Rob Liefeld is a legend in the comic book world. Originally beginning at Marvel Comics in his early career, Liefeld happened to create a certain character that you may now know and love named Deadpool. Along with the “Merc with a Mouth”, Liefeld also created Cable, the time-traveling soldier from the future, and Domino, a mercenary with luck-based powers. Both of these characters will be joining Deadpool in the sequel to his smash hit debut with 20th Century Fox, coming in 2018.
With Deadpool-mania at a fever pitch, Liefeld has decided to dip his toes in the “Pool” once again with his upcoming Marvel Graphic Novel, “Deadpool: Bad Blood.” Releasing on Wednesday, May 17th, this story will dive further into the origins of Wade Wilson, along with introducing a new villain for his rogues’ gallery in the form of Thumper. Signing the book on the night of release at the Barnes and Noble Grove in Los Angeles, Liefeld took some time out of his schedule to chat with us about the newest installment of Deadpool.
“Bad Blood”, written by Liefeld, Chad Bowers, and Chris Sims, sees Liefeld return to art duties, penciling the story of Wade Wilson once again. “I feel that my art reflects who I am right now.” Liefeld said, “I love getting older. As I get older and more mature, my artwork changes accordingly. While I can take some of the credit, Romulo Farajardo really assisted me with this and painted his ass off. I went into this knowing that I wanted someone to be my partner on this like Lynn Barley was to Frank Miller on the Dark Knight Returns. It’s just so cool, his artwork, it’s a force of nature.” Before Bad Blood, Liefeld had created a series for Marvel revolving around Wade Wilson called “Deadpool Corps”, wherein a series of alternate reality Deadpools joined forces to bounce around outer space. However, Bad Blood was the story that Liefeld was hoping to tell for the past fifteen years and change.
“Marvel came to me in late 2015 and asked whether I wanted to do an original graphic novel for them. I thought originally that they were trying to hide me in a corner with this! In talking with my friends, in both the retailer world and on the web, I learned that I was just being paranoid and that it was a great move. Jim Starlin got his own with Thanos: Infinity and that was a great book! I leapt on this idea not only because of being able to work with Chris, Chad, and Romulo, but also because with this prestige format there are no page breaks and no interruptions. It’s nice to have new comers work with Old Man Liefeld every once in awhile.” Liefeld added about the book. “When I asked Marvel what was off limits, they told me verbatim: ‘Listen Rob, we had Deadpool kill the Marvel Universe, Moby Dick, and William Tell to name a few. We do not adhere to continuity when it comes to Deadpool.”
At the heart of the story, Wade remains a tragic character, along with his new antagonist, Thumper. “At the center of Thumper’s story, designs, and how he stacks up to Deadpool, there’s tragedy there. Of course, I got blowback on the name as you can only envision the most adorable bunny on screen from Disney’s Bambi of the same name. I thought that this was never going to clear but wouldn’t you know it? Marvel was bought by Disney and I got to give the villain this name. Thumper has known Wade since middle school, so there is definitely a personal connection there. Thumper is definitely my attempt at creating a sustainable nemesis for Deadpool. All this story, by the way, came from a two page outline at first, then turned into a 100 page graphic novel where the dialogue and artwork is equally important on the page. I’ve worked on a lot of project, and I recognize the importance of a great script and great dialogue. This story has that for sure.”