DC Comics announced on Friday that the extreme artist Rob Liefeld will be joining the creative teams of three ongoing DC book on their ninth issues, which are coming in May.
The creative team shake up comes in the wake of DC’s announcement of six ongoing series being canceled, one of which, Hawk and Dove, was Liefeld’s only current presence in the new DC universe. Those comics that will be affected by the creative team shift will be none other than Deathstroke, The Savage Hawkman and Grifter.
You can check out a full image of Deathstroke by Liefeld below.
On Deathstroke #9 (you can check out the cover here below), Liefeld will be replacing both Kyle Higgins as writer and the art team of Joe Bennet and Art Thibert. The bit of intrigue here is that Liefeld created Marvel’s answer to Deathstroke The Terminator with the mega popular extreme mercenary Deadpool. Liefeld will also be putting his name into the Grifter and The Savage Hawkman creative pools by plotting upcoming issues of both comics. Whether he’s absolutely replacing Nathan Edmonson and Tony Daniel as writers of their respective comics, or who will take on the writer role, has yet to be announced at this moment.
In the official announcement, DC Entertainment’s Executive Director Eddie Berganza refers to Liefeld as “edgy,” and continues to say that the company chose Liefeld as a way to push boundaries and make the titles as edgy as possible. Now, I’m not exactly sure what constitutes “edgy” in 2012, but personally, I would think a younger writer or artist that is dying to prove him or herself within the comic book industry would put more effort into pushing actual boundaries rather than an artist who made his name within the extreme age of the 1990s when creators simply tried to push physically impossible imagery than simply pushed suspension of disbelief far beyond what could be reasonably expected of readers. Also, it would seem logical that if a company wanted to push boundaries that they would also want to choose a group of creators that haven’t pushed similar characters for the past 20 years that they’ve been in the business. But what do I know?
To keep things completely transparent, I’m not a fan of Liefeld’s work, but I completely understand that others enjoy his style, so my approach here isn’t to bury him. I’m totally fine with him as a creator on any book that a publisher wants him. I just don’t understand the concept of wanting to push the envelope when you have someone that hasn’t actually pushed the envelope in twenty years. Maybe it’s just the name association within the minds of readers that he is an “extreme” creator and DC is just trying to gain attention on the books for their initial release, but I don’t think that they’ll be delivering with the final product. But again, maybe that’s just me.
Either way, if you’re a fan of Liefeld’s, then you’re definitely going to want to check out his appearances as a plotter on Grifter and The Savage Hawkman and as writer/artist on Deathstroke, all of which hist stores in May. And if you’re currently reading those books, and you aren’t a fan of Liefeld’s, then you can go ahead and take them of your pull list. It’s a win/win! You see folks, information is power!