Rob Liefeld acknowledges that he’s prone to speak positively about (some might say, hype up) any of his projects. But the writer and artist insists he’s sincere when speaking about the joy he felt creating his latest comic.
“This was the most fun I’ve had in comics in 30 years,” Liefeld says of X-Force Killshot, a one-shot issue out this week that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Marvel Comics mutant team, X-Force.
The book centers on the time-traveling mutant Cable, who brings together five different X-Force teams, chosen from different points across time. Together, they are on a mission to the villainous Stryfe before he can launch an attack on humanity. With just 30 pages to tell a story, Liefeld says he channeled idol Jack Kirby, the late X-Men co-creator who was known for his efficient storytelling and action chops. He also looked to Steven Spielberg for inspiration.
“I was literally trying to do the first 18 minutes of Saving Private Ryan,” says Liefeld. “This is my mutants storming the beach at Normandie. Handheld camera, cinema verite X-Men.”
Liefeld introduced X-Force with New Mutants No. 100 in 1991 before they graduated to their own series. After the success of the Deadpool films, there was talk of an X-Force film from filmmaker Drew Goddard that would have starred Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool and Josh Brolin as Cable.
“I had those conversations with Josh Brolin. He was so excited,” says Liefeld of buzz around the film.
The idea was scrapped amid Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox. (“What Deadpool is to the superhero movie, X-Force can be to the team superhero movie,” Goddard previously told THR of his vision.)
Though Liefeld mourns the film that could have been, X-Force: Killshot proved lively in another area: the world of comic book art collecting.
Liefeld sent his original art to his dealer on Friday, and the complete package has already sold to an anonymous buyer, a move that surprised both Liefeld and the dealer. (Liefeld declined to share how much the collection sold for.)
The issue also allows him to write in the voice of Deadpool, who has risen to new levels of popularity thanks to Reynolds. The actor now inspires how Liefeld writes the character.
“Yes, that’s the only voice I hear. Ryan has completely co-opted the character,” says Liefeld.
Adds the creator: “When people ask me who is the best Deadpool writer? Ryan! Ryan is the best Deapdool writer.”