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[email protected]: ‘Snake Eyes: Deadgame’ with Rob Liefeld

Comic book journalist Jim Viscardi held an interview with Image Comics founder and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld about his new IDW book, G.I.Joe Snake-Eyes: Deadgame. After a COVID-19 shipping delay, the book with 36 covers shipped to stores last week.

As part of [email protected], the all-virtual 2020 edition of SDCC, the YouTube series is encouraging fans to tune in for free!

Rob came through with his usual enthusiasm! He even clapped back at some fans on Twitter that were complaining that his panel, The New Mutants and his pal Todd McFarlane’s panel were all scheduled for 2pm PT.  “They are all online and able to watch anytime after right?”

Comic Con International is doing the smart thing, leaving the archive of the video online for all to see! No more Sophie’s choice of which sub basement room to scurry off to at conventions when they are conducted virtually! I broke out of a work Zoom to catch up with Jim and Rob’s panel. I can never take Thursdays off for a convention!

Kicking off the call was a shout out to Henry Golding for his upcoming role as Snake-Eyes in the G.I.Joe movie franchise reboot. Recently, we’ve noticed that Hasbro started using the G.I.Joe Official handle on Twitter and other social platforms, and G.I.Joe Movie focuses on the new batch of films. Rob had plenty to dish on Snake-Eyes, even after doing another video for IGN blasting Kevin Feige!

Rob is a true Joe fan from the jump, with Eagle Eye and Kung Fu Grip as his first toys. Chris Ryall at IDW offered him the book when his Marvel mutant book Major X came out last year, asking if it was the right time for Rob. He feels inspired by the G.I.Joe book in ways he hasn’t in others in years. He praises the launch of the Marvel comic and toyline in the early 80s, a few years after the old figures were absent from toy store shelves.

In both videos, Rob reveals a trick up his sleeve. Deadpool is nothing without Snake-Eyes! It’s all about the unusual combination of a sword and a gun! He shows off his Hasbro Pulse Snake-Eyes figure, a re-sculpted model for the modern age that arrived at Casa De Liefeld right at the beginning of the pandemic!

The new book imbues magic in the sword of the Dead that can raise the dead. A new enemy Kirigun appears, awakening after centuries. Snake-Eyes meets Joe Coulton, original flavor G.I.Joe in the first issue. “I wanted to put Snake-Eyes in a Rob Liefeld story…instead of Rob Liefeld doing a G.I.Joe story”.

He cites Marvel Comics from Jim Starlin, John Byrne, Frank Miller, and George Perez for serving up the action in comics that inspired his generation and the fellow Image founders. G.I.Joe Snake-Eyes: Deadgame has some silent moments, and perhaps we will get a silent issue on this run, but the emphasis will still be on action. In this love letter to his childhood, we’ll see big guns and gadgets, sort of Liefeld’s trademark moves!

Hasbro approves all story ideas, and it looks like they may have Rob return to the book for a sequel. He has no shortage of ideas for Snake-Eyes given the amount of characters, weapons and vehicles in the property. Process junkies and artists may want to tune in to the video to see Rob’s thumbnails. He praises his inker Adelso Corona, someone I also agree does a great job on Rob’s pencils.

Rob revealed an interesting comic book fact that was a revelation to myself, a life-long fan! John Romita (Sr.) drew advertisements for Hasbro Joe toys, sometimes there would be an adventure scene. As an easter egg, Rob is putting some of his favorites in his book! That’s what I call a deep dive!

In an East meets West story, G.I.Joe Snake-Eyes: Deadgame seeks to fuse the militarism of G.I.Joe with the esoteric and mysterious world of the ninja. Though spirituality was always part of Hama’s run, ‘magic’ was not. This is a new element for the Joes, but one that could work well.

The G.I. Joe brand is going into a resurgence with the movie, but also it is his mission to bring something he loved as a child to be elevated in everyone’s eyes, and he likens it to Ronald D. Moore taking over Battlestar Galactica and also the relaunch of the Jurassic Park movies.

Lots going on for the Arashikage ninja, with a new bad guy in G.I.Joe Snake-Eyes: Deadgame to add to the mythos.

Issue #1 was great, and we look forward to the rest of G.I.Joe Snake-Eyes: Deadgame and fans can follow Rob on Twitter!


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