Comic book artist, writer, and publisher, Rob Liefeld gained popularity through his early work on the Marvel Comics titles New Mutants and X-Force. He was one of the founders of Image Comics along with former Marvel artist/writer Todd McFarlane.
Rob Liefeld was born in Fullerton, California on October 3, 1967. Rob was born into a line of Baptist preachers of whom his father Paul was one. Rob's talents, however, were more artistic and in 1985, he pursued his dream of becoming a comic book artist by showing his work to representatives of both Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Liefeld was hired by both companies: DC hiring him to illustrate their Hawk and Dove mini-series and Marvel to become the artist of their X-Men spin-off The New Mutants. Liefeld gained critical acclaim for his work on these titles and quickly became a fan favorite.
Liefeld's work at Marvel continued, illustrating The New Mutants through its change into the darker and edgier title X-Force. Then in 1992, a number of Marvel artists decided to create an independent publisher for their work, and Image Comics was born. Liefeld's first title for the new publisher was an original work called Youngblood. Liefeld also worked with a number of other characters, including Supreme, Glory, the New Men, and Prophet. Although Liefeld's work at Image was originally well-received, missed deadlines and slow work caused his popularity and following to wane. Eventually, Liefeld resigned from Image under pressure from the rest of the staff.
Liefeld returned to Marvel Comics, heading their Heroes Reborn reboot of Captain America and the Avengers. However, after only six issues, Marvel fired Liefeld. Liefeld, in turn, created his own publishing house Awesome Entertainment. In a stab at his former employer, Liefeld gained the rights to The Fighting American, a Joe Simon and Jack Kirby creation. Liefeld relaunched The Fighting American as a thinly-veiled knock-off of Captain America complete with shield and patriotic attire. Marvel sued Liefeld and Awesome Entertainment for the similarity to their character. Marvel won the suit, but Awesome was given permission to continue publishing the Fighting American with changes in his costume. The character was also not allowed to throw his shield. Liefeld and Awesome Entertainment claimed victory in the case.