Liefeld, a lifelong Cockrum fan who describes the comics of the Bronze Age as "an explosion of creativity," is eager to get The Futurians back into print...but he knows that in today's market ,the easiest way to build an audience is to attach them to an existing piece of intellectual property.
"There will be a Futurians vs. the Extreme Universe [story]," Liefeld told ComicBook.com on Monday. "They're probably going to come to the light in an Extreme crossover event first, and then we are doing a Futurians standalone, because that's the best way...to maybe grab some eyeballs. We'll be exposing them in the pages of the books that I've published, through Youngblood, and getting them a higher profile right out the gate."
The Futurians first appeared in Marvel Graphic Novel #9, and have since been published in a number of miniseries at various small press publishers. The contents of the original Marvel Graphic Novel belong to the Cockrum Estate (and now Liefeld has the license), but the story itself cannot be reprinted without Marvel's permission -- something Liefeld told ComicBook.com he will pursue.
In the meantime, he is free to build on the mythology of that story and to integrate characters from the original tale -- much like ROM, Spaceknight at Marvel, where ROM himself is owned by the licensor but Marvel retains the rights to characters they created during its original comic book run.
"Having the characters interact with the characters in the Extreme Universe will be a kick in the pants," Liefeld said. "I mean, there's a big rock character that's connected to the Earth and controls the fabric of the Earth named Terrayne. And having Terrayne meet up with Badrock is going to be a great, fun opportunity for me. We'll be setting the stage for the Inheritors, who are the oppressors, or the Big Bad, of the Futurians story. So, revealing the Inheritors' plot and having it, the thing about the Inheritors' plot is that it was pretty big in scope, so to pull that off, it'll be great to pull in these characters."
The story in The Futurians centered on heroes granted powers from the future -- gifts sent back in time in order to prevent a looming, apocalyptic event.
Look for the debut of The Futurians in the fall.