We recently reported Rob Liefeld's decision to quit Archie Comics' Mighty Crusaders series of one-shots, after objecting to a variant cover being publicised by its artist that allegedly spoiled the end of The Shield issue – even the same character was seen in all the original publicity materials. Bleeding Cool ran an article asking whether the artists was innocent, and if any spoilerage had occurred previously. Rob Liefeld tweeted in response "At no time have I named, mentioned or referred to the artist in this matter. He is not responsible for my exiting Archie. When I informed management I was leaving it was due to them issuing approval for an image that would reveal the key story component." He late gave more details, tweeting out; "Fun facts. SHIELD #1 had a June 30th release date. I exited the project on May 8, activating the release in my contract. I have turned in all the final art files for work I produced that was paid for. As I do on any project, I work out of order and sequences are incomplete. Again, I appreciate that Archie representatives solicited and ultimately recruited me over many months in order to do this work. I was excited to expose these characters to a new generation. Despite "Creative Differences" I offered to complete the issue but this has been rejected."
Subsequently, Archie Comics stated "Archie Comics is pleased to inform our fans and retail partners that the release of THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS: THE SHIELD #1 will proceed and hit its originally scheduled release date of June 30th in the direct market. A new writer is being brought in to script the issue based on Mr. Liefeld's artwork. Please stay tuned to our social media pages and website for more updates as they become available. Archie Comics would like to thank our retailer partners and the fans for their patience and understanding as we worked on reaching an amicable conclusion to this project. We look forward to everyone enjoying THE SHIELD #1 upon its release in comic book shops on June 30th, featuring an assortment of incredible variant covers from talented artists across the comic book industry. We encourage any retailer partners with questions or concerns to reach out to Archie Comics directly via email and we will be happy to help them in any way that we can."
They then followed, stating "Archie Comics is pleased to announce that David Gallaher (Only Living Girl, High Moon) will script a new story for THE SHIELD one-shot based on Mr. Liefeld's artwork. Additional changes to the title's variant covers are listed below: The artwork for "COVER F TOP SECRET LIEFELD" (APR211428) has been revealed and is available to view now on Diamond's website. All orders for "CVR H BLANK VAR" (APR211430) have been canceled. This cover will not be resolicited.
Final orders for THE MIGHTY CRUSADERS ONE-SHOT: THE SHIELD #1 are due 6/7. THE SHIELD #1 goes on-sale 6/30 at comic book shops. Any retailer partners with questions or concerns about this project are encouraged to reach out to Archie Comics directly for assistance and to check our most recent retailer newsletter for additional updates." Here's a look at that cover;
Liefeld also added "I take a lot of risks, gambles, in my career. Some pay off spectacularly, as is the case with my experience with Snake Eyes & IDW, others, like with Archie, don't pan out despite my best efforts. I don't regret taking a chance even if it flamed out. My reps have told me that there is a bunch of media exploring the Archie story. I'll respond when and if anything is published. I was honored when they asked me to reboot their dormant super hero line. But not everything goes as planned. Also, and I don't know how this can be interpreted as disparaging in any way, but, my sole contact at Archie, left the company giving notice of his departure to another comic company weeks prior to my exiting. I only interacted with 1 person. I only have 1 contact at IDW as well." That would be Alex Segura, who recently left Archie Comics as co-President to become Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Oni-Lion Forge to oversee Oni-Lion Forge's publicity, marketing, and sales efforts. He began there last week.