“You know what a grifter is, flame face?” – Liefeld gives a solid issue of Grifter but is it enough?

I despise Rob Liefeld. I think he actively dumbed down comics, jump started the collapse of the industry in the ’90s and has never written or drawn an issue that’s worth reading. That’s what made him taking over Grifter such a shame for me. The first 8 issues were an intriguing Bourne-meets-alien invasion action series, filled with awesome shoot outs, great escapes and memorable character interactions. It wasn’t the best new thing out there but it was fun, different and a neat new series.

Liefeld’s takeover was noticeable. Suddenly, Cole Cash was shooting aliens upside down from snowboards, his psychic powers were suddenly at damn near Jean Grey levels of power and his supporting cast was suddenly filled with meat head gun nuts and  katana wielding girls in bikinis.

I don’t think issue 12 really assuaged my negative feelings about Liefeld’s direction for the series. There are a lot of sudden twists that don’t have any impact, the action sequences just aren’t much fun, the messy panels that are intended to make the sequences more intense give the book an unprofessional look and Lord Helspont’s plan still doesn’t make a ton of sense. I mean, isn’t Synge just an elite daemonite? Why would he work for Helspont?

Frank Tieri, who doesn’t get a credit on the cover for unknown and entirely unfair reasons, still rights some really great grizzled dialogue for the narcissistic killers that populate the book and I’m a sucker for the kind of escape sequences that take up much of the back half of the book. It makes for one of the better issues of Liefeld’s run on the series but it really isn’t enough. I’m sticking with Grifter to see what he’ll do in a second arc but how many options really are there?

Its really a shame what has happened to the most wanted man in the DC universe. What started out as a series about a low key hero having to do the impossible has turned into a universe spanning super hero tale where a guy with a gun has to fight an enemy that Superman couldn’t take down. For now, it might be time to start getting excited about Grifter joining up with Team 7 for the new Third Wave series and leave this one behind.


One thought on ““You know what a grifter is, flame face?” – Liefeld gives a solid issue of Grifter but is it enough?

  1. We had already talked about how amazing Edmonson’s run on Grifter was, so, as you can imagine, I agree with everything you said about it.
    Liefeld tweeted he will leave Grifter after the 16th issue, and this could mean 2 things: a simple change of the creative team or the closure of the series. I think that the saddest supposition is also the most probable one: since the New 52 started, DC closed some series after the 8th issue and the 12th one, so it seems natural that, after 4 other months, they will make some other cuts.
    Sometimes Liefeld writes or draws an issue that’s worth reading: for example, he wrote the last 2 issues of Hawk and Dove decently, and Youngblood # 71 was a nice read as well (but he was just the penciller). Anyway, I agree that generally speaking both his art and his stories have a heavy amateurish touch. I don’t mean to say he’s an amateur: I mean to say that Liefeld, despite his long experience in the industry, makes the mistakes an amateur usually makes. For example, in a story written by a professional you will never find plot holes, sub plots that don’t lead to anything, things that happen without a reason, unsubstantial characters… and all these things are regularly present in Liefeld’s stories. And I don’t think he’s even conscious of this: I think that, each time he ends a script, he really thinks it’s perfect (or at least plausible), and only afterwards, when somebody tells him, he finds out he made some mistakes.

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