Thursday, March 1, 2012

CBR Lobo: unbound


Finally making an appearance on my blog, here's Lobo!

Lobo's got a very special place for me, being yet another original creation of writer Keith Giffen - the creator of such original DC Comics characters such as Ambush Bug and The Heckler!

Lobo was also one of the last successful modern characters that kept supporting various solo titles and kept on popping up around all these years since his first appearance, even going as far as appearing in videogames and TV series.
(the only other that comes to mind honestly, DC and Marvel alike, his Booster Gold)

[Warning: For mature audience only!]

Comic title: Lobo: unbound
Art by Alex Horley, with additional help from Mike Decarlo and Andy Kuhn
Story by Keith Giffen

Published by DC Comics
From 2003
Lineup Lobo
Format: Trade paperback, collects the 6-issue miniseries.

Who's Lobo?

Created originally by Keith Giffen and Roger Slifer in the 80s (before the Crisis!), Lobo was originally just a recurring bad guy in a Green Lantern spinoff title (Omega Men).
He was then over the years reimagined and perfected into the character he is today.

Lobo is the last Czarnian. He is an intergalactic bounty hunter and mercenary for hire.
Very dangerous, borderline psychotic, he made his reputation himself, one skull at the time. He is actually responsible for the genocide of his own planet, making himself the last of his kind when he was only a kid.

As you can guess, he's a very violent, over the top kind of character.
And for a reason, Lobo is actually a parody of all these gritty 80s and post-Watchmen comic book characters like Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Venom, etc..
When used in stories by his creator Keith Giffen, he's usually seen as a parody for this mature genre of superhero comics, making fun of the way people take these characters so seriously.
When someone else gets behind Lobo, they usually miss the point - I think - and turn him into a caricature of what he's supposed to parody, in my opinion..

The Main Man's Back to Kick Ass and #@$! ##%&?! some @%&

Lobo is back, at last!
Fresh from some bad comics and other random crossovers, Lobo isn't what he used t'be anymore.
His reputation in the low, nobody wants to hire this washed out intergalactic bounty hunter no more.
Vowing to climb right back to the top again, our hero goes on a mass murder rampage of dirty jobs in the worst galactic systems around.

To be a badass again, Lobo takes some hitman jobs.
He ends up finding a job that gets him to the strange planet of Dhabba Dhu. A planet where everyone's a fraggin' time bomb!
Self-exploders notwithstanding, things turn from bad to worse when someone from his past comes back to haunt the "Main Man".

Suddenly, it's an all-out world war that erupts amongst our characters...and the thing is, Lobo actually likes it!

Irwin's back...just because!

Lobo: unbound is a beautiful looking painted book.
Alex Horley did a fantastic job with the interior art. (his covers too...though I do actually prefer his sequentials over them)

The book's crude, rude, with 'tude.
It also introduces Bling-Bling the Hip-Hop Ho' - the kind of character you'd never found anywhere else. Strangely enough, she's pretty much aware of the way she's portrayed and is quite a strong figure that wouldn't take the kinda treatment other comic book heroines often find themselves in on other less self-aware books.

It's the book our anti-hero always deserved. High quality art, fun over-the-top parodical plot. It goes in all sorts of random directions and plays with the tropes and kind of characters you'd expect from the genre.

The comic also features various original segments that  breaks from the high octane violence and Horley's painted art.
Most of the chapters contain a few pages done in a completely different style. Often to break the story or to open an issue. Like Lobo's origin story recapped at the start of the book (parodying children comics), or Bling-Bling the bounty hunter-comic mocking Archie Comics.

Also at mid-point through this story, Ambush Bug hijacks a whole issue in a beautiful segment by Andy Kuhn.
Getting his own sub-plot and meeting half-way with Lobo's Dhabba Dhu adventures.
The Moyl Men are coming up, only the Bug can prevent it and warn Lobo of the coming troubles!!

Huh...spoiler alert?

It's a great comic that even mocks previous Lobo comics.
And can be used as a great introduction to the character.

The book gets quite meta on its second half, and is pretty weird if you never picked a graphic novel in your entire life.
But it's such a fun ride!

Overall, fun, gross, gore, violent.
It such a mixed (body) bag of bad taste, vulgarity and hilarious over-the-top sequences!

It's definitively not a PG title, pretty far from any PC content.
Like I said above, it's for a mature audience.
You'll get the whole package, sexy, gore & rock 'n' roll!

The characters are caricatures of things people would shy away from using usually.
Prostitutes, "space Talibans", Lobo covers it all!
Giffen went the extreme, and all in good fun.
It might look bad in surface, but it's better played with than any of the usual other so-called "violent" or "mature" comics around. Here it's at least self-referential and a parody.

Keith Giffen said once:
"I have no idea why Lobo took off, I came up with him as an indictment of the Punisher, Wolverine, hero prototype and somehow he caught on as the high violence poster boy. Go figure." 
If you can see beyond the simple look of things, it's a great trip with Lobo, mocking the genre, these type of characters and comics in general.

It might look in surface as book with no plot, but try to go along with it. You won't regret it!

I give it:

 3 / 3 Plastic-trophies!


  1. Archie Artists drawing Lobo? Now I've seen everything! And found out Archie Artist extrodinare Dan DeCarlo did actually draw an earlier Lobo comic. Weird.

  2. salut,

    C'est baby , serai bien que tu réponds a mes mails

    1. oui, je comptais le faire à l'occaz, mais le temps me file tout le temps entre les doigts :/

      je te mail aujourd'hui!!