Lobo does a little genre switching.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1983
Creators: Roger Slifer (writer) and Keith Giffen (artist)
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Lobo has much in common with Superman, beyond the mere fact that both are published by DC Comics. Both are super-strong and invulnerable to harm. Both …

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… win most fights they get into. Both are last survivors of their alien species. Where they differ is that Superman is a decent role model for children, whereas in Lobo's case — it's a tossup who's a worse one, him or Daffy Duck.

Some of his fans say it's also a tossup which is funnier.

Lobo first appeared in the third issue (June, 1983) of DC's Omega Men (a series set in interstellar space), which was written by Roger Slifer (formerly of Marvel Comics) and drawn by Keith Giffen (Ambush Bug, Legion of Super Heroes). At the time, Wolverine was becoming quite a popular character at Marvel, and Lobo was very much in his mold — a ruthless killer. But whereas Wolverine was practical and goal-oriented in his violence, using it only to achieve his ends, for Lobo, killing was an end in itself.

Before long, Lobo's senseless violence was so over-the-top, the only possible response was to laugh, as viewers do when an anvil falls on Plucky Duck's head. To take an early example, the way Lobo became the only survivor of his species (which inhabited the planet Czarnia) was by killing all the others in a particularly painful and gruesome way. And does his name mean "wolf", as that of a human tough guy (such as Lobo) would? Nah. It's from an obscure alien dialect, and has to do with eating the entrails of a living creature and enjoying it. And the reason he can't be killed is because Heaven and Hell both threw him out. Even his language is peppered with words like "bastich" and "fraggin'", which may or may not be analogous to English-language naughty words, but do make readers laugh.

Lobo guest-starred in several more issues of Omega Men; and after that title folded in 1988, became a regular character in L.E.G.I.O.N. and its successor series R.E.B.E.L.S. (both set in space like Omega Men). His first mini-series, Lobo: The Last Czarnian, came out in 1990, and dozens more mini-series and specials followed. He had his own title for 64 issues, from 1993-99, and has shared billing with such DC luminaries as Batman, Deadman and The Demon.

He's even interacted with non-DC characters, such as The Mask and Judge Dredd. In 1996, when DC and Marvel collaborated on Amalgam (a set of comics merging characters from their respective universes, e.g., J.L.X., an "amalgam" of DC's Justice League of America with Marvel's X-Men), the Marvel character Lobo got merged with was Howard the Duck.

Since the cancellation of his title, Lobo hasn't been appearing anywhere as a series regular. But the mini-series, specials and guest appearances continue at a rapid pace, so he can usually be seen in one current comic book or another.


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Text ©2004-08 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.