Holy Crap! Remember… Awesome Entertainment!?

Ah, nostalgia! Be it that old cartoon, a favorite toy or a comic book from days gone by, isn’t it great, when out of the blue, the memories come flooding back, and you’ve no choice but to exclaim “Holy Crap! Remember…?”

Alan Moore by Edvard Munch

"Alan Moore" by Edvard Munch

Comicdoms perpetual man child - Rob Liefeld

Comicdom's own Dennis the Menace

In 1992, seven of Marvel Comics’ artists left to create Image Comics. Four short years later, one of those artists, Rob Liefeld, broke away from Image and created his own imprint, Awesome Comics – a company which promised to be even Image-ier than Image. With not-yet-turned-hack Jeph Loeb as publisher, and a few established titles from Liefeld’s Image days to get things started, the future seemed bright for the absurdly named Awesome. They even had embearded recluse Alan Moore on the payroll!

Awesome had more than a few cracks in its armor, however… variant covers coming out the ass, constantly unmet deadlines and Liefeld’s own legal woes all led to the company’s fleet-footed downfall. By 2000, the company had gone belly up. In the four years it was operational, however, Liefeld’s company put itself – and many creators – on the map. Modern-day superstars such as Ed McGuinness and creators like Steve Skroce and Jeff Matsuda, who’ve since gone on to ply their trade beyond the world of comics, all did some of their earliest work for Awesome.

Copyright infringement?  Why that's... un-American!

Copyright infringement? Why that's... un-American!

And how could anyone forget Fighting American? For those not in the know, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (you know, the team responsible for the creation of Captain America) created the character of Fighting American back in the post-war days as an anti-Communist hero who bore little-to-no resemblance toward Captain America save for a flag-themed costume and teenage boy sidekick – and who didn’t have one of those? All these years later, however, Rob Liefeld was attempting to introduce his own patriotic hero, Agent: America, and getting legally cock blocked by Marvel for copyright infringement against Cap, whom Liefeld had been drawing not long prior for their Heroes Reborn line. Liefeld, ever the mischief maker, purchased the rights to the character of Fighting American, tweaked him ever so slightly (like, y’know, giving him a shield much like Cap’s), and was awarded fair use due to the character’s established history – on one condition: Fighting American was never to throw his shield. Good grief.

OK, so not everything from Awesome was made of win, and the company’s real lasting impact has had more to do with the talent it showcased than the comics it published, but when all is said and done, Liefeld’s short-lived imprint deserves a spot within the collective subconscious of comicdom. I mean, hell, Jada Pinkett Smith even wrote an issue of one of their books! Holy crap! Remember her!?

Do YOU remember Awesome Entertainment? When else are you going to get to talk about who was hotter – Spellcaster or Scarlet Crush? Sound off and let us know what you think!


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Who ARE these people!?

Jason Kerouac is a co-founder of Panelsonpages.com. He spends roughly half of his waking life in servitude to the Giraffe. Raised in a town in New Hampshire you've never heard of, he now lives in Indianapolis, IN and is pretty sure that's a step in the right direction.

Comments (4)

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  1. Ben Gilbert says:

    How big did Liefeld make Fighting American’s man-boobs?

  2. david page says:

    err this is the first holy crap article thats really stumped me I have recollection of this at all

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