The Bible defense would sound cynical coming from some—notably McFarlane, who has practically made a career off Satanic imagery in his comics and toys. But Liefeld is a sincere believer whose father and grandfather were both Baptist ministers. Though many of his fellow congregants have a problem with violence in action movies, he sees no inconsistency, noting, "The Bible made me want to read comics because there were no further adventures of Samson—he died. There were no further adventures of David—he died. Gideon, Joshua . . . So when I saw comic books and action heroes, it was a natural progression."
His next big comic-book project fuses all of those interests: Armageddon Now: World War 3, based on the book of Revelation and the prophecies of Ezekiel, but set in a sci-fi, testosterone-soaked, Halo-type setting. The familiar hallmarks are all there—big guns, huge muscles, extreme facial expressions and so on—but the style is more like a painting than the linework-heavy Liefeld approach we're used to. The intent doesn't seem to be to preach the Gospel, particularly—just to tell a kick-ass action story.
Milk: It does a body really good! Photo by John Gilhooley. Click the image for more photos from this story.
Beyond that, he has another dream project in mind: an uncensored telling of the life of King David, a story he believes "trumps everybody else's hands down, whether it's King Arthur or Luke Skywalker." Like Gibson, he doesn't want to shy away from the darker aspects of the Old Testament tale, including the sex scenes. But don't expect a lot of nudity in his superhero books any time soon.
"Doing a book full of naked girls doesn't interest me—never has," he says. "But guys shooting heads off, putting knives through each other? I'm all for it."
Click here for a slideshow of images from LYT's Youngblood at Heart.