Rob Liefeld talks Snake Eyes: Deadgame and if the character can actually beat Batman.
Snake Eyes: Deadgame is finally out in comic book stores today and I got chance to chat with legendary comic book artist Rob Liefeld about the long anticipated comic. As many of you know, I’m quite the Snake Eyes fan and Liefeld’s book deliver on all fronts. The book is a must buy for Snake Eyes fans and the variant covers are absolutely gorgeous. Without getting into spoiler territory, the story centers on a mysterious new villain named Kirigun, who is out to reclaim the Sword of the Dead. The first issues features appearances by Scarlett, Roadblock, Tripwire, and in a cool twist, a certain member of the Adventure team.
So how did Rob Liefeld come with the idea for the comic book? The fact that G.I. Joe comics weren’t on shelves really bothered the comic legend and he saw an opportunity.
“Chris Ryall the publisher of IDW, and I go way back,” said Liefeld. “We are a couple of fanboys and it was literally the week that ‘Major X’ hit last year. So first week of May 2019, Chris sent me a text and said, ‘Hey man, is it time for us to do Joe?’ And I said, ‘Well, what are the parameters? What can I work with?’ And then he said, ‘Just send us a storyline if you’re interested, and we can make this work.'”
“So, we worked out the business aspects, as well as the creative aspects. And in the meantime, I went to get research. I went to two of the five stores that I frequent here in Orange County. I just I stopped after two because they didn’t have GI Joe books. They were two of the biggest guys, and they didn’t have GI Joe on the shelf, and that’s when I was even more emboldened,” added Liefeld. “The clerk at Pop Comics in Anaheim can tell you that I laughed out loud like, ‘What are you talking about? What do you mean there’s no GI Joe in the store?’ And they’re like, ‘We can put it on a subscription pull for you, but we don’t carry them for shelves. It’s request only.’ And that’s when I was like, man, it gave me my mission. Umberto, I was like now I’m engaged, now I’m pissed. That’s unacceptable.”
“So, that literally lit the biggest fire under my ass. And look, I was fortunate, all the GI Joe, all that early Snake Eye stuff I put out there got a good reception, and it helps to have the fans cheer you on. So, that’s how it came together.”
In terms of expectation, Liefeld hopes the books engages not only with old fans of the GI Joe comic, but with new ones as well.
“I’m trying to craft a story that could attract new readers as well as fulfill old,” said Liefeld. “There’s a lot of twists and turns coming. Issue One is very much a set up. It’s little Robbie Liefeld in the sand box grabbing his 12 inch GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip, and pitting him with Snake Eyes and the Reagan Joes against this brand new, ancient evil. There’s so much Ninja culture. I had one really good twist that I just couldn’t fit into the first issue. But obviously, all my favorite Joes are going to show up. And we’re going to try and build out this villain. Because you know what? I feel like the Cobra versus Joe thing is very well established.”
“Here’s the deal, our series, the overview, especially when we were going over the script, it’s about weapons of war. The whole series, the underlying theme, or the obvious theme is weapons of war. Snake Eyes realizing he is in fact a weapon of war. Storm Shadow, our bad guy Kirigun. The weapons, sword of the dead, and there are ancient mythological weapons that have to be brought into the fray to counteract this really powerful, ancient, mythical weapon. That’s kind of our MacGuffin that we’re chasing, and it’s just fun. It gathers all the characters together, puts them through their paces, and hopefully people have a good time,” added Liefeld.
Finally, out of curiosity because it has been on my mind lately, I asked Liefeld whether Snake Eyes would be able to beat Batman in a fight.
“Batman is the smartest cat in any room,” said Liefeld. “So, physically Snake Eyes absolutely gets the edge on him, but I feel like Batman ultimately enters the battle, and literally this is just because I’ve read so many Batman, Superman comics recently where Batman anticipates that this new guy flying around metropolis will eventually encounter him, and puts in motion a way to keep Batman at bay.”
“Do I think he wins? I think he outsmarts because that’s what Batman does. He outsmarts and outwits Snake Eyes in the end, but it’s very close. Because Batman, that’s why you love him is how’s he going to cheat this scenario,” Liefeld continued.
What do you think? Can Snake Eyes take down Batman? Are you excited to read Rob Liefeld’s run at the character? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
On the live-action side of things, a G.I. Joe spin-off film will tell the origins of Henry Golding’s Snake Eyes as he seeks revenge against the man who murdered his father and trains under a group of shadowy assassins known as the Arashikage ninja clan. Paramount Pictures and Hasbro had previously assembled a writer’s room led by Akiva Goldsman in the spring of 2016 to develop a cinematic universe based on the toyline properties Micronauts, Visionaries and M.A.S.K., as well as a reboot of the G.I. Joe franchise following 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which featured Ray Park in the role of Snake Eyes.
Directed by Robert Schwentke from a script written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Snake Eyes star Henry Golding as the titular character, Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Iko Uwais as Hard Master, Úrsula Corberó as Baroness, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, and Steven Allerick as Ninja Commando. Actors Haruka Abe and Takehiro Hira have also been cast in undisclosed roles.
Snakes Eyes is scheduled to be released in theaters on October 23, 2020. Rob Liefeld’s Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 will be available in July. Stay tuned to Heroic Hollywood for the latest news regarding all things G.I. Joe. Also, make sure subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video content!