A Gallery of Rob Liefled’s Anatomical Abominations

Defying the laws of biology, physics and perspective all at once. Impressive.

So as comics is my new thing (see this post), I’ve been looking far and wide for them, and some…interesting images seem to come up. Comic book heroes have always had exaggeration of the human form, but one artist in particular seems to have lost all touch with reality when it comes to human anatomy: Rob Liefeld.

Now I know I’m not the first to make this observation, and I won’t be the last, but I felt it worth re-examining as it’s just so goddamn ridiculous. If you think the above bastardization of Captain America is bad, check out the rest of the gallery below.

  • Sheriff Bart

    This style was once considered the ‘in’ thing. The early 90’s were a shameful time to be a comic book artist.

  • Danelhombre

    Are Rob Liefled’s eyes far apart or has he never seen another human face and just drawing from description?

  • Ugo Strange

    Trust me, NO ONE like Rob Liefeld…Check out Linkara’s “Atop The 4th Wall”!

  • Ben

    Well said Sheriff Bart, for a stretch of time everyone was drawing comics like this. The only thing is that Liefeld never adapted when the rest of the artists did.

  • Bad Acid

    At least the 90s gave us Jim Lee, Alex Ross, and the Kubert boys.

  • DocDoom

    This one if my favorite:


    Oh man, so so good. Especially the quote.

    Also, that Namor is brilliant.

  • http://www.MusicBoxDynamo.com DBacon

    The Namor of course actually being artwork from the late Michael Turner, stands out. Sure its a s-ton of muscles, but their is an aura of actual professional talent.

  • Ace Freely

    Did none of these women ever hear of working out their lower bodies?
    It’ all She-hulk on top, Barbie on the bottom.

  • http://twitter.com/historiarevista colimar

    The only thing i want to know is WTF Robin think he is doing

  • DocDoom

    He’s…balancing? I guess?

    If there were any sort of depth perception in that picture I could have a more definitive answer.

  • Austin

    Liefield is one of the worst, but Greg Land is worse. At least Liefield actually draws his characters. Greg Land has a stock of pictures he traces off of for EVERYTHING.


  • anon

    It’s a style of art. Drawing this stuff takes serious talent. You like it or you don’t, personally I don’t, but you can’t knock the talent.

  • Timmysteve

    Hey anon, did you read the post or look at the pictures? The thing is that Liefled has some talent, but it’s clear that he has no interest in improving or (as the quote DocDoom linked) accepting taking criticism. Most artists strive for at least getting the basics down (anatomy, perspective, etc) before they take any serious steps toward the professional world, and it’s pretty clear that Liefled is a couple crayons short of a 24-pack as far as anatomical verisimilitude goes.

  • Adam A

    I’d never heard of this guy until I saw this post, but 2 hours later found myself still looking at these in a state of shock and terror.

    Here’s a good site if you want more of this great man..


  • AdamA

    I hadn’t heard of this guy before today, but ended up spending a couple hours of shock and terror on the 40 worst lists of his.

  • Nerdyboy

    correct me if i`m wrong. But, doesn`t the Artemis one belong to Mike Deodato jr?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Ant2206 ant2206

    Check out this video series of Rob Leifeld and Todd McFarlane creating a new character, under the direction of Stan Lee.




    The whole thing is veeeery 90s, but it’s also Rob to a T. Stan is passively aggressively taking the piss of his style the whole way through. But at the time Rob was a bigger artist than Todd, so he was given more rope (and leather straps and spandex).

    There’s also a beautiful moment, I think in video 3 if I remember correctly, where Stan Lee specifically says “Rob, those feet need more definition”. And Rob just nods, then goes and adds more straps, pockets, and armblades.

  • bigpartymaker

    Yeah I didn’t remember this guy’s art being so ridiculous back in the early 90s, which supports the comments about it being the style back then. BUT I do remember hating the stupid guns he would draw

  • Charlie Ward

    I just hate his art so much.

  • Chris H

    Namor was drawn by Michael Turner and the second Wonder Woman (blonde one) is not Liefeld either, though I’m not 100% on who it is

    • https://www.facebook.com/mcsilustrador Malvarisco

      You’re right! I believe the Blonde WW is from Mike Deodato.

  • Tj Hasty

    That second wonder woman was mike deodato I think

  • Melody Felicia-Baril McGinn

    So you don’t approve of highly stylized art. Too bad that’s sorta what comics are about. At least you included men in the article though.

    • German Maestri

      First of all, comics aren´t about highly stylized art. Comics are about telling a story, your art has to support or even upgrade your story; Liefeld doesn´t do neither of the above. And there´s a difference between highly stylized art and lack of fundamentals. This guy sucks at anatomy, perspective, proportions, everything. I don´t know how he broke into comics, but he surely did some great danger to the taste of the audience.

      • Melody Felicia-Baril McGinn

        I dont have any particular love for his style… but that doesn’t mean it has no merits… His lack of perspective and proportion are PART of his style. Ifite were anatomically correct then it would serve to only make him more mundane. Some like say Alex Ross overdoes realism in my opinion, and is one of my least favorite artists.. Doesnt mean that he is without merit. I can recognize that. And yes, comics are indeed about stylized art AND storytelling. If you find him trashy then whatever.
        You can’t do “damage” to the taste of the audience. If the audience already likes “trash” then that was their taste to begin with.

        • percy blakeney

          You haven’t offered any positive argument in favour of Liefield here. Instead you’ve merely questioned the legitimacy of the critical parameters and suggested (accurately) that a large part of the audience at the time of the late 80s/early 90s comics boom had appalling taste.

          Personally I think Liefield is awful but I I view him as part of a trend of which the likes of Jim Lee, and Whilce Portacio are equally culpable and frankly I regard Lee as having the most malign influence.

          • Melody Felicia-Baril McGinn

            Im not really championing Liefield.. I think I already said that. Though there was a nice positive argument for him by someone else further up. Im just disgusted with this obsession with body image in comics.. Im sick and tired of seeing people complain about unrealistic body images in art. Its ART! It owes nothing to insecure people who compare themselves to fictional characters.

        • David

          The knock against Liefeld has always been that his style betrays laziness, a total lack of understanding of what he’s actually drawing (anatomy, technology, etc.) that other artists, even “heavily stylized” ones, would put the time in to understand. Liefeld covered this up by using too many lines, dozens of lens flares in a single shot, etc. Lee and McFarlane were not criticized the same way, because they clearly weren’t as lazy as Liefeld was.

          There’s no question Liefeld brought a certain energy and a certain freshness to the industry (and I admit I was a fan in the beginning) but looking back it’s clear he’s not a good artist. He had one male face, one female face, and maybe three expressions for each. That’s excusable when you’re starting out – after 20 years it’s embarrassing.

          I don’t think many in the Liefeld sucks camp care about the body image argument, it’s more that he’s taking fantasy beyond the pale of believability by not understanding perspective, or transparently avoiding drawing hard things (his avoidance of drawing feet is well-chronicled). And he doesn’t appear to own a ruler.

          Look at the Captain America drawing. Roughly sketch out where the rest of his arm should be. Artistic decision by Liefeld to leave it out? Perhaps. Much more likely he just didn’t think it through, or realized it afterwards and was too lazy to fix it.

      • Will shine

        Your art doesn’t have to support your story or upgrade it. There are plenty of comics with crappy artists and vise versa. Also his style was pretty popular during the 90’s and involved more detail and flowing of movement and poses. This was a radical change from 80’s and earlier comics that were stiff and boring. He influenced alot of other comic artists and built a new model for them to improve on. He broke into the comic industry because his style was diffrent and dynamic and in demand. Welcome to the comic book industry.

        • Devil_Dinosaur

          I hope Liefeld is reading this. That’s right, Rob – this is the intellectual caliber of those still defending you.

          By the way, Will – since you like to say “alot” a lot, and haven’t noticed this in other people’s writing yet, that should be two words: a lot. Also, every opinion you have ever had is wrong.

    • Will shine

      I think alot of people critisizing his art didn’t read alot of comics during the 90’s because this style was pretty popular by alot of artists. His style is unique and diffrent and in the comic industry that is a must. There are plenty of artists who can draw anatomy great but they all look stiff. His style was a blend of detail with dynamic movement. His comics influenced me and it’s because of his style I incorperated alot of detail in my characters now. Facial features, long flowing hair etc. Some I did not like but hey as an artist you have to learn to take what you like and leave the rest.

      • percy blakeney

        ”I think a lot of people critisizing his art didn’t read a lot of comics during the 90’s because this style was pretty popular by alot of artists.”

        …er, actually the fact that this (shallow, empty, utterly characterless) style of art was popular in the 90’s (and was often treated as if writing was unnecessary) is precisely why the 90’s are considered to be the very worst era in the history of comics.

        People who didn’t read a lot of comics in the 90’s did so for a good reason -they had taste.

        • Will shine

          Actually the 90’s was the highest era as for the comic industry…are you sure you was reading comics in the 90’s?? Image first came out and many popular series sprung up. Vertigo comics..Top Cow comics..90’s era brought in a whole new fresh era of new comics. Demand for comics was at an all time high. In fact more people read comics in the 90’s and the industry bloomed. Cartoons reflected the demand. I’m going to guess your a millenium baby because everyone knows the 90’s was a great era for comics….except you…

          • Joon

            Marvel almost went bankrupt

            the 90’s was also known for people buyinig multiples of comics because they were told they would become rare and worth money

            “You can sell lots of comics to the same person, especially if you tell
            them that you are investing money for high guaranteed returns,” Gaiman
            said. “But you’re selling bubbles and tulips, and one day the bubble
            will burst, and the tulips will rot in the warehouse.”

            -Neil Gaiman

            More variants were released, and people bought tons of those too.

            Between 1993 and 1996, revenues from comics and trading cards began to collapse

            the biggest industry crash in comics happened in the 90’s

            There are some good and some bad things from the 90’s you ask one person about it and the 90’s were amazing for comics, you ask another and they remember the bad like marvel almost going out of business

          • percy blakeney

            You couldn’t be more wrong. I stopped buying comics in 1991 because they had become so bad.

            As has been pointed out the boom, which was really fuelled by the quality of comics in the 80s (Claremont, Miller, Moore) was hugely abused as the companies tried to gouge the market and the likes of Image (and yes the success of newer comics companies at the expense of Marvel and DC was a good thing) put out appalling art driven fare and writing suffered horribly.

            90’s comics are a byword for poor quality and you are staggeringly ignorant if you don’t know that. Like all generalizations that’s not the whole truth of course but there is still plenty to justify the view.

            Liefield is a soft target but the technically more adept likes of Jim Lee are no better in my eyes. In the words of a genuinely great comic book artist, Barry Windsor-Smith (and this is taken directly from a source as mainstream as Wikipedia btw):

            In a 1996 interview with The Comics Journal, writer/illustrator Barry Windsor-Smith criticized the depth of the work of artists like Lee and Rob Liefeld, and those whom they influenced, (whom he referred to as “the Liefelds and the Lees”), stating, “Your Jim Lees and all this lot, their product hasn’t got anything to do with them, you know? There is no emotional investment…I look at Jim Lee’s work, and the guy’s learning how to draw. He has some craft to what he does…I don’t think it has even crossed their minds that comic books can be a medium for intimate self-expression.”

          • Lobo De Sade

            You’re forgetting about series like Preacher, Transmetropolitan, Sandman, etc etc etc, all from the 90’s. So yea, the 90’s were a great time for comics, also without 90’s Image, we wouldn’t have all the great modern Image comics coming out today. And there haven’t been any revolutionary comics in a long time, since the 90’s, everything now, at least from the big two, is event after event So you’re wrong. You’re just another fool on a bandwagon, too afraid to be honest with themselves, or two stupid to look past certain things.

  • Vash the Stampede

    Oh glob that’s hilarious

  • poppenandy

    Yeah that Namor is definitely Michael Turner. Aaand I’m not an professional anatomist, but I’m pretty sure those muscles mostly DO exist. Just exaggerated here.

  • Bob

    LOL…”Stylized” HAHAHA! Leifeld’s “art” looks like what you might find on a vaguely talented 16 year old’s duo tang 3 weeks into the school year. It’s hilariously awful! It’s not “stylized.” Its the best he can do…

    You want some good stylized artwork look to Mignola.

  • Chuck Whitehead

    The Sub Mariner one is clearly signed by Michael Turner. C’mon now. SMH