The too-brief “Liefeld Era” of DC Comics has thus come to an end today, as writer/artist/1990s-icon Rob Liefeld very publicly announced that he was leaving the publisher. Liefeld took to Twitter to explain why he was walking away from “Savage Hawkman,” “Grifter,” and “Deathstroke”:
“Just finished sending my thank you’s to DC personnel. Officially got off the DC52 treadmill this morning. Scott Clark will be replacing me on Deathstroke. Marat will continue the work on Grifter…I had a great time at DC.”
His erratic tweets ran the gamut from threatening to expose DC to gossip columns, to blaming editorial interference on his titles, to thanking DC co-publisher Dan DiDio and editor-in-chief Bob Harras “for the opportunities.” Obviously, there is a bit more to this developing story — hell hath no fury like an Image-founder scorned, I guess.
Eyebrows were raised in February by DC’s decision to put Liefeld on these books in the first place, considering that his previous title in the “New 52” lineup, “Hawk and Dove,” was cancelled due to low sales. The assumption was that the publisher was trying to recapture the magic of the early 1990s, when Liefeld and fellow Image alums like DC’s Jim Lee were selling titles in the millions. And indeed: Liefeld still has tons of hardcore fans, many of whom flocked to Twitter to lend their support.
It all makes me wonder if it’s simply too late to look backwards to the comics boom of the Nineties…maybe Liefeld is better off working on his creator-owned projects for Image. And maybe more young blood (see what I did there?) needs to be put on these “New 52” titles. You can’t re-create “lightning in a bottle”…
At any rate, the fates of the three DC titles impacted by Liefeld’s departure remains to be seen; I wish the best for the remaining talent involved, because being told that your book is suddenly canned really sucks.