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SYFY WIRE Rob Liefeld

Comic legend Rob Liefeld on creating Deadpool, his rivalry with Todd McFarlane & keeping 'Deadpool 3' secrets at NYCC

By James Comtois
Rob Liefeld

Rob Liefeld reminded fans at New York Comic Con that, yes, his beloved anti-hero Deadpool is a knockoff. But not of the character you’re thinking.

Speaking at New York Comic Con on Saturday, the chatty, enthusiastic and excitable Image Comics co-founder and creator of Deadpool and X-Force regaled fans with stories about breaking into the business, reminded people about his recent and upcoming projects related to the 30th anniversary of his creations, answered questions, and let everyone know that he created Deadpool because he "wanted to draw Spider-Man."

"He's Spider-Man with guns and swords," Liefeld joked. This of course is not the first time he’s mentioned this

Liefeld explained that part of the genesis of the Merc with the Mouth was thanks to his fellow Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane. “McFarlane is a great competitor, and a bit of a tormentor,” Liefeld told the room, remembering a time when the Spawn creator and former Spider-Man artist taunted Liefeld over how much more work it was to draw kids’ faces (for New Mutants, Liefeld’s former title) than to draw Spider-Man’s. 

“That a**hole,” Liefeld joked. “He’s right!”

This was one of multiple stories Liefeld told the room about his life in comics, from pitching his work to editor Dick Giordano at the DC booth at WonderCon as a teen (and also to the Marvel booth at the urging of his friend) to taking over the poorly-selling New Mutants (Marvel’s then editor-in-chief Robert Harras to a young Liefeld: “We’re about to cancel, but if you can fix it...”) to eventually creating X-Force as a kid (“It changed my life in ways you can never imagine”).

“My life is an inspiration because I should not have the wife that I got, the kids that I got, the career that I got,” Liefeld said, telling the aspiring comics artists in the room to “keep doing it. Keep putting one foot in front of the other."

Liefeld also reminded fans that, in celebration of Deadpool’s 30th anniversary, he drew 30 covers for Marvel Comics this year, including contributing to the one-shot Deadpool Nerdy 30, which featured several Deadpool stories from various artists. And in November, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the debut of X-Force #1, Marvel will release X-Force: Killshot, a new comic written and drawn by Liefeld. 

“It is amazing because I am my own biggest fan,” Liefeld said before joking about how often he feels the need to pat himself on the back.

Added the artist: “I love, love, love, love drawing comics. I am going to die drawing comics.”

When one fan asked if he could divulge any details about the upcoming Deadpool 3 movie, he sarcastically replied: “Oh sure. Let me share everything I know about Deadpool 3! Where's the sniper that's going to shoot me?"

He followed this joke with: "I'd love to tell you [what I know]. But I can't, because I value my life."

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2021.