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Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld's creator-owned blood is flowing again (but not Youngblood, and not at Image)

Rob Liefeld revives Prophet, Bloodstrike, Brigade and more for a very limited edition comic called Last Blood

Last Blood #1
Image credit: Rob Liefeld

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Image Comics' co-founder Rob Liefeld is diving back into creator-owned comics with some of his most popular characters from his Image days - but isn't doing it at Image. He's doing it all on his own.

Earlier this month, Rob Liefeld self-published Last Blood #1 - the first of a planned four-issue series that revives the major characters he owns into a crossover event. The first issue, which Liefeld has told fans and buyers to not spoil, includes appearances by Prophet, Bloodstrike, Bloodstone (of Brigade), the Berserkers, and even the relatively-newer hero Bo - an archer from 2020's EKO-92 (not to be confused with Shaft, the archer leader of Youngblood).

Last Blood #1
Image credit: Rob Liefeld

Where is Youngblood in Last Blood?

That brings up a key part of this: what's missing. Last Blood is completely creator-owned, in that it is intended to only have characters Liefeld owns. That wouldn't include Deadpool and Cable, for example, as they're created by Marvel, but also wouldn't include Liefeld's flagship Image Comics title Youngblood, since he said he sold off ownership to someone else. Someone who, in 2019, he had a falling out with.

"So, I currently have questionable access to Youngblood characters, characters I created and shepherded for nearly 3 decades," Liefeld said in 2019. "As a result I shut down the storyline that would take Youngblood to issue #100 and beyond. A decidedly new approach is necessary, which I believe is paramount in this post Avengers:Endgame world we find ourselves in. 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. I held it together for 23 years since doing the deal, until now. 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."

Liefeld said at the time he maintains publishing rights to Youngblood, but presents it as him not having ownership of the core intellectual property. While it's possible Liefeld could come to terms with Youngblood's owners, or work out an equitable deal for him to again focus on those characters, that doesn't seem to be the case currently.

While Liefeld doesn't control Youngblood, Liefeld retains full ownership of his original, Image Comics-launched title Berzerkers (who appeared in Youngblood), as well as Prophet, Bloodstrike, Brigade, Bloodwulf, Re:GEX, Kaboom, Avengelyne, Cybrid, and more.

How can you get a copy of Last Blood?

Bloodwulf
Image credit: LooseCollector

Last Blood #1 (of 4) is out now, if you can get it. Liefeld's first edition was limited to 80 copies sold through WhatNot, with two variant editions released later with a 70-copy print run each. Liefeld says he has plans for a wider release later this year.

"I wanted to tell a story that I could just do whatever I wanted. It didn't even feel like Image Comics. Image Comics had a system that we fed," Liefeld told ComicBook.com. "I'm just drawing these pages with some familiar characters, some new characters, and the story is starting to take on a life of its own and it's talking to me."

While Last Blood currently isn't with Image, Liefeld still works with Image - a collection of his recent series Bloodstrike (co-starring Bloodwulf and Brigade) called Bloodstrike: Battle Blood Vol. 1 comes out this May. It's possible Liefeld could partner with Image for a wider release of Last Blood.

Liefeld's plans aren't just limited to comics though - he just signed a deal for some of his creator-owned heroes Bloodwulf and Bloodstrike leader Cabbot to be made as action figures with LooseCollector, with a larger line-up planned for 2025.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify Youngblood's purported ownership and publishing rights.]


2024 seems to be a year of 'Lasts' for Liefeld, as he also announced he is retiring from Deadpool after one final storyline.

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Chris Arrant

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Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)
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