of his versions of the characters got people…talking
to say the least. Come August, Rob Liefeld will jump over to DC’s
Teen Titans for a two-issue guest-stint, illustrating
a story written by Gail Simone, and featuring the new Hawk &
While we’ve seen
his art, we caught up with the creator for a quick chat and surprising
facts about his history with the Teen Titans.
First off, you were a big Titans fan as a kid, right?
Liefeld: I was a major, big time fan of the Teen Titans
as a kid. I loved the comic in the mid 70's incarnation prior to
Marv Wolfman and George Perez's ‘80s re-launch. I loved the
Aquaman cartoon because it had the Teen Titan feature on
it, the one where Kid Flash's costume colors were reversed to red
on top and yellow legs...I love the Titans, yes.
A little known
fact is that I was an early member of the ‘80s Teen Titans
fan club, Titan Talk along with my early Youngblood collaborator
and current Wildstorm exec Hank Kanalz. And even more little known
is that I'm on the guest book in Teen Titans #50,
the Wedding of Donna Troy. George had my name added to the guest
list. If I'd been on time with my photo, George would have drawn
me in the book. See, I've always been late, deadline challenged…even
as a kid.
NRAMA: And for fans who may not know, in the early
‘90s you were in negotiations with DC about doing a Titans
limited series with Arsenal and Speedy which eventually morphed
I proposed a new Titans book in 1991, Team Titans
was the proposal, Jon Peterson who edited the book approved it,
Marv Wolfman signed on to co-write it and then I couldn't make the
deal with Dick Giordano. God bless him, we just couldn't make the
numbers work. So I took my proposal and merged it with an existing
indie project I had called Youngblood. Next thing
you know, POOF...Image comics was born.
NRAMA: Can you tell us about the circumstances
surrounding that time and that project?
Shaft was intended to be Speedy. Vogue was a new Harlequin design,
Combat was a Kh'undian warrior circa the Legion of Super
Heroes, ditto for Photon and Die Hard was a Star Labs android.
I forgot who Chapel was supposed to be. So there you have it, the
secret origin of Youngblood.
NRAMA: Before that, you did some work for DC back
in the late ‘80s, mostly notably the Hawk & Dove
miniseries, but haven't done anything for them in over
15 years. Why such a long absence?
I have no idea. I did a little three page Superman/Aquaman sequence
a few years back but that was mostly due to Jeph Loeb's influence.
Certainly Dan Didio is a reason I'm working there right now. Jeph
Loeb and Geoff Johns were both instrumental in opening the door.
Marvel took up five of those years, Image another five and somewhere
along the line time just passed by. I'm thrilled to have this opportunity.
While I'm not a Mark Waid level DC trivia master, I'm pretty informed
on DC, I've always bought a pretty equal amount of DC books to Marvel
and I just love the DCU.
NRAMA: So this wasn’t a sudden thing?
Nope - I'd been talking to Geoff Johns for years, on and off, most
recently when he was telling me about the new Hawk, this was back
in August of this past year. I told him I should draw a variant
cover, I was dying to do anything Titans related. It didn't happen
but then this opportunity opened up. I submitted a fan drawing of
the Titans to show how I'd draw them, next thing you know, I'm helping
out on the summer schedule.
Well obviously, your fill-in begs the question – any plans
for any future DC work?
Hell yes. Can't say what though.
NRAMA: For these issues, you're working on a book
with an established tone and style, as opposed to characters like
X-Force that you largely created and stylized.
Will this require you to alter or adjust your usual style at all?
Yes, definitely yes. I'm still feeling my way through these characters,
figuring them out. I don't want to go too off the mark with any
of them. I drew Cyborg too small then I drew him too big, now I
think I have a feel for him. Ditto for Robin. I'm still finding
my way with Wonder Girl and the others. I've already heard from
fans I need to tone down her chest and I will, no problem. I'll
probably just get used to them when the arc is over.
NRAMA: Finally, who are you having the most fun
drawing, and how far are you into the work?
I got the plot early last week, and I'm 8 pages into it. I'm already
in the groove. X-Force already answered the question
of whether I can deliver or not. Case closed. You’ll see the
issues on time.