Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Judgement Day

Alan Moore, Rob Liefeld, Gil Kane and others Judgement Day (1998)
It took the combined might of Garth Ennis and Neil Gaiman to cure my comic habit, at least as regular reader rather than someone who might pick up the odd half price collected edition every once in a while. One might argue that both Ennis and Gaiman are in fact, considerable talents who have brought much that is both refreshing and original to the field, but one would, in this case, be wrong.

Yes; it is that simple.

Rob Liefeld did much the same job a few years earlier, driving me away from superhero titles. It probably wasn't just him, and it can't have helped that my once beloved X-Men had split into about forty different comics, a development which was, I felt, taking the piss in terms of presumed brand loyalty; but it definitely didn't help that Rob Liefeld's X-Force was so astonishingly shite even by the standards of the time, all grimacing women with titanium knockers and no feet; he couldn't even draw a guy in a suit without it looking like the poor fucker had shit himself from guzzling too many steroids. The best thing that ever came out of Rob Liefeld's career was Grant Morrison's colossal pisstake Doom Force, possibly the most sarcastic comic book of all time.

And yet...

Whilst there's not one word of a lie in Progressive Boink's 40 Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings, there's nevertheless something weirdly fascinating about his anatomically wonky showroom dummies. His art is so bizarrely stylised that it sometimes seems like criticising its numerous failings might be tantamount to throwing out all your AC/DC records because they don't sound like Laurie Anderson. So I picked this up on the off chance of Alan Moore somehow making it work, sort of like Eno drafted in to remix The Macc Lads. Youngblood was Liefeld's own creation for Image Comics, a typically nineties team of scowling superpowered ninja types - superheroes with guns and knives always seemed to be missing a trick to me, but there you are - probably less annoying than Garth Ennis or Neil Gaiman, but that's hardly a recommendation. Alan Moore did his best to make it interesting, adding several millennia of back story,  bringing in a few artists who weren't Liefeld to show you how things would have looked done properly, and most notably telling a tale which seems to accuse Liefeld's generation of producing shite comics, which of course they did. I can't help but wonder whether Liefeld noticed that he was drawing a story which seems to question his own competence, but being as his introduction praises Judgement Day as a sequel to Watchmen, I guess not. It's far from being Alan Moore's greatest, but is entertaining enough in its own way.

No comments:

Post a Comment