Rob Liefeld has announced that Image Comics will release a new Bloodstrike series and Brigade series this coming summer.
He also released his own "homage" covers to Bloodstrike, which he originally illustrated in the nineties. As for why he was dusting off the old properties, Liefeld explained that recent fan interest in his early nineties work at Image fueled his desire to restart the two franchises.
"These books have long been connected as they are each led by rival siblings, Cabbot and John Stone. The agendas for both men have evolved over the years but as always they are on opposing sides of the conflict and the stakes have never been higher," Liefeld revealed about the series' direction on his website.
Before closing out, Liefeld left with additional piece of news. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Image will give out the first issue of Brigade absolutely free.
Following the news, we reached out to the creator who provided ComicBook.com with some more insight into what fans can expect from both books.
Rob, how does it feel to be able to put a date on both of these books? I know you've been working on them for a while, and have been excited to get them into fans' hands, but do you still get that sense of nervousness before launching a book that you used to back in the day?
Oh yeah, there's always butterflies no matter what the project. But history has told me to stay close to the work and characters that I am most associated with and with my Extreme characters, I'm at my best. Image publisher Eric Stephenson urged me to take some time off, cool my heels, don't rush back and that has been the best advice. He is a good friend and a very seasoned veteran of publishing of 25 years. It was great advice.
You're also returning to Image, where it all began. What does it mean to you to have the almighty "I" on your books again?
Well, Image has been home to my a Extreme catalogue for so many years that no matter how many temptations there were to test the waters elsewhere, Image continues to be the very best home for these characters and concepts at this time.
Are you working solo on the writing and art duties?
I'm writing the stories as I have been doing for most of my career. I'm doing the writing, script, pencils and inks on Bloodstrike and I'm doing the same duties on Brigade except the script is being handled there by Mat Nastos. Tall order on both books but it's something I've wanted to do for a long while. The books arc will be connected in the beginning, not a heavy duty thread but a carry over into both books. As I've said before both Brigade and Bloodstrike are led by rival brothers with opposing agendas, they launched together 23 years back and the bond that unites the books is as strong as ever.
Is the story for both books one you've been waiting for the right moment to tell? Or did something else more recent inspire the story?
These are the ideas I've had for years. It addresses all the unfinished business in the Extreme Universe, the stops and starts as well as the future going forward. I taken the work that Brandon Graham has done on Prophet and used it as fuel to inspire me. I've refined them as I go but it's a big scale, the kind if thing you can do when you are the guy with the keys to the universe.
Is there an "Oh My God" moment, in either book that you're eager for fans to see?
Oh man, there are several jaw dropping sequences. I have to warn long time fans that the books reflect a much more mature approach and subject matter. There are a few scenes that I won't be able to preview online due to their severe graphic nature and I want their to be a mystery to what they are going to receive. There is some nasty, terrible happenings in the book, especially Bloodstrike which contains most of the really hard stuff. All the entertainment I consume is more adult in nature, HBO, Showtime, AMC, or harder edged than that, so that's the kind of entertainment and direction I'm pursuing with this stuff. I've grown up, my fanbase has grown up as well, I think this will be to their liking.
Bloodstrike & Brigade hit comic shops everywhere this July