The Evil Geeks Top 5 Rob Liefeld Covers
Liefeld Week, a never ending holiday of macho men, bad ass babes and weapons the world just isn’t ready for. We’ve discussed a great many things but there was nothing we were more excited for than to pick our top 5 favorite covers delivered from the master’s hand. It wasn’t easy to narrow it down, but somehow we did it.
Rob, we kid because we love! Here’s the thing, I don’t actually hate Liefeld’s art. I know it’s awful and he doesn’t have a child’s grasp on the anatomy of the human body, but I have some fun nostalgia from my childhood about it. With that said, I know it’s bad and I wouldn’t ever willingly buy anything he’s done. He’s already made a mint off me as a kid from trying to piece together the entire Extreme Studios line of comics he was behind for Image in the early 90’s. I’ll be showcasing here some of what Liefeld does best and other things that are considered the most Liefeldian.
5.) Youngblood #77 (March 2013)
This is the newest entry on my list (the only one that isn’t from his 90’s heyday) and a bit of a curveball. Believe it or not, I actually legitimately like this. I have no idea what’s going on though. Looks like Chapel is back from the dead (Again!) as a demon though this time? That minion behind him looks disturbing and menacing enough and dare I say that Badrock even seems to be slightly more proportionate?
4.) Avengers Vol. 2 #4 (Feb. 1997)
Heroes Reborn was a chance for Marvel to have some of their golden boys come back again and play in their sandbox. Think of it as a bit of an olive branch extension to group of young men who left to form Image Comics. Yet by the mid 90’s both companies were struggling. Jim Lee’s Wildstorm productions were given Fantastic Four and Iron Man and Liefeld’s Extreme Studios got Captain America and the Avengers to reinvent and start from scratch.
As for the picture, I mean I don’t even really know what to say here. Hulk’s 90’s hair is too much and why is his face so humanish? He’s so massive but his facial features are so small. It looks like his fist are at least double how big his head is. That’s insane! I love the gum line and little nose he has and the amazing abyss that is his torso.
Errant weapons ready for attack? Sure. What about that arrow though?
3.) X-Force #9 (April 1992)
Ok, now we’re treading into classic territory with some Liefeld staples. Swords, muscles, pouches, buxom women and guns. BIG ASS MOTHER FUCKING GUNS. Honestly, I don’t care about anything else in this cover but that gun and the size of it. It’s massive. If you stood it up it would be taller than Cable. This is America at its finest.
2.) Badrock #1B Variant (March 1995)
It’s about time Badrock showed up on the list. Liefeld loves to draw these massive bulky bruisers that lurk in the background and dominate panel and cover space. Most of all though out of all these he loves drawing Badrock. Maybe part of it is that the character’s childlike attributes resonates deep within Liefeld. There’s no shortage of him here as he has a leg that’s bigger and taller than this blonde waif with an eyepatch he’s teaming up with. Liefeld does this neat trick where puts all his women in a certain pose and knows that their massively round ass (actually is she naked from the waist down?) and huge tits can’t be supported by the lack of a waist he’s given them so he puts pouches there to distract you from its ridiculousness. That awesome hair style, the eye patch, the gun with a laser sight…I wouldn’t have it any other damn way. It’s all so amazingly 90’s.
1.) Youngblood #8 (Sept. 1994)
There is no way this doesn’t get the #1 spot. I’ve been obsessed with this cover since I was a kid. Look at how EXTREME it is, brah. Our Gambit character (Knight Sabre in this case) is flying at you with some sweet intensity, check out whatever those lines are going on around his shoulders and the back of his shirt. Some team members can actually fly that are included but there are some who can’t (Shaft I’m looking in your direction). Psilence being the only girl on the cover of course had to be portrayed in a way that shows off her womanly goods while everyone else is in an opposite position. Check out how insane whatever it is that’s going on behind them is..doing? Are they getting sucked into a portal? Nah dude, its laser fire? Sky? Speed? Only Liefeld truly knows for sure.
I decided to put my pride aside and actually admit that I enjoy a select few Liefeld covers. After much searching of the internet and my soul, I came up with 5, although 30 would have been a easier number to work with. You’re welcome.
5) X-Force #3 (Oct. 1991)
Just look at this thing. Who in their right mind goes into battle with their arms out like that? It’s almost as if they are all ready to just spread eagle and accept their horrible fate. Juggernaut’s muscles look like they are killing him by the sheer pressure they are putting on his body. I’m not too knowledgeable on the Ruby of Cytorrak, but I’m almost positive it doesn’t provide you with bicep elephantiasis. Look at Spider-Man and realize how badly he doesn’t want to be there. So much so that he’s just ass out in the wind looking like he is about to make Juggernaut’s suit a whole lot browner. To finish it and yourself off, just gaze at Cable’s calves….like goddamn corded steel.
4) Warchild #3 (June 1995)
There is so much happening here. Ladies, I cannot guarantee that you will ever find a man like this in your life. Breathe it in. I’m not entirely sure if those are shadows or if it’s hair. Doesn’t really matter, because whatever it is, it’s making you hate your significant other right now. It looks almost as if Shatterstar and Juggernaut got drunk one night, banged, and with the magic of a certain Ruby, a man emerged capable of killing anything and everything. He’s got arrows but I am hard pressed to find a bow on this walking arsenal of hate. The veins in his hand crisscross in ways that is not genetically possible which explains the blown out muscle proportions. I am however, slightly confused about the empty scabbard on his back. I can only assume that it is buried into the face of that one guy who had the balls to ask him why a grown man calls himself a child. There is only one grown man who can call himself a child, and that is Paul Stanley, the Star Child.
3) Onslaught Reborn #4 (Sept. 2007)
I call this one ” Rob Liefeld Learns Photoshop”. It doesn’t look like he drew this, more like willed it to existence and the gods flowed ink onto paper to contain his lunacy. The series is called Onslaught Reborn, and Onslaught looks almost like an afterthought here. The only person here that looks proper is Cap, which is surprising considering Mr Liefeld’s previous works with him. I don’t even know if that is Iron Man, the Vision, or their chimera. Is that a dick on his shoulder? I won’t even talk about Wanda as she looks like she’s wearing a teddy to a space fight. Good god. It’s amazing.
2) I Don’t Even Know…eXtreme Sacrifice? (January 1995)
I am still trying to figure out entirely what is going on here. First off, and I hate to mention dicks again, but it looks like Mr Liefeld forgot to include one for Mr. Red and White over here. There’s a void right in the love zone and the only thing it can be filled with is mass murder. We have a Cyclops and Dr. Strange fusion in the back, and what looks like, and I can only hope it is, Puck crossing into the Image universe for a solid throw down. All of this takes place in space, where none of them should be able to breathe properly, yet they survive. Because god wills it, and he understand your need for it.
1) Deadpool Corps #9 (Feb 2011)
What could I say that the god-hands of Liefeld haven’t already said with this picture? First off, the eye is immediately attracted to Deadpool attempting to curb stomp Lady Deadpool’s boobs into oblivion. Second, why are only their right arms seeing any sort of real clothing damage? There’s blood everywhere, including my nethers as I look at this amazing piece of art. There also seems to be a certain connection going on with Mr. Liefeld’s greatest works. Arrows sticking out of people with no bows in sight. I fucking love it. Something about phantom archers makes me all giddy, and I can only assume that he just felt like none of his greatest works would be complete without arrow shafts sticking out of the miracles his hands perform. Also, and this may be as big of a shock to you as it was to me, there are only 2 belts in this piece. And feet! Also, none of the guns have holes for the bullets to expel from, so I can only assume all of those wounds are self inflicted on both parties. Enjoy!
5.) Grifter #0 (November 2012)
Boy oh boy, where to start on this one? Well, the guns seem as good a place as any, and I doubt you need me to call attention to the one on Grifter’s right. Cole Cash (his actual goddamn name) is an expert marksman and mercenary or some 90’s shit like that, so it’s feasible that he might be picking off a target on his peripheral without turning his head, but without turning his hand? And with a caulk gun?
And the other one? That looks like a cardboard cutout of a gun, or like one of those Melissa and Doug wooden kids toys, if they had a handgun set. The volume of Grifter’s hair? I’ll let that slide because at least it’s consistent with other Liefeld drawings, even if it is outlandish. The feet, though… While they do exist in this case, it’s almost as if Cole is standing on a glass floor in front of the paper cutout. His right foot appears to be resting on a flat, albeit slanted, surface and his left leg could possibly be leaning on the selfsame surface. Also, I’d have to ask Jim Lee but was Grifter ever really into swords? I think Rob has gotten yet another character confused with Deadpool.
4.) Captain America #6 (April 1997)
First things first, that gun is kind of perfect. By this point, Liefeld had a reputation to protect so he couldn’t bring some milquetoast M-60 to the party, Cable had to bring an oversized pulse rifle with a tiny bayonet that protrudes at an angle askew from the barrel. What really irks me here, though, is the fact that Captain America is some kind of unearthly giant. He towers over Cable, who has been shown to be at times eleven to fifteen feet tall. And shouldn’t his legs be visible beneath Cable’s gun and between his legs?
Baron Zemo looks like a drag queen who’s choked to death inside of a gimp mask on this cover. That has never been among my complaints about this one, though. I think that’s a very spooky notion and maybe even preferable to the origin of the mainstream continuity version. No, what bugs me here is that Liefeld posted his shitty scroll signature right in the middle of the cover! He didn’t place it in a corner or subtly in the background, but rather floating in the central region of this already dreadful cover. Kudos, sir. Kudos.
3.) Battlestar Galactica #4 (November 1995)
Right of the bat, is the blonde monster resting his chin on the douche-bearded monster’s head? That’s actually kind of sweet.
Are you familiar with the premise of the original Battlestar Galactica? If not, take a glimpse at this synopsis from the Internet Movie Database!
Liefeld was sort of famously a big fan of the original series (that characteristic was even projected on Bedrock/Badrock) so I really don’t understand how he missed such a key point in the premise… the Colonial refugees were supposed to be HUMAN. Human faces don’t do those kinds of things, and human spines don’t even motherfucking THINK about doing those kinds of things. I think we’re looking at some Cylons built to resemble humans, sent amongst the refugees to infiltrate and sabotage. Shit, that’s a pretty cool idea, huh?
2.) Uncanny X-Men (June 1989)
The Outback X-Men era of Uncanny in the late 1980s showcased a number of excellent artists, most famously introducing Jim Lee and catapulting him to his eventual superstardom. There was also an issue, about a gentleman’s evening gone awry, illustrated by Rob Liefeld. Longshot looks like Tom Berenger in a Tina Turner wig, Wolverine has absolutely no eyes despite the fact that the lighting established in the rest of the drawing would have them very well-lit. Credit where credit is due? Havok actually looks okay. He looks a great deal like Silvestri art at that point in time, but suspicions aside there’s nothing wrong with that figure. Colossus, though? This might have been Liefeld’s first chance to draw an obscenely large character on the cover of a book and he brought his A-Game. What the fuck is going on with the gooey business in Colossus’ mouth, and why is his hair the only part of him that throws up a flare?
1) X-Force #50 (January 1996)
So remember how X-Force #1 had a wraparound cover and was an enormous success, sales-wise?
Well, it only stands to reason that twice as much cover will yield twice as much sales! That was presumably the thinking behind this 1996 foray into gatefold comic covers, which may or may not be singlehandedly to blame for the collapse of the industry. Cable is so fucking pissed about this 50th issue celebration, and Shatterstar isn’t exactly happy himself. Caliban, who had suffered a Liefeldian fate and turned from a wimpy little spaz into a snarling behemoth is shown here to hold easily four times the volume of Cable. I’d like to make some more assumptions about the relative size of these characters based on their positions in this drawing, but this thing looks like it was inked by M.C. Escher. Nothing makes a lick of sense… Warpath’s (that’s Warpath, right?) thigh is as big as Domino, and he’s behind her. Cannonball and Feral are obviously not meant to be on the same plane as everyone else. Or are they? I dared to say that there was a single obvious thing about the composition of this piece, and even to imply that there was any kind of planning going into it whatsoever. Rob Liefeld just wants to watch the world burn.
5) The Infinite #1 (August 2011)
Alright, so I picked this one because it shows off the fact that Mr. Liefeld has a couple “characters” that he’s comfortable drawing. This ladies and gentlemen is what I refer to as “The Cable.” For starters, it’s not Cable, but as you can see, it’s a large man with huge shoulders and pads protruding off them. He’s got his pouches in case he needs “stuff” and he’s obviously pointing some large guns towards the viewer. But the thing that stands out to me is the expression on his face; pissed off because he has to go to the bathroom! Because that’s how they all look dammit!!! Also, last but not least you’ve got the receding hairline on the guy, sure, he’s in his twenties, but Rob only knows about 3 hairstyles.
And folks, I give you “The Cable!”
4) X-Force #50 (January 1996)
So Mr.Kang has already put a brutal beating on this one, but hey great minds right? So much stands out to me here but lets focus on a few. Cable for starters, what the hell are those “things” sticking out of his back? Is he being stabbed by 5 or 6 swords? And who’s got a smaller waist? Sunspot or Boom Boom? Warpath looks like he’s going to Studio 54 and Feral’s floating head is a nice touch. I’ve lost energy just looking at this, so we gotta move on…
3) Uncanny X-Men #245 (June 1989)
Again, Kang and I think alike. So this was a big opportunity for Rob, the opportunity to draw a cover for the big leagues. You can obviously see the Sylvestri-like style that we’ve got going on here, but look at Logan’s eyes! Or lack there of, c’mon how did this make it through editorial. I’m with Kang on Colossus though, he looks like my nephew did when he was 5 and accidentally shit himself…Bozhe Moi!
2) Transformers vs. G.I.Joe #1 (July 2014)
Good ol’ Rob is at it again… Variant Covers! Seriously, that’s one of the reasons why comics piss me off. Let’s get an artist, doesn’t matter who, to draw 10 covers a month and then they turn their book in late and when they do it looks like garbage anyway. So off my rant and lets look at this cover…We have feet! Whoa, did he really draw this? I didn’t even notice them because I was focusing on the Battletoad er, uh, I mean Snake Eyes in the foreground. Seriously, anatomy lesson man, there is no way that the top half of his body is that large and you can argue with me about perspective (or lack there of) any day, but as far as I’m concerned this the time that TF and the Joes teamed up with the Battletoads!
1) Onslaught Reborn #4 (September 2007)
So Arthur wasn’t a fan, but honestly I think that this is the high point in Rob’s portfolio. For starters, Cap looks like Cap in an almost Michael Turner-esque style. The proportions on Onslaught look simply correct so kudos to Rob. Scarlet Witch does look like a $2 hooker, but c’mon she always does so I’m giving Rob a pass on this one…but every silver lining has to have a touch of grey, right? What the hell is going on with Iron Man? Seriously, is he the Iron Vision? Regardless of what’s going on, it doesn’t look right. He almost looks like a crudely draw ninja turtle. So I’ll give you a “B” this time Rob, because it’s a masterpiece compared to Heroes Reborn!
Did you take a mental note of how many feet you’ve seen on the list? Don’t forget to check back in at evilgeeks.com for two more days of Liefeld Week!
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Posted on July 25, 2014, in COMICS!, Geekology, Nerd Art, Top 5 and tagged 90s, Avengers, Badrock, Battlestar Galactica, Cable, Captain America, COMICS!, Covers, Deadpool, Extreme Studios, G.I. Joe, Heroes Reborn, Image, Liefeld Week, Marvel, Maximum Press, Onslaught, Rob Liefeld, Uncanny X-Men, X-Force, Youngblood. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.