The Most Infamous Captain America Artwork Up For Auction

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

captain america spock

One of the more surreal aspects of being a longtime Marvel fan is when casual fans who only watch the MCU complain about the strange stories, you have the cursed knowledge of knowing that nothing could ever be weirder than the original comics. Captain America’s history is one such example.

Rob Liefeld’s Captain America Art

No comic is weirder than when Rob Liefield is drawing it, and while the artist has achieved major success with his quirky style, some of his Marvel artwork has become downright infamous.

That’s the case for his awful drawing of Captain America, but some people love it: in fact, Yahoo! reports that an uncolored version of this piece is being sold via Heritage Auctions.

Captain America Heroes Reborn

In some ways, the success of this auction might mean that Rob Liefield is getting the last laugh on his biggest haters.

For many years, fans have pointed to this as an example of the controversial artist’s work and asked a simple question…“Who the hell would pay for that?”

It looks like the answer is fans with deep pockets: as of this writing, the bidding on this Captain America artwork is up to $13,000, and with 13 days left on the auction, the winning bid is likely to be much higher than that.

Image Comics

Meanwhile, newer Marvel fans probably have a question of their own: just how did this crazy art of Captain America come to exist?

It all started when Marvel was suddenly losing ground to rockstar creators who left the company to form Image Comics in 1992.

By the mid 90’s, the entire comic industry was suffering, so Marvel decided to hire two of Image’s biggest names, Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee, to take the reigns of some of their most popular comics.

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Jim Lee handled The Fantastic Four and Iron Man while Rob Liefield got Avengers and Captain America. Collectively, this publishing endeavor was named Heroes Reborn, and to its credit, it has gained more fans over time.

However, the momentum of Heroes Reborn was nearly stopped dead when Marvel released an example of what Liefield’s redesigned Captain America would look like.

Fans Couldn’t Take Captain America Seriously

captain america

Let’s be honest: it’s not hard to see why fans immediately had trouble taking this design of Captain America seriously. The character’s chest is so big with a tiny head attached that he looks a bit like the squarish shape of an old Captain America shampoo bottle (albeit one with about three other bottles attached).

After we left the dark ages of comic book publishing known as the ‘90s, fans generally referred to this Captain America drawing as an example of everything wrong with the “make it extreme” publishing philosophy that dominated this time period.

Will It Sell?

captain america

We have no way of knowing what has motivated the people bidding many thousands of dollars on this Captain America drawing, but we’re willing to bet some of them are putting this money down specifically because this art (ugly though it may be) is a perfect time capsules of the ‘90s edgy excessiveness.

Hell, even Liefield himself has been known to poke fun at this strange bit of Marvel history. 

Artwork that fans and even the creator hate? We’d like to joke that you can’t put a price tag on that, but you really can: the next bidding minimum is $13,500 for any rich Marvel fans who want to bring the world’s strangest conversation starter into their homes.