Some call him the "most-hated man in comics." But that seems a bit... extreme (no pun intended).
When I first came across Rob Liefeld's art, I wasn't blown away by it, but I didn't despise it, either. I think it was a "Bonus Book" feature back in the days when WARLORD was still being published by DC. He then went on to do HAWK & DOVE and then became very popular during his tenure on X-FORCE.
But enough of the history lesson. Rob Liefelds art is a weird thing to me. There are times when I like to look at his art (I have enough back issues of his Image comics for me to do a bit of reminiscing, and also his infamous CAPTAIN AMERICA run), and there are times when I do look at it, it just seems ugly to me.
But come to think of it, there are artists a lot worse than Mr. Liefeld. And looking at his work, you can't deny that there is a certain power and dynamism in the way he poses his figures that makes you pay attention. But I guess that in itself is the inherent problem with his art. They look nothing more than pin-ups divided into panels or two-page spreads. Not to mention the inconsistensies, like sometimes his character BADROCK has three fingers, sometimes four. And this is just between pages of the same issue. I guess he doesn't even reference the previous page he's drawn.
I just got to thinking about Rob because of my recent purchase of the SUPREME trade paperback. Maybe only time will tell if people are wrong to dislike him. Heck, when I was young, I HATED Jack Kirby's art. I remember thinking "Why do the people look like they're made of boxes? Why are the tips of their fingers flat?" And so on and so forth. It wasn't until I grew older that I learned to appreciate the exaggeration Kirby brought forth in his work. He's also one of the best storytellers ever.
So maybe there will come a time when the Rob-haters will learn to appreciate his work.
Maybe tomorrow I'm gonna pick up an old Rob Liefeld book and say "Hey! There's great stuff here that I didn't see before!" But then again, maybe I'm gonna say "Why the hell did I buy this? What was i thinking?"
Only time will tell.
P.S. As for a look as to what CAPTAIN AMERICA naked as drawn by Rob Liefeld would look like, click here.