A long while ago, Kellen had the chance to talk with comic book writer and creator Rob Liefeld. Rob Liefeld has created such iconic characters such as Deadpool, Cable, Domino and his most recent smash-hit, Major X. The mini-series finished its run in May but fans can check out the six-issue series as a collected edition coming this fall!
Kellen: Regarding the character [Major X], how have your past comic creations influenced this character influenced how you’ve created this character?
Rob: Major X was a next evolution I was going to do had I stayed on and had a complete third year on ‘X-Force’ back in the 90s. And, like with so much I’ve done with my career, I put it in a drawer and a good idea’s a good idea’s a good idea no matter what time it’s conceived. C.B. Cebulski contacted me when he came into power as the new editor-in-chief and he very blatantly tells me “Rob, I want to ignite the ‘X-office’ and get it going again. Would you be interested in jammin?’ I told him the story of Major X and he was all in but I told him “I need all of these relations to be approved. I need his lineage to be approved. I need this journey to be approved.” And C.B. the whole way though was like “Rob, you’re good. You’re good to go.”
Major X is informed by my past creations by me trying to pivot and not repeat what they did. He’s definitely on a different mission and has a different agenda. With Cable, I thought Xavier was kind of a weenie and Magneto was too much of an extremist and Cable was a way to find that middle ground. With Major X, he’s lost his home. He comes from a realm called “The Existence” and it’s a place that he loves and it has fallen and in the fall he was purged and he arrives in the 1991-era of my “New Mutants” and “X-Force” run. He’s determined to run the gauntlet and get to where he needs to be because he identifies very immediately that he’s not supposed to be there. He believes he can try and restore his home.
These were big ideas I didn’t think I would get approved. But “Yeah, okay, Rob. You can make this other realm called “The Existence, sure. Greenlight.” So that was a big deal.
I got into comic-books with action, I created comic-books with action. It gave me the career that I’ve had and there it a lot of action in this six-issue story. It moves fast, it’s action-packed. People who’ve experienced it say it’s nothing like the stuff on the stands. Major X is more like John Wick. There’s a story, there’s a mission, there’s a lot of action. He’s just trying to get from Point A to Point B.
Kellen: You talked about how you wanted to tell this story back in 1991, did the 28 year gap help or hinder you?
Rob: Helped! Oh yeah. I think it made what I’m doing a little more “far out.” I think it’s fresher now than it would have been then. I think his legacy and his lineage is more important now, it’ll matter more. There’s a character I openly shown him and discussed him on social media. It’s really interesting, there’s a lot of familiar faces you’re going to encounter along the way. The motivation is the same, the character is the same as he would’ve been back then. The journey is slightly different because of the different obstacles I’ve been able to put there. There’s some characters I’ve touched briefly, some new faces I’ve created over the last 20 years that get a much bigger spotlight in Major X. The journey he goes on to get to the modern day is very different and a lot of fun.
Kellen: What are some of the main factors that inspired you to create the Major X comic arc?
Rob: So, in high school, ‘82/’83, I was a sophomore/junior and a movie called ‘The Road Warrior’ comes out. I saw the movie poster and learned there was a previous Mad Max standalone movie and I got that movie poster and there’s a guy with a motorcycle helmet on, standing their with guns and I thought “You know? If I put an ‘X’ on that, it would look amazing!” [laughs]
I kind of went all in on the ‘X.’ He has an X on his body, and X on his face so we’re really doubling down on the guy who’s identifying with an X. The helmet became even more important to obscure his identity and create the mystery that’s driven the interest of the book.
Since we introduced Major X back in January and announced the book, I had never been inundated with more fan-art. Just amazing pictures that capture the simplicity of the character that makes him easy to tackle and very satisfying to draw. And I’ve got an album of hundreds and hundreds of Major X submissions that people have given me. One funny thing is all the people who go “Hey, how come he has no pouches and shoulder pads?” And I get caught off guard by the question and never thought about it. I just wanted to have a very sleek look from the beginning. He has the least amount of gear for a character I’ve ever designed, purposefully because I didn’t want anything competing with the X on his face.
Kellen: I really want to congratulate you on the reprint.
Rob: What you’re saying is we sold out before we even hit the stands, buddy! Yup! That’s not an easy feat. I’ve used every aspect of social media, I’ve gone out and pressed the flesh. I just got back from the gauntlet; Seattle, Chicago, Anaheim in successive weeks. I’ve made it my priority to sell this book.
Kellen: Hell yeah. Following the Major X event, what can we expect from you in the future at Marvel Comics?
Rob: I have a sequel to my graphic novel [Deadpool: Bad Blood], that shocked the crap out of me because I didn’t think it was going to connect. Marvel called me in June 2017 and said “Rob, congratulations. Deadpool: Bad Blood is the number 1 book of the month.” and I said “What?!” So now we have a sequel. And hopefully, the fan response is such and they like where we leave off with Major X #6 that they’ll want more of Major X and I’ll be happy to give it to them.
Kellen: I didn’t know you’re writing a sequel to “Bad Blood.”
Rob: Yeah, buddy about 40 pages into it.
Kellen: That’s really exciting. To wrap things up, is there anything outside the horizon of Marvel Comics that you’re excited about?
Rob: I set up “Avengelyne” at Paramount right before Deadpool 1 came out, my fallen angel franchise, “Prophet,” with a production company called Studio 8. Without giving too much away, I’ve been doing a lot of Avengelyne and Prophet work on both of those two films with regards to screenplays; assembling talent; things like that. Those are the two that are at the forefront right now.
“Shrink” will be next on the queue and will a big family film and it has the potential to be the biggest thing that I’ve ever worked on and has the ability to really connect with families and as an artist that’s what you really want to have happen.
There’s some top-secret stuff that I’ve been cooking up with some great collaborators that I’m not at liberty to talk about yet.
You can follow our interviewer Kellen Murack at @Kellen_392 on Twitter.