After sweeping the Worst of 2011 Awards with Hawk and Dove, Rob Liefeld just had that series get cancelled with issue #8, apparently to make room for new DC books and keep the catchphrase at that neat New 52 level. We all saw that demise coming as soon as the title was announced. However, DC made an announcement today that no one could have seen coming: Liefeld will be joining three other New 52 titles: The Savage Hawkman, Grifter and Deathstroke.
He's just going to be plotting Hawkman and Grifter, but he's actually writing AND drawing Deathstroke. Sure, Liefeld's been salivating for the chance to draw Deathstroke for decades now (knocking him off for the initial character design for Deadpool is proof of that), but what's the logic here? Does he have unsavory pictures of Jim Lee stashed somewhere?
Executive Editor Eddie Berganza had a, shall we say, interesting spin on this. “Rob’s always been seen as edgy, both within the comic book industry and by his fans. That’s a great vibe to bring to these particular books. We really want to push boundaries, and Rob’s the guy to do it.” Mr. Berganza… I'm not sure he's pushing the boundaries you think he's pushing. But that's me getting opinionated.
Let's hear from the "industry bad boy" himself about what he's got in store.
“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?”
On Hawkman: “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. New enemies and allies emerge as Carter Hall travels across the globe in pursuit of the answers to his heritage and the Thanagarian connection.”
And, finally: “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. 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.”
Deathblow is obviously a reference to Jim Lee's WildStorm character.
So… okay. The positive spin is Lee is helping out an old pal. The cynical thing is that maybe DC has three more new titles it wants to introduce, so it's put Liefeld on three iffy books to make sure nobody misses them when they get axed and so they can keep that magic 52 number.
That's pretty mean of me. I don't get this way that often, so be glad I've only got a couple of lightning rods like this. And enjoy Rob Liefeld's Deathstroke. He's pretty happy about it.