I've never liked Rob Liefeld as an artist. I've never felt he was very good and his style never struck me as particularly interesting enough to make up for his technical deficiencies. But it has been ten years since I've seen new Liefeld art and I picked up Onslaught Reborn, thinking that a person can improve a lot in ten years. I found, though, that Liefeld is NOT one of those persons.
I was hoping to scan through the whole comic and point out all the flaws in the issue, but the scanner is on the fritz and doesn't look like it'll be fixed any time soon. So, what I'm going to do is provide a written summary of everything to get this off my chest. Feel free to pull out a copy of the book to play along...
Cover -- Look at Captain America's fists. His index fingers a curled around in making a fist but where are his thumbs going? To hold your hand like that, your thumbs would literally have to be passing through your fingers.
Page 1 -- How long is Scarlet Witch's neck? Even allowing for the extra elongated figure he's drawn, that's still absurd! And, though it's technical possible to hold your hands in a way that you couldn't see all of the fingers, it still looks awkward.
Pages 2-3 -- Basic rule of drawing heads: a person's eyes sit in the middle of your face. Xavier's drawn here (twice!) with his eye's in the top quarter of his head. Also, the perspective on the lower Xavier head is wrong: his eye line is drawn with a slight turn (notice his right eyebrow showing) but his nose and mouth are in straight profile.
Page 4 -- The comet/meteor is clearly shown streaking past skyscrapers, but we're given no clue where it lands. Is that a city street? Central Park? A wheat field 1,000 miles away?
Page 5 -- Bad perspective again. The top and sides of Onslaught's shoulder/back armor is drawn almost straight on, but his head and the glowing lights are decidedly off-center, suggesting a three-quarter perspective. Shouldn't we also see the third glowing light on his right glove? Speaking of hands, his right hand has three fingers and a thumb, but his left has four fingers and no thumb.
Page 6 -- First off, try to figure out how panels are on this page? The correct answer is four. In panel two (you have to look hard for panel one) Franklin's torso couldn't possibly spin around like that given the position of his leg. (Kudos to the folks at Comicraft for trying to cover that up.) Frank's also not holding the gun that he's apparently firing. In panel three, the part in Franklin's hair has switched sides and he's still not holding that gun... which is evidently why it suddenly disappears in panel four.
Page 7 -- Despite Thing's fist in panel one, the only "pow" he could've given Blastaar in that position would have to have been with his elbow. Not a problem per se, but I thought I'd point it out. Also not a technical problem exactly, but why would you confine 90% of the page's expository action in the bottom two inches of the page? How was Ben controlling the game with the joystick he was using is as small as what we're shown in panel four? His hands are too large to have any control over it. Oh, and apparently, Franklin's real self has stripes on his sleeves where his digital self in the game does not.
Page 8 -- Several drawings of hands that should probably show us more fingers. Some discernable backgrounds would've been nice. Panel three is a hoot because it's not enough for Ben's hand to cover half of Franklin's face, his hand from panel four is covering some of it as well! Oh, and the stripes on Franklin's shirt sleeves from page seven are gone.
Page 9 -- What the heck is Thing lifting in panel two and what is he doing with it in panel three? I have no idea what's going on there. Seriously. And what is he hitting in panel five?
Page 10-11 -- The solid pipe that Ben grabbed at the end of page nine is apparently now a flexible hose that had at least five extra feet of slack in it. We also see that Johnny must be a heck of a contortionist to turn his chest perpendicular to his legs, and then turn his head further than ninety degrees back in the other direction.
Page 12 -- The pipe/hose apparently has its own automatic shut-off value -- shouldn't it still be spewing water? Unless Ben's crimped it, which it doesn't appear that he has. Oo, hey! Wouldn't it have been cool if we could've seen Ben's face in panel one? We've got three fairly redundant panels of Johnny shooting this fire vision at Ben, and yet we still have no idea what the globby thing behind Ben is in panel five.
Page 13 -- I think the reader is meeting Rob more than halfway by figuring out that Torch has burnt a hole in the wall and pushed Ben through it. I think, also we're supposed to ignore what kind of leverage Johnny could've possibly mustered against Ben in that position.
Page 14 -- I actually kind of like panel one. Except that the only black person I know who has a nose like that is Michael Jackson. Ben's belt switches from white to black in panel two. What exactly is Ben laying on in panel three, and how did he spin into that position relative to the cab driver from panel two? Why is Ben looking away from Torch while he's talking to him in panel four? Here's a thought, too: wouldn't it make more sense to have made the panel that is all about Johnny falling a verticle one? Or maybe at least not the shortest one on the page?
Page 15 -- Panel one: OMG! The perspective is blatantly wrong! Perspective is, like, seventh grade art class! How does a "professional" artist screw up a simple perspective shot like that? The panel borders are almost the same width as the lines used to delineate walls, so does Mr. Fantastic pop up in panel two or three? New haircut for Franklin in panel five. Panel six: shouldn't the heavier lines used to draw Reed's nose been on the underside of the nose to indicate/suggest shadows?
Page 16 -- I like that the Invisible Woman's invisible arm and leg completely block out the artwork in panels three, four and five. Not to mention that wall panels behind her. Panel two: what exactly is the perspective we're looking at? Is that a flat wall that Sue's jumping in front of or a floor that she's standing on?
Page 17 -- I'm not sure how to interpret panel two. Is Reed caging Franklin, or is that a depth of field affect? Sue's hair switches parts in panel three (must be a genetic thing). And, as much as suspension of disbelief as I usually allow with regard to women's breasts, what exactly is going on with Sue's in panel three?
Page 18 -- Panel one is really M.C. Esher-ish. Ben's body placement shows a vastly different depth in the Baxter Building's outcroppings that the perspective of the building that's actually drawn. I like in panel three how the Bacter Building is completely empty. And how panels three and four show differing numbers of floors being exposed by the same hole. And how it's shrunk incredibly by panel five. I'd also like to know how someone can build a 30+ story skyscraper with outer walls that are thinner than cardboard.
Page 19 -- Why is there a large black triangle in the upper left of the page? We return to Franklin's haircut from page 15. The glowing ball shrinks between panels two and three. Panel three: pinkie finger MIA, last seen panel two. Where is Onslaught looking in panel four -- Franklin's to his left, not in front of him.
Page 20 -- The glowing ball in much larger in Ben's hands. Again, while not a problem per se, but has anyone else noticed that we have yet to see Mr. Fantastic's legs and/or feet?
Page 21 -- The stripes on Franklin's shirt sleeves return, and he's switched which side he parts his hair on again. Not to focus on bosums, but Bucky's are different sizes. And why would you start the dramatic entrance/leaping sequence of introducing a character to a story from the bottom-left portion of the page?
Page 22 -- Where did Onslaught come from? What's he standing on? Where in the world is Bucky's left elbow? How long is the thumb on Bucky's left hand? Why would you completely waste the top thrid of a splash page like that?
I keep hearing that Liefeld has his proponents, but for the life of me, I don't know why. Honestly, I wasn't really trying that hard to find problems/errors. Most of that stuff jumped out at me during my first reading, and I only noticed a few more on looking through to write this up. I'm sure I could come up with a slew of additional problems and errors if I really had it in for him.
Loeb's story was okay, but it was really difficult to work through all of the problems in the art to get to it. Anatomy, perspective, storytelling... there were problems with every aspect of the artwork! How did this man get work in the first place, and why is he still in the business?!?
- ► 2016 (306)
- ► 2015 (253)
- ► 2014 (259)
- ► 2013 (342)
- ► 2012 (372)
- ► 2011 (367)
- ► 2010 (382)
- ► 2009 (365)
- ► 2008 (358)
- ► 2007 (382)
- Things To Look Forward To In 2007
- My 2006 Year In Review
- The Story of Marvel Comics
- New Alice in Wonderland
- Definitive Proof That Rob Liefeld Shouldn't Be Dra...
- The Circle of Life
- Gregg Allinson in Memoriam
- Crossgen Revived
- Christmas Comics, Part 2
- Christmas Comics
- ComicSpace Thoughts
- Marvel has "announced" via this image that the pos...
- Superheroes & Trauma Update
- Cool Present Idea
- Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-Your-Pants Publishing
- This Week's Haul
- March 1941
- Serendipity? Fate? Karma?
- Vasilis Lolos Art
- Rob Liefeld's Onslaught Reborn Sucks
- Propaganda of the Deed: The Villain!
- American Born Chinese
- Wowio's Downloadable Comics
- May 1971
- Legal Online Comics
- Cheshire Crossing
- The Best American Comics 2006
- Mr. Punch
- Kirby Design Meme Updates
- ▼ December (30)