Rob Liefeld Pits Deadpool Against Deathstroke in Sketch Auctioned to Help Comic Shops

One of the pieces of art that famed comics artist and Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld is selling to benefit comic shops hit hard by the novel coronavirus pandemic will be a Marvel/DC match-up that pits Deadpool against DC's Deathstroke, a tip of the hat to the way the characters have been compared literally since Liefeld first created Deadpool. The drawing pits Wade Wilson against Slade Wilson, with the former quipping "Gimme back my pouch" as he throws his punch. The image is, if not the first, one of a very small number of times Liefeld has ever drawn the two characters together.

While the similarities in their names and occupations (they're both some version of hitman, at least in their early stories) have frequently led fans to compare the two, Liefeld has always maintained that if he was "copying" anything with his Deadpool design it was Spider-Man. While Deathstroke is a character he says he has always liked, Liefeld notes that it's Spider-Man who's a lithe, read-clad smart-aleck with express, empty black and white eyes on his mask.

"If we had Deathstroke here: buccaneer boots, buccaneer gloves, half an effin’ mask, chainmail. Where is the chainmail?" Liefeld argued during a 2018 convention appearance when the comparisons were brought up. "Let me tell you guys how it went: 'Hey guys, Todd McFarlane, he's kind of blowing up on Spider-Man. I need a Spider-Man in my book. Oh, wow, so, I also like Wolverine. He's my favorite character. Black and red, black and red. Can I tie him into Wolverine's origin? So, can I do Spider-Man with guns and knives?'"

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Liefeld has so far done a number of sketches to benefit comic shops, which buyers pay directly rather than sending the money to Liefeld to be passed along. You can see the auction here, and the image below.

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(Photo: Rob Liefeld/eBay)

Liefeld is not alone, of course; his fellow Image Comics co-founder Jim Lee has been creating art to benefit the Book Industry Charitable Fund, a group that exists to bail out booksellers (including comic book stores) who find themselves in financial straits. DC has also contributed $250,000 directly to that organization, and "Crisis on Infinite Earths" showrunner Marc Guggenheim has raised over $1,000 for BINC and Feeding America by selling a pair of pitch boards from The CW's event series. Hellboy creator Mike Mignola is creating art to sell to benefit the World Central Kitchen.

Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.