Rob Liefeld has created a lot of characters and concepts during his decades in comics, but perhaps the one most fully Liefeld is Youngblood, the superteam that he created when he went to Image Comics and has returned to consistently for more than 20 years. At the moment, though, Liefeld told fans on social media that he currently doesnt "have any interaction with them for the first time in over 22 years." In a Facebook post titled "Where's Youngblood?" Liefeld revealed that after two failed attempts to bring the property to the screen, he finds himself unable to use the property, and with other-media prospects dim since producers are loathe to take on the property without his participation.
In the post, which you can see below, Liefeld explains that the dissolution of Awesome Comics in 2000 saw him split the company's assets three ways, with investment partners Scott Rosenberg and John Hyde. Each of the three would have rights over eight of the company's 24 distinct properties to exploit in other media, with Liefeld maintaining publishing rights over the characters he created. That changed in 2018, when Rosenberg told Liefeld that he had partnered with a new party, a man named Andrew Rev, to finance Youngblood comics and toys.
"I was stunned but not surprised, these are the most important assets that Scott possesses and he needed to raise funds," Liefeld wrote. "[Rev] informed me a number of times over the past year that he could make me a big success in comics, the next Todd McFarlane even, and told me I could audition for producing Youngblood comics. You can imagine how well that went over."
One can pretty easily imagine that it would not go over well, since Liefeld himself would be the first to admit that he can take a pretty uncompromising stand when he wants to. While he shared few details, Liefeld wrote that he currently has "questionable access to Youngblood characters, characters I created and shepherded for nearly 3 decades," and added that "as a result I shut down the storyline that would take Youngblood to issue #100 and beyond."
It seems likely that Rev and/or Rosenberg intend to move forward with the property somewhere, as Liefeld wrote that "Youngblood will no longer be published by Image Comics or with my involvement at this time, a first in the 27 years since it launched. It’s all really weird but I’ve settled into the realization that this is the way it is going to be."
He added, "A film company rang me up last week seeking the rights to Youngblood but it required my involvement and I cannot at this juncture go forward."
Instead, Liefeld said, he and Hyde will focus on creations like Prophet and Glory, both of which are being developed for other media. He explained that the decision to make the clash between himself and Rev public came out of an "unexpected conversation" he had with the investor, which he characterized as "very disrespectful."
"I had to put distance between me, these people and my creations which were now in a foreign domain," Liefeld wrote. "I had to convincingly wash my hands of this corner of my imagination. I have a pretty fertile mind and many new projects yet to advance, many making the media rounds that will be known soon enough."
He said that in addition to his new projects, he has full control over Bloodstrike, Brigade, Berzerkers, Bloodwulf, Re: GEX, Kaboom, Avengelyne, and others, with another third of his portfolio jointly managed by himself and Hyde. He reminded his audience that he had walked away from a tentative deal he had struck with Netflix to adapt various Extreme Universe properties, feeling that it was no longer the best deal on the table in a changing environment.