I know I know many people are going to read the title of this post and think WHAT THE HELL! Please don't laugh and please no death threats.
ok you can laugh
I was looking through some of my old comics some time back and decided for some strange reason to flip through a few X-Force comics and some of Liefeld's earlier Image work.
I remember looking these books as a kid but reading those comics 15 years later the only thing I could think was holy crap this is bad. Why the hell did I like these books as a kid.
I know it vague to make fun of Liefeld but giving the fact that he was such a big artist in the early 90's I started to wonder not only why did I like his stuff but why did so many other like it at that time.
I thought about for a second and it became really clear on why He's work may have been so popular.
He tapped into imagination of a large block of that times comic book reading population 12 year old boys.
Rob basically did the same thing that many comic artist and writers have done before him. They took things that kids like/grew up with in other media (films/TV) and putting them in the comics.
In earlier periods it would have been things like thugs that fit in the old mobster/gangster movie motif, ideal taken by cheesy sci-fi and horror movies etc.
As kids growing up in the 80's/90's we where feed a nice media meal full of violence. Movies like Rambo, Robocop, Aliens and Terminator where common films shown on Saturday afternoons where before it kids would have been watching things like old horror, sci-fi, and ganster movies.
Liefeld took the basics of these movies...Guns and Action...And took them to a silly extreme for the little kiddies. So you get things like guns so huge there is no way they can be held by a human.
he basically made the perfect product for kids (mostly boys) of that era.
So why does Rob Liefeld get so much hate to day?
Simple like I said he's products where prefect for kids of that era.
His work wouldn't have much appeal to those fans who where not 12 year old boys in the early 90's because he didn't tap into things they liked in their youth.
next like many things targeting kids once you grow out of that age range those works can drastically loose their appeal. Mainly because they where written for kids and so the reading level is well below that of adults
and finally for those 12 year olds reading comics today...They grow up on a different media diet and so what appealed to the 90's kid wont appeal to them.