The Liefeld Trilogy, Part 3 of 3 — A Sigh of Relief
Editor’s Note: This article was written before Liefeld left DC in August 2012.
Hello. My name is Field, Lyle Field.
Welcome to the final part of the Liefeld Trilogy.
I had to do some re-writing and re-organizing with the final part as Rob Liefeld tweeted that he would be leaving the New 52 sometime in 2013 in order to focus more on his creator-owned material.
It did give me a sigh of relief when he announced that he will be leaving the New 52 but did not say when. It has yet to be confirmed if Liefeld is indeed leaving Grifter at #16 (which would most likely be its final issue), however it is unknown when he will leave Deathstroke and Savage Hawkman, whether it is by his own accord or if sales plummet even further, get cancelled.
Regardless, Liefeld has declared his leaving the New 52 DC Universe stable. Mind you, Liefeld’s leaving DC is quite tame compared to when he (along with Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and others) announced they would be leaving Marvel Comics in December 1991, thus forming Image Comics a few months later. At that time, it was most sensational and shocking comic book news of the day!
But what would happen if Liefeld did stay in the New 52 Universe? I have two probable scenarios in mind with the most likely one, Liefeld would be involved in the creation of the New 52 version of the WildCATS.
WildCATS was created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi in 1992 and was the core Wildstorm concept that featured his menagerie of unified super-hero conceptions. The original team consisted of the following:
Grifter: former government operative and member of Team 7, Cole Cash is the only male ever trained in the ways of the Coda thanks to Zealot. He is the only member of WildCATS, at the time, not to have active powers. Grifter’s status in the New 52 Universe is more of a loner type with latent powers trying to stop the impending invasion of the Daemonites in the DC Universe. Grifter not only appears in his own title (rumoured to be cancel with #16) but in the pages of the New 52 version of Team 7 series.
Lord Emp: an amnesiac former Kherubim warlord, Jacob Marlowe went from homeless panhandler to one of the richest men in the world (thanks to the temporal machinations of Void) and helped bring the WildCATS together. Lord Emp has yet to appear in the New 52.
Maul: the strong man of the team where scientist Dr. Jeremy Stone is a human-Titanthrope hybrid who is able to increase his mass, durability and strength at the cost of his intellect. In essence, the Stronger Maul Gets, the Stupider Maul Gets—which is consistent with Marvel’s Incredible Hulk. Maul has yet to appear in the New 52 in any shape or form.
Spartan: the incarnation of John Colt, a long dead hero, who was also known as Yohn Kohl, the Kherubim Lord. Spartan is a Hadrian-series of Kherubim cyborgs where he could download in another cyborg body when the one he is wearing is damaged beyond repair. In the New 52, Spartan has yet to appear.
Void: Adrianna Tereshkova immersed herself in the Orb of Power giving her temporal & teleportation abilities. Void has not yet made an appearance in the New 52, however I am speculating that Void is actually the mysterious Pandora, whose origins/revelations is expected to be revealed in the upcoming Phantom Stranger series.
Voodoo: a mix of human, Kherubim and Daemonite lineage, exotic dancer Priscilla Kitaen can see Daemonites who possessed humans and separate them from the bodies they possess. She was trained in the ways of the Coda by Zealot and has a very strong emotional connection to Spartan. In the New 52 Universe, much of core essence of Voodoo remained as depicted in her soon to be cancelled series but will be appearing in the Grifter series soon after.
Warblade: a crossbreed between a human and a shapeshifter, Reno Bryce is a mixed martial arts expert with the ability to transform parts of his body into living edged weapons. Of all the WildCATS characters appearing in the New 52, Warblade has made numerous appearances playing a major role in the Culling and making appearances in Superboy, Teen Titans, Legion Lost and now the Ravagers. In the New 52, Warblade is a sadistic henchman for the terrorist known as Harvest.
Zealot: Lady Zannah is Kherubim and former Majestrix of the warrior sect known as the Coda. Zealot is long lived (but not immortal) who broke the convent of the Coda and has been hunted down ever since. She has had many relationships with humans and aliens where some she even produced offsprings. Zealot has made her New 52 debut in the pages of Deathstroke starting with #9.
One of Rob Liefeld’s focuses—in the pages of Deathstroke, Grifter and the Savage Hawkman—is to help further merge the Wildstorm Universe into the DC Universe by using the WildCATS concept as a sounding board. It seems Liefeld’s intention was to start the New 52 version WildCATS series with a good possibility that he may write it but I certainly would not want to see him draw the characters. If a New 52 version of the WildCATS were to come to reality, Jim Lee would have to illustrate the series even if it means he has to leave the commercially successful New 52 Justice League title.
It would have been interesting to see how a Liefeld/Lee collaboration (with Liefeld as writer and Lee as artist) would look and feel. I have no doubt that it would be a commercial success but will it be a literary achievement. The closest Liefeld & Lee collaborated on a project was the 1996-1997 Heroes Reborn line of Marvel titles (consisting of Captain America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers), which was a disaster on all fronts, especially Liefeld leaving the project midstream over contract issues. Oh yea, who can forget the big bosoms on Captain America as drawn by Liefeld, talk about hormone imbalance.
Regardless of Liefeld’s involvement, a New 52 version of the WildCATS must be done! Jim Lee must illustrate the series! However, for a New 52 version of the WildCATS to succeed, DC characters must become part of the team.
If I was the writer of the New 52 version of the WildCATS, Zealot, Grifter, Voodoo and Warblade will be on the team. I would probably add Spartan, even though he has yet to appear in the New 52. As for the others, these are my picks:
Ted Grant: formerly known as Wildcat who is a human/Kherubim hybrid whose primary ability is to resurrect himself after he dies but it only works 9 times (like 9 lives of a cat). Grant is currently on his 7th life. A former champion boxer who became a multi-billionaire of the Grant Corporation, which is a media/technology global corporation. He did play an active role in his fight against the Daemonites during the 1940’s/1950’s as a “mystery man” known as Wildcat before needing other peole to help him.
Catman: aka Thomas Blake, who is the illegitimate son of Ted Grant, who also possesses the power of 9 lives (currently on his 3rd life) and has developed his body to its peak perfection. Blake did give Batman and Catwoman a run for their money in the early days of the Super Hero Age but was recruited by his father to become the field leader of the WildCATS.
Pandora: obviously an analogue to the Image version of the WildCATS Void, she would aid Grant with his quest if he aids her in find the elusive mysterious “thing” that can end her curse forever.
Blockbuster: every team needs a strong man and the Blockbuster would be key. In the New 52, Dr. Jeremy Stone would develop a serum to active his human/alien side (and rather than be Maul) but becomes the mute, more human looking powerhouse—the Blockbuster.
Anyway, I am going off topic and my focus is supposed to be on Rob Liefeld. Sorry about that.
The second scenario I have about Rob Liefeld, if he had stayed on the New 52, is a bit more scary, being a line editor of the Edge brand of the New 52 line. Liefeld controlling the fate of the DC Universe, even a certain aspect could lead me to quit comics altogether. He may be good pitching story ideas and (trying to) making them work, but controlling your own characters is quite different than controlling other people’s characters. But it is a good thing that he is not doing that.
Liefeld’s future. He plans of creating (writing and/or drawing) comic books that will have a Vertigo style to them, a more mature style. Whether it is super-heroes or ordinary people, he has to be able to communicate those ideas to the public. Without communication, then there is no entertainment value. With Liefeld planning those types of titles, he dreams that he will be up there with hard hitting mature themes like Ed Brubaker’s Captain America run (2004-2012), Scott Snyder’s current New 52 Batman run, Brian Azzarello/Ed Risso’s 100 Bullets saga and even Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons Watchmen. It will be interesting to see if he succeeds in his new endeavour.
In taking the words from TNA Wrestling’s Eric Bischoff—“Controversy Creates Cash”, Rob Liefeld does fit the bill as he is about to enter his 25th year in the comic book industry. Certainly will be entertaining.http://pokupo.com/2012/09/08/the-liefeld-trilogy-part-3-of-3-a-sigh-of-relief/ComicsFeatureA Sigh of Relief,comics,DC,Grifter,Image,Marvel,Part 3,Rob Liefeld,The Liefeld Trilogy,The New 52,Voodoo,WildCats,Zealot