Jumpstart With The Pen: Lobo Case Study

Salutations Readers,
So far in our journey through jump starts we’ve touch on Catman and Phantom Girl. Two characters who have had their own style of reworking that came out quite well. Catman had a complete rebuild from the ground up from an abusive, overweight spouse to a reverent, renewed beast in the right hands. Phantom Girl went from a basic misogynistic approach to deus ex machina, to a cunning and sly asset to the Legion of Super heroes. One was nuked almost entirely needing to be rebuilt while the other simply needed an inspired writer to really make the character feel natural in their own story. This week, we’re going to do something a little different. We need to talk about what not to do with a character, and as much as it hurts to use another one of my favorites for this. The Main Man, Lobo, saw a rework four years ago that arguably killed, no butchered his entire story and fan base. We saw him go from a hilarious powerhouse with the perfect amount of edge to compliment his humor, to a shell of what he once was. The problem this time, someone tried to make him to serious. Even his meta story arc has a particular motif after his rework that left a sour taste in my mouth.

The Omega Men #3

Lobo makes his first appearance in The Omega Men #3 (1983) as a part of a three-person group of bounty hunters conscripted with capturing the Omega men for reasons unrelated to Lobo. In the comic we are introduced to a Lobo that no one would recognize, he wore tights and didn’t smoke if you can wrap your head around that. His first appearance showed his as deliberate and incredibly cunning, going to great lengths to make sure his plan went off smoothly. I was absolutely flabbergasted when reading the issue to be honest, this character I had always known to be an edge lord who thrives on wanton destruction.

When we first meet Lobo, he is not a flippant as we know The Omega Men #3

He is shown to be rather cunning The Omega Men #3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a few more very brief appearances, Lobo was stuck in purgatory for effectively the rest of the 80s. The very next decade, he gets a rework, the one he needed. In his self titled solo run, he went from unused and incredibly sinister, to hilariously reckless and edgy. He was created to be a space biker bounty hunter with the personality of Frank Castle and Wolverine combined. The series was honestly always meant to be fun and never serious, you can read it as serious but after enough frags and bastiches, you’ll have a grin over Lobo’s constant shenanigans. Whether he was hunting down and fumbling over an A list character, or completely destroying nameless fodder it was hard not to have quite a large, smug faced grin on your face while Lobo dumped nuclear shotgun shells into a bounty at close range.

Redesigned at the first year of the decade, Lobo was fit for everything the 90s could throw at him Lobo #1

 

 

 

This is the look that Lobo carried for the next 14 years, having very many different media appearances in this fashion. Appearing in crossover events like Lobocop and Lobo vs. The Mask, the first installment of the Injustice video game/comic book event and the Justice League animated series that ran on Cartoon Network. The Main Man was easily at the height of his popularity. Having the budget for and demand for the adult-oriented Lobo: Unbound, an amazing six-part series that was written without real censorship. He was actually the MAIN man, but all good things must come to an end. DC comics ensured that would happen to most characters after The Flashpoint Paradox when the entire DC canon is rebooted and stated “fresh.” As we know there was major backlash because of this, Lobo, in my honest opinion didn’t survive the verse wipe.

 

 

You can almost see the high budget in his artwork Lobo: Unbound #5

 

In 2014 Lobo got his chance in the New 52, with a new self-titled series meant to showcase his origin (which had been done already) the first few issues seemed a bit promising. Lobo was slimmed down and returned to his ruthless and cunning self he was during his inception. This rework did not give us the Lobo we all knew, nor did we get a rework worth liking. Instead, we got what amounts to an alien Dick Grayson who dual wields hooks and behaves like Jason Todd (ick.) He has a rather interesting depth to him in his new origin, providing some culture for the race that Lobo had originally killed off himself in an elementary school science project. However, when the story shifts from this is our new Lobo to, this Lobo is hunting the Lobo that we are missing in our hearts, your care for the protagonist begins to slip away. It felt the writer was rubbing it our faces at that point, waving around our favorite interplanetary doofus just to keep reminding us that he’s going to die. The series only lasted thirteen issues for an obvious reason, but we haven’t seen OUR main man the REAL main man in quite some time. Personally, I think its a fragging bastich.

The atrocity they tried to sell us as Lobo Lobo #7 (2014)

 

Some reading if you want to see this for yourself

The Omega Men #3

Lobo (1990)

Lobo: Unbound

Lobocop

Lobo vs The Mask

Lobo (2014)

 

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Travis Tucker

Travis Tucker

Born in Florida, dragged to California because of Internet dating. Comics have always helped me have a healthy escape when I was younger. As I got older my friends used me as their comic encyclopedia for random trivia. Now, I show my daughter all the stories and characters that helped me through, and being able to share my views on that through reviews is one of my favorite privileges.
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Born in Florida, dragged to California because of Internet dating. Comics have always helped me have a healthy escape when I was younger. As I got older my friends used me as their comic encyclopedia for random trivia. Now, I show my daughter all the stories and characters that helped me through, and being able to share my views on that through reviews is one of my favorite privileges.

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