Rob Liefeld tells us how G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes influenced Deadpool…
In an in-depth interview with Flickering Myth covering his history in comics to his recent podcast adventures, comic book icon Rob Liefeld also spoke about his upcoming new G.I. Joe series Snake Eyes: Deadgame.
When asked about the connections between Deadpool and Snake Eyes, Liefeld dove into his passion for both characters and how GI. Joe’s Snake Eyes was always an inspiration for Deadpool. Check out an excerpt of our interview here:
EJ: I read the first issue [of Snake Eyes: Deadgame], and you can tell the love for it, it really just pops through it. I really enjoy it. You spoke in another interview about Snakes Eyes having ninja elements, and you really wanting to bring it back to those roots. Which, Deadpool also has ninja elements to him. What’s draws you the “ninja-ness” of this all?
Rob Liefeld: So, Deadpool. I’m going to introduce Deadpool in New Mutants #98. They’ve finally fulfilled their original bargain with me, which was when I took over The New Mutants, they said, “Rob, you can write and draw this. We just want to have time to segue the creatives off of it.” I had to wait for the artists to leave and get set up, and then the writer was leaving, and they were going to let me tell the stories that I wanted to tell, write, draw… Cable. Let’s be honest, Cable, who is very G.I. Joe. Joe inspired all of my kind of super soldier, military guys. Their influence comes from my lifelong admiration fandom of G.I. Joe. But Cable was my big one. Let’s say Cable fit my Roadblock/Duke, you know, fulfillment of a badass soldier warrior guy.
Okay. Well, but in #98, when I’m going to introduce an adversary, I’m not going to repeat the steps I’ve already taken. I’ve already got Cable. I need to establish this new adversary. So, I was very much a massive Snake Eyes fan. I’ll tell you right now, you can’t find, in my memory, a guy who held a pistol and a Katana before Snake Eyes. He’s not just a ninja. He’s a SOLDIER NINJA – he’s a guy with a blade, and he pulls his pistol and rifle on you. I mean, it’s a testament to Larry Hama and all the guys that have wrote G.I. Joe for creating such a classic motif. The way he moved differently, obviously than the other Joes; he jumped down from trees, he moved in the shadows. He had obviously more of a stealth ninja element to him.
And of course, the brilliance is they made him so interesting, and he did not speak. Well, I needed a wise ass. And I already very much had intent on, and cleared with Marvel, that I would put my Ninja with that Spider-Man smart ass that I grew up with. Because again, Stan Lee had done a great job of always, you know, Spider-Man was always cracking wise, always taunting and saying funny crap while he beat the crap out of you. And so obviously I can’t do that with the mute motif of Snake Eyes. It’s tough to pull off under the best of circumstances. The visual language of Snake Eyes was extremely influential to me, and I couldn’t wait to brand this, my own version of that, which became Deadpool.
And so when I get to draw Snake Eyes finally, for real, the real one! It is a true pleasure.
Rob Liefeld teams up with IDW for Snake Eyes: Deadgame, with the first issue available this Wednesday, July 15th. You can also hear more from Rob on his podcast, Robservations.