Spawn creator and Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane is not sure that he will ever return to Image United, but the legendary artist is not opposed to the idea of either doing so -- or launching a new event that would have a similar scope. He talked about the possibility during a sit-down at Comic Con International in San Diego last month with ComicBook.com's Jim Viscardi, saying that his biggest fear about returning to the long-delayed Image United was that they would have to reacquaint the audience with the series.
Image United, for those who don't remember, was a jam book featuring the founding members of Image (including some variant cover work from Jim Lee, in spite of his role at DC). The project was begun but never completed, adn saw the artists trading off drawing their own characters within the context of a shared issue, so that pages had to be shuttled around from artist to artist. We asked McFarlane about the possibility of reviving it.
“Possibly,” McFarlane said. “It’s interesting because there’s two thoughts. I’ll tell you why I hesitated; you could do that book and finish it, but it would have been such a huge gap you’ve got to educate a whole generation to get you there. Or do you do something new, relevant, current, that somehow gets the vibe of everything/ We’re actually having some of those conversations right now.”
"I have a lot of pages" of the mega-crossover," Liefeld admitted earlier this year. "Image United will be completed. I don’t want to give a date but I haven’t given up. I got messages today on my Twitter feed, asking me to finish it up. Look, some things just take more time and this one got caught up in some people who got less enthused with it quickly. I’m not one of them. What it’s going to require is for me to do about 10-15 pages, finish everything that I have from one of the issues, maybe lightly pencil and help out what else is on the page, and then go and make a mass presentation. It’s something I’ve discussed with Robert Kirkman but nobody’s going to take it seriously until the work is done."
Over the years, almost every Image founder seemed to have given up hope of ever seeing Image United completed. One person who has said over the years that he hoped it would one day come together -- though he doubted it -- was Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, who laid out the series.
"I laid out issues #4 and #5 years ago and pages have been with the guys, scattered about," Larsen told ComicBook.com back in January. "I’d like to think that guys are knocking out occasional panels here and that it’ll eventually all come together."
The series brought the original seven Image Comics founders together, with DC honcho Jim Lee providing covers and interior art provided by Whilce Portacio, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, Erik Larsen and Todd McFarlane, with each artist drawing the characters he created for Image. Robert Kirkman, who was not a founding member of Image but who is a partner in the company now, wrote the script. Presumably, Kirkman's script is completed, and Larsen has repeatedly suggested that he has outlined most of the event. Only three issues saw publication, with Larsen saying in a 2011 interview that the fourth issue was "about 60% done."