Rob Liefeld can’t draw feet. That’s how the story goes. Everyone knows it, along with his obsession with pouches, guns that can’t work and bodies that choose not to bother with any passing fancies to Grey’s Anatomy. In fact, I was only reading a first draft of Pride And Prejudice again the other day, because I am a literary type and whatnot, to see that Jane Austen originally began the book with the line, ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mister Liefeld cannot sufficiently portray the known realities of the lower appendages.’
And certainly, there was a preponderance of those New Mutants, X-Force, Captain America and Youngblood comic books which saw characters with feet a) out of panel b) obscured by smoke c) standing behind a mysterious emerging hillock and d) obscured by a forced perspective that in some cases makes them look limbless.
In truth, feet on comics, especially the action-focus of superhero comics where characters are known to wear skintight costumes even around their feet can cause problems. The weight of a character when standing still can be seen in the feet, it anchors them in space and reality for the viewer, and when running, shows forward momentum and motion, and if placed wrongly they can be very offputting. Butter not to have them at all. And Rob Liefeld became famous for poses that did away with such trivial notion, to create a more convincing appearance of motion or stance (even when two characters were running at each other, shins out). It’s one of the reasons early Liefeld work was so exciting, so fast, he captured the kinetic energy of Jack Kirby, without having to bother with weight, black/white ratios on the page or, you know, backgrounds. And if a badly placed foot would have spoiled that, well, he played to his strengths.
But the feet thing stuck. It even made it into Deadpool 2. As Deadpool comments on Domino’s luck powers as not being cinematic or even a real superpower and that it’s some crackpot idea come up by a guy who “can’t draw feet.” And yes, Rob Liefeld co-created both Domino and Deadpool in the same issue of Nw Mutants. (Also Gideon but… yeah).
But of late, Rob Liefeld has reappropriated such criticism, approving the Deadpool 2 joke and making more himself. And yesterday on Facebook posting publically pages from his Original X-Men/Beast story from Marvel Comics Presents #85, from around that time, saying,
Hi, I’m Rob Liefeld and I have never known Da Feet….I mean defeat!!
And zooming in on some very specific panels of The Beast. With an emphasis on his feet…
Much more to come…