic Book Resources|date= October 25, 2006}}</ref> This led to Liefeld having a pitch accepted for a plan to bring [[Killraven]] back, with writer [[Robert Kirkman]].<ref>[ "Wizard World Chicago 2007: Rob Liefeld and Robert Kirkman to Breathe New Life into Killraven"]. [[Marvel Comics]]. August 14, 2007.</ref>

[[File:15th anniversary of Image Comics - seven founders.jpg|thumb|Liefeld (second from right) with the other founders of Image Comics at the 2007 [[San Diego Comic-Con]].]]

In July 2007, it was announced that Rob Liefeld and Youngblood would be returning to Image Comics after years of self-publication.<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Rob Liefeld Talks Youngblood's Return to Image|publisher=Newsarama|date= August 1, 2007| archiveurl=| archivedate=February 1, 2009}}</ref> This new partnership marks the first time in a decade that Liefeld and Image would collaborate on a project. This ''Youngblood'' series was written by [[Joe Casey]]<ref>{{cite web|last=Furey|first= Emmett|url= |title=New Blood: Joe Casey talks Youngblood|publisher= Comic Book Resources|date= December 6, 2007|archiveurl=|archivedate=February 1, 2009}}</ref> with art by [[Derec Donovan]] and [[Val Staples]], and covers by Liefeld. It debuted in January 2008.<ref>{{cite web|url= |title= Liefeld/Image Reunite For ''Youngblood'' HC/New Series|publisher=Newsarama|date= July 7, 2007|archiveurl=| archivedate=October 27, 2007}}</ref> Liefeld took over writing and art duties with issue #9,<ref>Wigler, Josh. [ "Rob Liefeld Talks Youngblood"]. Comic Book Resources. July 1, 2009</ref> though that would be the series' final issue. To commemorate the event, and the 15th anniversary of Image Comics, the 2007 [[San Diego Comic-Con]] was headlined by the Image Founders panel, where all seven of the original Image Comics founders appeared on stage simultaneously.<ref>Morrow, John (July 20, 2007). [ "Comicon schedule"]. [[TwoMorrows Publishing]].</ref>

2010 saw Liefeld return to the Deadpool character, first by penciling issue #1 of the ''Prelude to Deadpool Corps'' series, the issue focusing on Lady Deadpool. Liefeld became the regular artist on [[Deadpool Corps]], providing the interior art for the first nine issues.<ref>Johnston, Rich (January 18, 2009). [ "Rob Liefeld To Draw Deadpool Corps Comic For Marvel"]. Bleeding Cool.</ref><ref>Joel, Bryan (March 3, 2010). [ "Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1 Review"]. [[IGN]].</ref>

In March 2011, Liefeld was announced as the artist on ''The Infinite'', a mini-series written by Robert Kirkman.<ref>Truitt, Brian. [ "'The Infinite' teams Image's past and present"]. ''[[USA Today]]''. March 7, 2011</ref><ref>Ching, Albert. [ "Robert Kirkman and Rob Liefeld Team Up THE INFINITE"]. Newsarama. March 7, 2011</ref> In January 2012, this project was canceled by Liefeld due to creative differences over the art direction.<ref>Johnston, Rich (January 21, 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld And Robert Kirkman Kill The Infinite Over Creative Differences"]. Bleeding Cool.</ref> Truthfully, Liefeld was fired by Kirkman after Kirkman found out what Liefeld was attempting to do.

In June 2011, he was announced as the artist on a new ''[[Hawk and Dove]]'' series, with writer [[Sterling Gates]], as part of [[The New 52]], DC Comics' relaunch of their entire superhero line, returning Liefeld to the characters that helped establish him in the industry.<ref>Hyde, David. [ "The Next Generation of Justice"]. [[DC Comics|The Source]]. June 8, 2011</ref> With ''[[Hawk and Dove]]'' canceled as of issue #8, Liefeld was hired to take over three other titles: ''[[Grifter (comics)|Grifter]]'', ''[[Deathstroke]]'' and ''[[Hawkman (comic book)|The Savage Hawkman]]'', plotting all three, while also writing and drawing ''Deathstroke''.<ref>Johnston, Rich (March 23, 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld Says Sales For Grifter, Deathstroke And Hawkman Have 'Fallen Off A Cliff'"]. Bleeding Cool.</ref> Though he indicated in July 2012 that he would stay on the titles for a run that would end in 2013,<ref>McMillan, Graeme (July 26, 2012). [ "Following Morrison, Liefeld Also Announces Imminent Departure From DC"]. Comics Alliance.</ref> he abruptly quit DC Comics in late August 2012, announcing that the #0 issues to be published in September would be his last. Though he characterized his experience on The New 52 as an overall positive one, he did not disguise his animosity toward editor Brian Smith, with whom his clashes were among his reasons for leaving the company.<ref>Ching, Albert (August 22, 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld Quits DC: ‘The 0′s are my last issues’"]. Newsarama.</ref><ref name=ComAlliance8.23.12>McMillan, Graeme (August 23, 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld Quits DC On Twitter, Names Names And Points Fingers"]. Comics Alliance.</ref> Other reasons he cited were frequent rewrites of his material, and the overall corporate culture that was more prevalent now that both DC and Marvel were owned by large media conglomerates. Liefeld also referred to Scott Clark's artwork on ''Grifter'' as "crap".<ref name=Aug2012BleedingCool-1>Johnston, Rich (August 25, 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld Versus Tom Brevoort. Oh, It’s On."] Bleeding Cool.</ref> Liefeld indicated that he would return to focusing on his creator-owned properties at Image, including ''[[Bloodstrike (Image Comics)|Bloodstrike]]'', ''[[Brigade (comics)|Brigade]]'', as well as other projects yet to be specified.<ref name=ComAlliance8.23.12/> In response to these events, artist [[Pete Woods]] defended DC editorial, stating that the restrictions placed on creators was the result of a plan they had for all 52 of their titles that required them to be consistent with one another.<ref>Johnston, Rich (August 25, 2012) [ "Pete Woods Joins In The Liefeld Debate"]. Bleeding Cool.</ref> Editor [[Tom Brevoort]] and writer [[Gail Simone]] defended Brian Smith, disputing Liefeld's characterization of him, leading to a heated exchange on [[Twitter]] between Liefeld and Brevoort,<ref name=Aug2012BleedingCool-1/><ref name=GammaSquad>Smiff, Will (August 27, 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld Versus Tom Brevoort And Scott Snyder: FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT"]. Gamma Squad.</ref> and eventually head ''Batman'' writer [[Scott Snyder]] as well.<ref name=GammaSquad/><ref name=Aug2012BleedingCool-2>Johnston, Rich (August 25, 2012). [ "Now It’s Rob Liefeld Vs Scott Snyder – 'Get Over Yourself You Pretentious Prick'"]. Bleeding Cool.</ref><ref>Fishman, Marc Alan (September 1, 2012). [ "Marc Alan Fishman: Rob Liefeld Vs. Batman"]. ComicMix.</ref>

In 2011-2012 Liefeld returned to his earlier creator-owned characters, with new books written and illustrated by other writers and artists. These included a new ''[[Avengelyne]]'' ongoing series debut at [[Image Comics]] under the creative team of Mark Poulton and Owen Gieni, a ''Bloodstrike'' series written by [[Tim Seeley]], a ''[[Glory (comics)|Glory]]'' series written by [[Joe Keatinge]] and illustrated by [[Sophie Campbell]], and a ''[[Prophet (comics)|Prophet]]'' series written by [[Brandon Graham (comics)|Brandon Graham]]<ref>Weigel, David (January 21, 2013). [ "Rob Liefeld’s Sharper Image"]. ''[[Slate (magazine)|Slate]]''.</ref> that garnered critical acclaim.<ref>{{cite web| last=Cederlund| first=Scott| url=| title=Best Shots Advance Reviews: 'Prophet' #21, 'Wasteland' #33| publisher=Newsarama| date=January 17, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite news| last=Hatfield| first=Charles| url=| title=Reviews: 'Prophet' #21-#22|newspaper=[[The Comics Journal]]| date=March 16, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web| last=Sava| first=Oliver| url=,81930/| title=The latest issue of Prophet illustrates the value of letting creators do their own thing|publisher=[[The A.V. Club]]| date=June 29, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web| last=Melrose| first=Kevin| url=

| title=Amazon names best comics and graphic novels of 2012| publisher=Comic Book Resources| date=November 13, 2012}}</ref> There was also revivals of ''Youngblood'' with writer John McLaughlin with artist Jon Malin and ''Supreme'' by [[Erik Larsen]] in 2012.

==Criticism and praise==

[[File:10.2.10MillarLiefeldByLuigiNovi.jpg|thumb|[[Mark Millar]] speaking with Liefeld at the [[Big Apple Convention]] in Manhattan, October 2, 2010.]]

Liefeld's name has become something of a lightning rod in the industry.<ref name=ComicsAlliance/><ref>Diaz, Eric (September 6, 2013). [ " The Eight Biggest DC Creative Screw-Ups Since the New 52 Began"]. [[Topless Robot]].</ref> In an interview, [[Brian Michael Bendis]] described the polarization of opinion on Liefeld: "There is a great dichotomy...There's either some great and generous story about [Liefeld] or you will hear some unbelievable thing like, 'How is he not in jail if he did that?' There is no middle ground."<ref name="LiefeldBendis">[[Brian Michael Bendis]]. [ "Brian Michael Bendis Presents...An Interview with Rob Liefeld"]. ''[[Wizard (magazine)|Wizard]]''. 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2007.{{Dead link|date=June 2009}}</ref>

In interviews, Liefeld has compared himself to other popular artists who experienced meteoric success and acclaim early in their careers but near-pariah status afterwards, notably [[Britney Spears]], who "became vapid in pop music, and perhaps I was nothing more than a vapid comic book artist."  He seems to credit his success to tapping into the [[zeitgeist]]: "I'll be the first to tell you that we [the Image collective] were never the best artists. We were never the best at anything, but just like a song or a band or whatever, we caught on and we toured rigorously."<ref name="LiefeldBendis"/>

He is not without supporters in the industry. The [[A.V. Club]] says of Liefeld's critics, "Rob Liefeld is the punching bag of choice for many discerning comics fans. But he’s also the man who defined what the 1990s looked like in superhero books, so he’s crying all the way to the bank. For every dozen detractors who think he’s the worst thing to happen to comic books since [[Fredric Wertham]], there is one a ravenous fanboy ready to snatch up whatever he does next."<ref name=AVClub>{{cite web | title = Reinventing the pencil: 21 artists who changed mainstream comics (for better or worse)|publisher = The AV Club|date = July 20, 2009 | url =,30528/|accessdate = 2009-11-25 }}</ref> Writer [[Jeph Loeb]], with whom Liefeld collaborated, and writer [[Mark Millar]] are reported to be admirers of his work.<ref name="LiefeldBendis"/> Millar in particular wrote the foreword to the 2008 ''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]'' collection published by Image Comics, in which he defended that series as an entry in the celebrity superhero subgenre that predated ''[[The Authority]]'' and ''[[X-Statix]]''. Millar also compared critics of Liefeld's layouts and figure work to those who would have criticized [[Jack Kirby]] for exhibiting a cartoony style rather than photorealism, and asserted that his own children are avid fans of Liefeld's work in general, and ''Youngblood'' in particular.<ref>[[Millar, Mark]] (2008). ''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]'' collected edition. [[Image Comics]]. p. 3</ref> Comics writer [[Grant Morrison]] credited the Image creators with "rescuing" American comics, explaining that they responded to children's tastes of the time, and brought comics back to their basic superhero roots following the [[British Invasion (comics)|British Invasion]] in comics and the popularization of titles typified by [[Vertigo Comics]], of which Morrison himself was a part. Morrison stated that he too is great admirer of Liefeld's work in particular, explaining that while Liefeld's art was regarded as "total crap" in the 1990s, artists today see it as an [[Avant-garde]] abstraction of reality that is as bizarre and individual as [[Vincent van Gogh]].<ref>{{cite web | title =Fat Man on Batman #044: More with Morrison|publisher=[[SModcast]]|date = August 14, 2013|url =|accessdate = August 21, 2013}}</ref> In 2012, Rich Johnston of [[Bleeding Cool]] said of DC Comics' decision to assign Liefeld the co-scripting and drawing duties on three of their flagging [[New 52]] titles, "Rob does have a habit, of course, of pulling out sales and attention like a rabbit out of a hat."<ref>Johnston, Rich (March 2012). [ "Rob Liefeld Says Sales For Grifter, Deathstroke And Hawkman Have 'Fallen Off A Cliff'"]. Bleeding Cool.</ref>

In 2013, he was named on [[IGN]]'s list of "The Best Tweeters in Comics" for both his industry insight and his utter bluntness.<ref>{{cite web|last=Yehl|first=Joshua|title=The Best Tweeters in Comics|url=|accessdate=22 April 2014}}</ref>

===Art style and credit===

Liefeld has been criticized for his drawing skill. In a 1996 interview, writer/illustrator [[Barry Windsor-Smith]] criticized the depth of work by the popular artists of the 1990s like Liefeld and [[Jim Lee]], and those whom they influenced (whom he referred to as "the Liefelds and the Lees"), stating "I don’t think it has even crossed their minds that comic books can be a medium for intimate self-expression." Speaking of Liefeld in particular, Windsor-Smith said:<ref name=WindsorSmith>[[Groth, Gary]] (September 1996). [ "The Barry Windsor-Smith Interview"]. ''[[The Comics Journal]]'' #190. Retrieved July 28, 2013.</ref>

{{quote|"Rob Liefeld has nothing to offer. It’s as plain as bacon on your plate. He has nothing to offer. He cannot draw. He can’t write. He is a young boy almost, I would expect, whose culture is bubble gum wrappers, Saturday morning cartoons, Marvel Comics; that’s his culture. Somebody was at his house and came back with a report: There is not a single book in his house — only comic books. I see nothing in his work that allows me to even guess that there’s any depth involved in that person that might come to the fore given time."<ref name=WindsorSmith/>}}

Artist [[Alex Ross]] drew upon his dislike of the design of Liefeld's creation [[Cable (comics)|Cable]] when designing the character [[Magog (comics)|Magog]] for the 1996 miniseries ''[[Kingdom Come (comics)|Kingdom Come]]''. Following writer [[Mark Waid]]'s instructions that the character's appearance be based on aspects of superhero design trends of the time that they disliked, Ross said of Cable, "That's a character that Mark Waid invented that was really just put to me like come up with the most God awful, Rob Liefeld sort of design that you can. What I was stealing from was - really only two key designs of Rob's - the design of Cable. I hated it. I felt like it looked like they just threw up everything on the character - the scars, the thing going on with his eye, the arm, and what's with all the guns?"<ref>Brick, Scott (March 2007). "Alex Ross". ''[[Wizard (magazine)|Wizard Xtra!]]''. p. 95.</ref><ref>{{cite web |first=Jonah |last=Weiland |url= |title=Ten Years Later: Reflecting on "Kingdom Come" with Alex Ross |publisher=[[Comic Book Resources]]|date=May 10, 2006}}</ref> Liefeld has also been criticized for drawing figures with exaggerated [[muscle|muscular]] [[anatomy]],<ref name="GiveCredit1"/> long legs and tiny feet, along with an improbable profusion of [[weapon]]s, accessories, and pouches, that have been subject to parody.<ref name=AVClub/> These stylistic devices were seen as the impetus for his initial success, when such affectations were unusual in comics, and helped lend such characters to successfully merchandised products.<ref name=TheImageStory2/><ref>{{cite news | last = Cunningham | first= Brian | date = August 1993 | title = Catapult to Stardom | work = Wizard: X-Men Turn Thirty| pages = 82–83}}</ref> Nonetheless, the approach later became a [[cliché]] and led to a widespread hostility towards the style.<ref>{{cite web|url=,61267/|title=The New DC 52, Week 1 (Flashpoint #5 and Justice League) |author=Keith Phipps and Oliver Sava|publisher=[[The A.V. Club]]|date=September 2, 2011}}</ref> Liefeld agrees for the most part with this estimation of his early work, saying, "In the mid-90's we [[Mortal Kombat]]'ed everything. I'm as guilty as anyone..."<ref name=comicsbulletin/> His art has also been criticized in more general terms for poor anatomy, as well as poor design and continuity in elements such as clothing, props, and proper proportions between characters and their environments,<ref>{{cite comic|writer=David, Peter|story=Mystery Sandman Theater: Captain America|title=[[Comics Buyer's Guide]]|publisher=[[Krause Publications]]|issue=1193|date=September 27, 1996}}</ref> with writer and ''[[Comics Buyer's Guide]]'' columnist [[Peter David]] responding to Liefeld's 1996 work on the "[[Heroes Reborn]]" ''[[Captain America]]'' by proclaiming Liefeld the "[[Ed Wood]] of comics".<ref>David, Peter. [ "The Ed Wood of Comics"]. February 13, 2012. Reprinted from ''Comics Buyer’s Guide'' #1195 (October 11, 1996)</ref> Kesel relates:

{{quote|"Mike Carlin once said of Rob: 'He has it. He just doesn’t have it yet.' And I couldn’t agree more. Rob is one of the most energetic and charming people I’ve ever met– you can’t help but like him– and at the time of [Liefeld's early work on ''[[Hawk and Dove]]''] his work showed great potential. But success came far too quickly and easily to him, and he never felt the need to develop that potential. Which is really too bad, because if he did I’m certain he would have left a very different mark on the industry. Not that things worked out that badly for him…"<ref name=CBGUrbanLegends/>}}

Following the April 2012 release of DC Comics' solicitations for that July, which included Liefeld's covers for ''[[The Savage Hawkman]]'' #11, ''[[Deathstroke]]'' #11, and ''[[Grifter (comics)|Grifter]]'' #11—all of which showed characters' feet—Liefeld, who had been criticized for avoiding drawing characters' feet, commented, "The [[Hipster (contemporary subculture)|Hipsters]] don't know what to do when I draw feet. It confuses them."<ref>Melrose, Kevin (April 10, 2012). [ "Quote of the day | Rob Liefeld 1; Hipsters 0"]. Comic Book Resources.</ref> At the beginning of Liefeld's run on the ''[[New Mutants]]'', the heavily muscled, heavily armed [[cyborg]] character Cable was created for the team, and became a popular [[antihero]], although there is dispute over Cable's origin, with Liefeld, [[Bob Harras]], and [[Louise Simonson]] all claiming credit for some or all of the character concept.<ref name=GiveCredit1/><ref name="comicsbulletin">Saunders, Steven G. [ "Interview with Rob Liefeld"]. [[Comics Bulletin]]. Retrieved April 20, 2007.</ref><ref>''Wizard'' magazine, issue #10.</ref><ref>Johnston, Rich. [ "Laying Cable"]. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved April 21, 2007.</ref> For a time, Marvel credited only Liefeld and Simonson as Cable's creators within the ''[[Cable & Deadpool]]'' series. He also was credited as the sole creator of ''Youngblood'', when documentation suggests that Liefeld's longtime friend and collaborator Hank Kanalz co-developed that team with him.<ref name=GiveCredit2>David, Peter. [ "Giving Credit Where Credit is Due, Part 2"]. August 23, 2010. Reprinted from ''Comics Buyer's Guide'' #1040 (October 22, 1993)</ref>

In addition to this, Liefeld is also alleged to have made a habit of [[swipe (comics)|swiping]], or copying, art from other artists.<ref name=GiveCredit1/><ref>[[Hauman, Glenn]]. [ "Rob Liefeld’s 40 worst drawings? You missed a few…"], ComicMix, December 3, 2007</ref> Liefeld responded to this accusation by stating that in these instances, which he said were limited to ten, he was offering tribute to the artists of the original pieces in question, rather than [[plagiarizing]], and compared this to the work of filmmaker [[Brian De Palma]], who explicitly used the techniques of [[Alfred Hitchcock]]. Peter David responded to this rationale by stating that DePalma himself was criticized harshly by film critics for employing Hitchcock's techniques, and that Liefeld, who has identified himself as a "stickler" for credit, did not credit artists whose work he copied, instances of which exceeded the ten upon which Liefeld insisted. David also stated that some of these artists, such as [[John Byrne (comics)|John Byrne]] and [[George Pérez]], did not react to this practice on Liefeld's part as a "tribute," and expressed displeasure at the degree to which Liefeld relied on their work.<ref name=GiveCredit2/>

===Production and business problems===

Liefeld has also gained a reputation for producing late books, primarily his creator-owned ones,<ref name=GiveCredit1/><ref name=Newsarama>McLelland, Ryan. [ "Valiant Days, Valiant Nights - A Look Back at the Rise and Fall of Valiant"]. Newsarama. September 24, 2003. Archived at []. Retrieved August 21, 2013.</ref> though somewhat less so when doing [[work-for-hire]].<ref name=CBGUrbanLegends/> Some issues of his series ''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]'' shipped as much as nine months late. Liefeld has attributed this to the greater incentive a freelancer feels when doing work-for-hire assignments for a company, as opposed to working on one's self-owned work.<ref name="LiefeldBendis"/> Creator [[Bob Layton]], who says he had to fly to Los Angeles and literally sit on Liefeld's doorstep until Liefeld finished penciling his portion of the ''[[Deathmate]]'' miniseries, which was an intercompany crossover published by Image Comics and Valiant comics, and who had to ink the artwork himself in an Anaheim hotel room, stated, "There I was, with my own company to manage, and I was in California, managing someone else's people." Layton cites ''Deathmate'', and Image's inability to produce their half of that series in a timely manner, as the first disaster that heralded the end of the [[speculator boom of the 1990s]], and the eventual demise of Valiant Comics.<ref name=Newsarama/>

It was alleged that Liefeld was too preoccupied by aspirations of Hollywood production deals, spending time in meetings with [[Steven Spielberg]] and [[Tom Cruise]], to effectively publish comic books or participate in the business side of the Image venture, a criticism that Liefeld admits is at least partly true.<ref name=ImageStory4>Dean, Michael. (August 2000). "The Image Story: Part Four: An Accounting". ''[[The Comics Journal]]''.  pp. 14 - 20.</ref> He reportedly fell asleep at numerous Image board meetings.<ref name=TheImageStory3/><ref name="LiefeldBendis"/><ref>Johnston, Rich (February 26, 2012). [ "The Not Quite Secret Origin Of Image Comics"]. [[Bleeding Cool]].</ref> Liefeld was also criticized for not returning to [[Rick Veitch]] the original artwork that Veitch had produced for Liefeld's Awesome Comics series, ''[[Supreme (comics)|Supreme]]''.<ref name=ComicsAlliance/>

After the San Diego Comicon panel in 2007, Liefeld was interviewed by ''[[Wizard (magazine)|Wizard]]'' magazine about his feud with the Image partners. He claimed the feud was in the past, saying: "The divorce was ugly, but to me it didn't linger....I realized you just need to let it go."<ref>Morse, Ben. (2007). "In Step With: Rob Liefeld". ''Wizard''. November, 2007. p. 108</ref>

==Selected bibliography==

===Interior artwork===

*''[[X-Factor (comics)|X-Factor]]'' vol. 1 #40, #52 (cover  only), #54 (cover only)

*''[[Uncanny X-Men]]'' #245

*''[[New Mutants]]'' vol. 1 #85 (cover only), #86-91, #92 (cover only), #93-96, #97 (cover only), #98-100

*''[[New Mutants]]'' Annual #5-6

*''[[X-Force]]'' vol. 1 #1-9 (plot & pencils), #10 (plot), #11 (plot & cover), #12-13 (plot)

*''[[Wolverine (comic book)|Wolverine]]'' vol. 2 #154, 155

*''[[Marvel Comics Presents]]'' #52-53, 85-86

*''[[Heroes Reborn]]: [[Captain America]]''

*''[[Youngblood (comics)|Youngblood]]'' and ''Youngblood: Bloodsport''

*''[[Brigade (comics)|Brigade]]''

*''Armageddon Now''



*''Doom's IV''

*''[[Teen Titans]]'' 27-28

*''X-Force'' vol. 2 #1-6

*''[[Onslaught Reborn]]'' #1-5

*''[[What If (comics)|What If]]'' vol. 2 #7

*''[[Deadpool]]'' #900

*''Prelude to [[Deadpool Corps]]'' #1 (written by [[Victor Gischler]], 5-issue limited series, Marvel Comics, May 2010, 120 pages, premiere hardcover, July 2010, ISBN 0-7851-4752-7)

*''Deadpool Corps'' #1-9

*''The Infinite'' #1-6 (August 2011 – January 2012)

*''Grifter'' 9-12, 0 (cover art)

*''Hawk and Dove'' #1-5 (1988)

*''Hawk and Dove'' #1-8 (2011–2012)

*''Deathstroke'' (vol. 2) #9-12, #0 (2012-2013) (artist and cover art)

*''The Savage Hawkman'' 9-12 (cover art)


*''Deathstroke'' (Vol. 2) 9-12, 0 (writer); 13-14 (plot)

*''Grifter'' 9-12, 0, 13-14 (plot/co-writer)

*''Heroes Reborn: Avengers'' 1-7

*''Heroes Reborn: Captain America'' 1-6

*''New Mutants'' 98-100

*''[[Marvel Comics Presents]]'' 52, 53, 99

*''Prophet/Cable'' #1-2

*''The Savage Hawkman'' 9-12, 0, 13-15 (plot/co-writer)

*''Wolverine'' Vol. 2 154-157

*''X-Force'' Vol. 1 1-12

*''X-Force: [[Shatterstar]]'' 1-4

*''Uncanny X-Men'' 245



==Further reading==

* ''Wizard'' #10, interview about ''Executioners'' and ''Berserkers'' (June 1992)

==External links==

  • {{official website|}}
  • {{gcdb|type=credit|search=Rob+Liefeld|title=Rob Liefeld}}

*[ Rob Liefeld] at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators

  • {{Comicbookdb|type=creator|id=60|title=Rob Liefeld}}
  • {{IMDb name|509580}}


{{succession box | title=''[[Wolverine (comic book)|Wolverine]]'' writer| before=[[Steve Skroce]]|

after=[[Joe Pruett]]| years=2000}}



{{Authority control|VIAF=185228751}}


| NAME              =Liefeld, Rob


| SHORT DESCRIPTION =Comic creator

| DATE OF BIRTH     =October 3, 1967

| PLACE OF BIRTH    =[[Anaheim, California]], [[United States]]




{{DEFAULTSORT:Liefeld, Rob}}

[[Category:1967 births]]

[[Category:Living people]]

[[Category:American comics artists]]

[[Category:Arcade Comics]]

[[Category:Awesome Comics]]

[[Category:Image Comics]]

[[Category:People from Anaheim, California]]

[[Category:American comics writers]]