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Arrival of the Lunatics! Lobo is Here!

Lobo is a DC Comics antihero, arguably a superhero. Created by writer Roger Slifer and artist Keith Giffen, he first appeared in Omega Men #3 (1983).

An alien from the planet Czarnia who works as an intergalactic mercenary. Although introduced as a hardened rarely used noir villain in the eighties, Lobo languished in limbo until the early 1990s when he was revived as a one-note gag. Lobo enjoyed a short run as one of DC’s most popular characters throughout the nineties.

The nineties version of Lobo was apparently intended to be an over-the-top parody of Marvel Comics antihero Wolverine. The modern version of Lobo has the dress and attitude of a caricatured version of the Hells Angels and has an extreme love of bloodshed and destruction. He has been featured in a number of comic books noteworthy for their ironic portrayals of over-the-top violence.

“I have no idea why Lobo took off,” Giffen said “I came up with him as an indictment of the Punisher, Wolverine, bad ass hero prototype and somehow he caught on as the high violence poster boy. Go figure.”[1] (This quote refers to how Giffen wrote Lobo in the nineties. Roger Slifer as the writer of Omega Men #3 created Lobo’s eighties incarnation.)

Lobo has made a few appearances in the animated series of the 1990s/2000s-era DC animated universe. At one point, an animated series and video game starring the character were to be released but were cancelled.

Publication history

Lobo was originally a regular character in Keith Giffen and Roger Slifer’s Green Lantern spin-off Omega Men. When the series Omega Men was disrupted in 1988, Lobo became a regular character in L.E.G.I.O.N. and its successor series R.E.B.E.L.S. until 1990, when he appeared in his own miniseries, Lobo: The Last Czarnian, by writer Alan Grant and artist Simon Bisley.

Grant’s humor and Bisley’s art helped to make this four-issue series a hit, leading to many subsequent miniseries and specials. These include Lobocop (a RoboCop parody), Blazing Chain of Love (in which he is sent on a job to a harem), Paramilitary Christmas Special (in which he is contracted to assassinate Santa Claus by the Easter Bunny), Infanticide (where he kills his daughter and children), Convention Special (a send-up of comic book conventions) and UnAmerican Gladiators (in which Lobo takes part in a deadly televised game show). Lobo also starred in his own title for 64 issues, from 1993 to 1999.

Throughout, Lobo has guest-starred regularly in other series, even in cross-company interactions with such non-DC characters as The Mask, Judge Dredd, and the Authority. During the DC vs. Marvel crossover series, he fought Wolverine — and lost due to popular vote by real-life fans, though a later issue of Lobo’s series implied that a bald-headed individual had paid Lobo to take a fall.

In the Lobo series and miniseries, everything is excessive, from the main character’s perversions, mindless violence, and vocabulary to the colors and the grotesque graphics. He commonly refers to “do-gooder” superheroes as “The Big Cheese”. Everything in the series is laughable (in the sense of being ridiculous, if not always amusing), even his profanities (“Frag”, “Feetal’s Giz” and “Bastich”), which are used to replace vocabulary unwanted by a family-friendly DC and to satirize similar expressions in other comics.

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Comments (2)

Love me some Lobo! Good times, looking forward to reading more about this lunatic!

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