I’m in a bit of a conundrum.
I’m not a fan of Rob Liefeld. I think that he hasn’t grown as an artist, and his attitude is detrimental to comics. I have actively stopped collecting books he was on, because he just hasn’t learned. (Really, all the reasons why are very nicely summed up on his Wikipedia page here.)
There’s no denying that his name sells books, though. I get that. In the 90s, he spawned a lot of imitators. I loved the early X-Force. I won’t lie. I still like looking at those books. The 90s was a great time (as well as a terrible time) to be a collector.
But then I grew up. Liefeld didn’t grow up with me.
I liked some of his Awesome books. I really liked The Coven. But even as that book was being produced, I was wincing every time I gave my money. I hated Youngblood, because I saw it exactly for what it was: an Avengers/X-Men mashup. I mean, we all have our fantasies, but it was disconcerting to me to watch that fantasy come to life.
By anyone’s estimation, Liefeld has two enduring characters: Deadpool and Cable. Deadpool took a while to catch on, and that was mainly due to the work of Joe Kelley. He gave depth to Deadpool. Something of a King Lear treatment. Cable caught on almost immediately. Layers were added to him over time as necessary, but he’s always going to be the kid that Scott and Jean never had. (Actually, I love Cable.)
My conundrum is simple: there’s a movie coming out starring Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, and I don’t know if I want to see it. I’m not that eager to put money into Liefeld’s hands.
I’m not even worried about the storytelling ramifications of the Deadpool movie. (X-Men Origins: Wolverine saw Deadpool with his mouth sewn closed and his head chopped off, but alive, and having multiple mutant powers. How that’s going to be “fixed” and make sense is something I’m vaguely interested in. Actually, I’m just interested to see if they’re going to acknowledge that movie at all, or just go their own way with it.) I’m worried about the movie becoming successful and giving more money to Liefeld.
I don’t think he deserves it, because he hasn’t grown. I’m afraid that this film will lead to a resurgence, and he’ll be on more books, causing me to be disinterested in books that I love.
I’ve left books before. When I had enough of Chuck Austen on X-Men, I dropped the books.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Deadpool as a character. I just don’t want to put more money into Liefeld’s pocket. If he had grown as an artist and a person, I’d feel differently. Since he hasn’t, I don’t.
And I don’t know if I’ll see the Deadpool movie.
I’ll definitely watch the trailer, though.