The Man Behind Deadpool: Rob Liefeld

Rob Liefeld and Deadpool
Rob Liefeld and Deadpool

Rob Liefeld’s Q & A

by Durrilion

The big event for Amazing Arizona Comicon was not only the release of Deadpool the movie, but also the appearance of Rob Liefeld, the creator of the infamous leather clad hero.  Amazing Arizona leadman Jimmy Jay opened the panel with “I’m extremely, extremely, extremely thankful that you’re spending your weekend with us at Amazing Arizona Comicon”.

Amazing Arizona Comicon lead man Jimmy Jay
Amazing Arizona Comicon lead man Jimmy Jay
Liefeld on stage
Liefeld on stage

Rob came on stage and thanked everyone as well.  He was “ridiculously happy” about the premier’s results.  This all started 29 years ago, when Marvel comics took a chance and gave Liefeld the New Mutants.  The title was falling behind, and Liefeld turned it around.

Deadpool’s popularity in New Mutants #98 resulted in Marvel giving Deadpool the cover of the second issue of X-Force.  From there it took 11 years for Deadpool to make it to the silver screen.

Deadpool on the cover of X-Force issue 2
Deadpool on the cover of X-Force issue 2

For Rob, one of the most exciting things about being at Amazing Arizona was a chance to meet Chris Claremont, a comic book artist who inspired Liefeld.  No matter how famous we get, deep down inside we are all still geeks who love our chosen genres.  Liefeld was visibly bouncy on and off stage.

He said it took 3 months to film the movie, and asked if anyone in the audience had stayed to see the very end.  Given the number of extras tagged after movie credits, it’s a safe bet that everyone had.  While Liefeld said he can’t say anything, movie goers will know that there was mention of the appearance of Cable in a ‘possible’ sequel.  He did tell us there are great plans; exciting stuff that will be revealed soon, so stay tuned.

In the last year, Liefeld did 19 conventions promoting Deadpool’s movie.  That’s a busy schedule.

To start off audience questions, he stepped off the stage (he said he would have jumped, but the stage was higher this year and he didn’t want to break a hip).  Then he walked around the crowd.

First question was “How did you come up with Deadpool”?  His two best friends were working on Spiderman and they laughed that he was doing X-Force.  So Liefeld’s pitch was to tie-in Deadpool as “broken egg” in the omelette that eventually made Wolverine.  He pitched Deadpool as a smart ass, “Spiderman with guns and swords”.

Is there a character/group that you’d love to see on screen?  Liefeld couldn’t answer the question but said there has been interest in one of his other characters, and that details would be out soon.

His favorite version of Deadpool?  Well we’re still waiting for that answer because Rob said “that’s tough, you stumped me”.  He never got back to the question.  I imagine it’s tough to keep track of questions that you said you’d get back too.  There’s only so much time in a panel, and so many fans.

His inspiration to work in comics came at a young age.  When the first Star Wars movie came out back in ’77, he and some friends tried to draw Chewbacca.  That’s what we did back in the days before merchandising, and the internet.  We drew our favorite characters, and wrote our own stories.  Granted now fan-fic is pretty much everywhere.  He said his drawing was the most realistic of all them.  That’s when he knew he had talent.

Rob’s favorite Marvel character is Wolverine, he bought the debut issue.  Wolvereine inspired the mystery behind Cable and Deadpool.

Of all of Deadpool’s weapon’s Rob’s favorite are his katanas.  I have to say I’m pretty fond of those swords myself.

Someone asked him about casting choices, and Rob clearly stated the he believes Ryan Reynolds is Deadpool.  Fans of the comics, and anyone who has seen the movie, will surely agree.  Personally I can’t think of anyone else who could have brought Deadpool to the big screen and not made it cheesy.  Well cheesy in a bad way.

Ryan and Deadpool
Ryan and Deadpool

When an artist creates something, be it a novel, a comic book character, or anime, with fan support it will grow.  In some cases, that original creation gets bought by the comic book company, or a big studio for a movie.  This usually results in the creator being paid large sums of money so the studio can run amuck.  The creator then has no more control over the creation, and usually no longer receives any more money.  In Rob’s case he sold Cable and Deadpool to Marvel “in a good deal”, so he’s okay with Marvel making millions on the movie.

In a random comment Rob said Deadpool’s comments about “el cancer” were connected to Rob’s father’s battle with that disease.  Knowing what it is like to lose family members to cancer, I understood where he was coming from.  It also adds emotional depth to that part of the movie’s storyline.  If you haven’t lost someone to cancer, count yourself lucky.  If you have, then you get it.

When asked about the video game, Rob said he loves it, but that it was ahead of it’s time.  Apparently it held the record for the most returns.  Angry mom’s brought it back when they realized how violent and graphic it was.  I wonder if the Deadpool game was one of several that started the game rating system?

Deadpool constantly breaks the fourth wall, so naturally in the movie Wade sees Rob (in his cameo role) and says “Liefeld” as he walks past him.  Shortly after that moment the bar room brawl starts.  Rob said he was almost hit in the face by a flying chair.  Literally, it passed within a few inches of his nose.  Ryan did most of his own stunts in the movie.

Considering it was Rob Liefeld, and a Deadpool panel, it was only natural that there would be lots of Deadpool cosplayers.  Mother Deadpool brought up the subject of the petition to make the movie PG-13.  Rob’s response was that it was lame, because the movie had already been rated.  While he feels a PG-13 version would have worked, he believes it would not have been as great.  Personally I’ve been of the mind that just because something is animated, or in a comic book, does not automatically make it kid friendly.  The parents of most of my friends, and my own, made sure what we read, and watched as children was age appropriate.  My friends with children do the same thing.  I don’t have children, so I have to wonder if it really is that difficult of a task to screen entertainment for one’s own children.

With the number of Deadpool cosplayers at the event, Rob said he’s seen more Deadpools in 6 years than any other character.  He also tries to get a photo with all the Deadpool cosplayers he meets.  That’s pretty cool!

“What was it like seeing Ryan Reynolds in the costume for the first time?” “Oh yeah, I jizzed,… that was the most exciting thing” he admitted.

Oh yeah!!!
Oh yeah!!!

As the questions continued, Rob was visibly calmer.  I had a brief chance to speak with him at the end of the day.  I thanked him for coming to Phoenix, and wished him luck with Deadpool’s future.  With a fist bump he said thanks, and said there’s more to come.

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