Comic industry great and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld is about to have another success on his hands. Even before his latest endeavor Major X hit the shelves, the book managed to sell out ahead of its April 3rd release and is set for a second printing. A sure-fire sign that the artist is still a force to be reckoned with.
Set in a parallel alternate universe called X-Istence, Major X is the last remaining mutant in that timeline after his home is taken from him. The six-issue limited-run miniseries is still veiled in a lot of mystery, but Liefeld’s enthusiasm for the book is unbound as the artist can’t wait for this new journey into the X-Universe.
“It’s been really exciting,” said Liefeld. “But I have to be honest, I created it for me…You can’t predict people. Just please yourself.”
But Liefeld isn’t the only one excited about it as positive fan response to the new comic has been overwhelming.
“I have never seen anything like this in the ten years of social media,” said the artist. “The volume of fan art from the day he was announced, every day I get five and ten new pieces of Major X art. I try to share all of it on my social media and I still have bunch I need to share before it is released.”
The creator of Deadpool, Domino and Cable’s return to Mutantdom is welcomed by both fans and the creator himself, who made sure that his addition to the X-Men Universe fit within the current story arcs.
“I didn’t want to do an X-Men story that interferes with current continuity because then you have to deal with bureaucracy where you are waiting for approvals,” said Liefeld. “Now I’m at the end of the journey and I was never, ever, ever was asked to change anything.”
“I feel it’s a little different than what is coming out,” said the artist. “I told the story I wanted to tell. Marvel gave me the greenlight. Now we’ll see if the fans dig it.”
To get the comic off the ground, Leifeld as to assemble a perfect team. With the help of artists Whilce Portacio and Brett Peeples, along with the support of Marvel’s editor-in-chief C. B. Cebulski, Leifeld was able to get his vision off the ground.
“I think everyone raised their game. I called Whilce Portacio, my partner in crime. Whilce admittedly went off the grid for a while and I think he’s been doing a lot of conventions, so I called him to ask, ‘Would you do this?’,” said Leifeld.
“I gave Whilce the best issue of the bunch. I think issue three is the most exciting. And when I saw the pages, I’ve known him forever and I have crazy respect for him, and I’m telling you, it’s an elevation of his work. I felt it as I turned pages.”
“Whilce wrote me a letter saying, ‘Hey Rob, let me tell you something. Thank you for contacting me. Thank you for making me a part of this. This rejuvenated me. It energized me. It felt like it did drawing comics 25 years ago. I’ll draw anything you write,’”recalled Leifeld. “That’s really moved me. We’re peers, man. We are the old guys of the business. So I think that issue is the best one.”
“Brett Peeples does the heavy lifting with the series. He outdid me by 10 pages. He did a great job. He had been doing some work for DC, but I had him do a short story for me for a project I wanted to get out in 2014. I thought we was a great storyteller and I liked where he was going.”
I saw him at New York Comic-Con and I said, ‘I may have something for you. Are you free?’ He said, ‘I just finished my last job. So I submitted him. He never worked for Marvel, so he had to go through the process. And C.B. said, ‘I’ll greenlight him. He’s good.’ When you see his second and fifth issue (he does #2, #4 and #5), they are fantastic. He’s phenomenal.”
“The great thing is if you hate this, it’s 100% me. I picked every artist, every inker, every colorist they are all my guys. There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide,” laughed Leifeld.
“My first comic I ever picked up was Fantasy Four #147, Namor was flying out of the ocean and he is battling The Thing. That entire era of mid to late-seventies Fantastic Four, that’s what got me into comic books,” said Liefeld. ““There is 12 – 14 pages of action and fighting. That’s what I loved about comics.”
“It’s very fast paced. Every issue is like 15 to 20 minutes of what I would say is a big two-hour event. That’s how it feels.”
“I did not want to tell a story that was already told. I follow the X-Men. I think they can ramp up the action for my taste. I unapologetically threw in a lot of action. It’s very fast paced. The whole series is a like a pursuit. Major X lost his home. He wants to get it back at all costs.”
Luckily, stepping back into the Marvel Mutant Universe was an easy transition for Liefeld thanks to the support he got from the publisher.
“C.B. told me his motto right now is that he wants to make Marvel creator friendly. You have a vision, you bring it to us, we approve it, we let you do that vision. And I’m telling you right now, I am the living embodiment of that. My entire crew is.”
Major X #1 & 2 are both available now in stores and via digital