Friday, September 20, 2013

Lobo #1

I admit it. I was a huge fan of Lobo in the 90s! At least when written by Giffen or Grant. The Lobo/Hitman story by Garth Ennis was also a favorite.

I don't know rightly know what's going on with Lobo in The New 52 or why the powers that be demanded he be changed at all. So a vocal group of people hated him. Who cares? It's good to have characters that people hate! And you know, if you hadn't decided he was somehow the Wolverine of DC and that any comic book with him in it would sell a bajillion copies, DC, I think the hate wouldn't have been so strong. He was the tough guy that nobody could beat. Which means every writer brought him into their series to have their characters beat him and show how awesome their title characters were. Meanwhile Lobo became a fucking joke and a chump. That's why he never became the Wolverine of DC for the fans. Because Wolverine was a hero and allowed to triumph over and over again. Lobo was a dick that couldn't be allowed to just massacre everything. So the people who hated his violence and his assholery, hated him no matter what he did. But the people who loved him began to hate seeing him in anything because he was sure to wind up eating shit and flying off humiliated.

So you just couldn't handle Lobo, DC. You fucked him up. And now what? You had Liefeld bring him back but it was hard to know if Liefeld had changed him according to any directives or Liefeld just sucked at drawing and writing him. So that Lobo apparently died leaving his female version, Sheba, alive somewhere. I have a feeling she'll never be heard from again though.

And then Lobo appears in Stormwatch but is that the real Lobo since that isn't the real Stormwatch and what the fuck is the Magenta Timeline and what the hell are you fucking doing DC? A reboot of a reboot? A dimension outside of the 52 that you're supposed to have? I have a feeling The Magenta Timeline is just a different timeline in Earth Prime's universe which would make it a different universe/dimension which means DC really doesn't fucking know what they're doing or how to explain the DCnU Cosmology. So I think Jim Starlin's Stormwatch Lobo is just a magenta figment of everybody's imagination.

And then there's that one weird skinny emo looking Lobo picture I saw on the internet somewhere that I didn't look at for very long because WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO LOBO DC COMICS?! I have to wonder if whatever I'm going to read now in Lobo #1 is still New 52 continuity or if it's already been axed from the history. I just hope it's entertaining and that he says more than "Fraggin' Bastich" and "Feetal's Gizz."

It either begins very promising or not very promising at all!

I do think I know you! At least, I did! But what the fuck has DC done to you now? Are you some emo poet loner boy? Whatever they do to you, 'Bo, I'm going to stick by you! Me and you, man! Me and you!

Oh. Um. You know what? About what I just said? Forget it. You aren't Lobo. You might be Morrissey. But you're not Lobo.

I love how whatever change they decided to make to Lobo happened in-between the time they needed the art for the lenticular covers and when the art for the pages inside were being done.

Dan DiDio: "Hey Kuder! Nice work on that Lobo cover! But I fucking hate that biker shit. My father ran off with bikers and left me and my mother alone to forage for crawdads and maggots in a rundown shack outside a bayou filled with toxic waste. Fucking bikers. You know the only thing that kept me going?"
Aaron Kuder: "I'm really busy here, Dan. I'm trying to draw a portrait of this fantastically, amazingly handsome and well-put together man I met at the Portland Comicon. Wow. What a dreamboat."
Dan DiDio: "Yeah, well, I don't need you on Lobo anymore anyway. Where's Ben Oliver?! He's doing the inside pages! Hey, Ben! BEN! Have I ever told you about the only thing that kept me going after my father threw my kittens down a well and ran off with a biker gang composed of clowns with Alice Cooper fetishes?"
Ben Oliver: "Shit. Um, no, boss. What kept you going?"
Dan DiDio: "The Goddamned music of Morrissey! Morrissey kept me alive! Sure, he often just made me cry even harder than I already was crying. But he drove me on to be more than I thought I could be! Morrissey than I thought I could be, even! Ha! Buccellato! Work that in the next Flash comic! Anyway, you know what I was thinking, Ben? A new look for Lobo! An inspired look! Fuck that Alice Cooper clown bullshit. Make him look like Morrissey! You got that? Get on it right now!"
Ben Oliver: "Is he fucking kidding? The baddest ass killer monster mercenary in all the universe is supposed to look like Morrissey now? Holy fuck. Has anybody checked DiDio's medication lately?"

I'm pretty sure this was the new Lobo reference pic.

I think my theory about Dan DiDio's father running away with a biker gang composed of clowns is the correct theory because Harley Quinn really got the business in the reboot as well. And Joker cut off his own face? And the whole world has been turned upside down by The Outsider? So basically Dan DiDio's world was destroyed by a bunch of faceless biker tough guy slut clowns and he wanted it all memorialized in The New 52. I can't wait to see how ridiculous he makes the White Martians!

The only real problem I have with the new Lobo so far, and this is a problem I think the Harley Quinn fans really felt, is that DC's reveal is so self-conscious about the change that they begin with him telling his old fans, "Fuck you." Oh look! Lobo is entirely different and he's telling readers to fuck off if you don't like it. And even THAT I could be okay with if the fucking cover had the new look on it! But how dare DC sell a comic book for $3.99 with a different Lobo on the cover and then on the second page have the new look Lobo telling that reader, "Screw you." It's quite an amazing piece of reader fuckery.

Great. Now I'm picturing a Dan DiDio booth at a convention with a big picture of the most beautiful sushi you've ever seen, a bar set up with mouth-watering sushi and all flavors of sake set up. Then a door in the back where you're told to close your eyes and open your mouth wide. And then Dan DiDio sticks his dick in it. See? I'm all prepared for sushi and sake! Not cock! If only he'd advertised cock, I might be all, "Okay! Sure! Cock sounds good right about now." But that wasn't what the booth was about! I thought I was getting sushi and sake! Jerks!

Okay, I'm going to actually try to enjoy new Lobo now! Even though he already hates me just for liking his older version! What a tool.

This issue was written by Marguerite Bennett who wrote the Night Nurse Batman Annual recently. I don't know what else she's written because when I asked Lord Google about her, he just gave me a bunch of articles about her defending the new Lobo. I'll have to read that stuff after the ranking! Although I did learn that Kenneth Rocafort designed the new Lobo. But I'm still going to blame Dan DiDio. I need a constant villain across all titles and it's either DiDio, Johns, or Lee, so I'm choosing DiDio! But that design looks like something Rocafort would come up with.

Five pages in and he's still acting aggressively defensive! Get over yourself, asshole! It's a Reboot! Of course you're different! I mean, this is the third time you've been different! But you don't have to be an asshole about it.

Maybe that's Lobo's new thing? He's going to be like Ambush Bug and be aware that he's in a comic book but his gimmick is going to be constantly attacking the readers for being dumb assholes that keep buying his comic books.

NuLobo makes his first ever on panel kill and it gets a two-page spread because it's so super exciting to see his new fantastic weapons that are just like him: smooth and sharp and aggressively defensive. They also glow along the edges in much the same way that NuLobo is experiencing some glowing problems. I realize I don't know him and I'm also wondering why his Narration Boxes look like Repreboot Lobo boxes with the clown make-up and all. Oh well. I just don't know anything!

Oh lord! It's worse than I thought! Bennett has turned him into a racist teen Tweeter!

I sure hope the name of the planet he's landed on is "Twelve Planets South" and not the path that NuLobo took after leaving the club. Do I even have to explain why that would be ludicrous?

Let's take a break here at six pages in and analyze NuLobo. He hates the reader. He uses "sorry not sorry" which is the motto of young racists everywhere. And he's a murdering bastard that finds lack of social niceties offensive. Congratulations, DC! If you actually made a really unlikable character! No, seriously! I can see how you'd want Lobo to be a horrible and despicable character that nobody likes. But don't forget readers need to like something about a character to be interested in following that character! Nobody is going to run out a get a NuLobo tattoo now! Except maybe me! I think I'm going to design a tattoo with NuHarley and NuLobo as the white, white bread of a Dan DiDio's father sandwich.

NuLobo meets his contact at The Mad Wolf bar because maybe Lobo actually means something like that now instead of "one who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it." His contact is named Rhialla and she's got four tits and another job for him. Oh hey! Lobo's first appearance (according to the DC's Big Binder of Who's Who Entries) was from Omega Men #3 in 1983. Lobo is thirty years old! Well, old Lobo was 30 years old. I'm fairly certain this NuLobo is just a completely new character that just happens to have the same name.

Seriously. This is Kenneth Rocafort's redesign of Lobo. Did the notes for the new look read "Make him a boring twat that couldn't be any less interesting to look at. Make sure readers would pass a book by with this character on the cover. Seriously. Bland as possible."

I'm tempted to say this look is even worse than Lobo's original look when he first appeared. Let me see if Lord Google can find me a picture of old Omega Men Lobo!

Okay. I can only take hyperbole so far before I lose all credibility completely! Rocafort's design is better.

I also love that this is in the advert opposite the full page NuLobo unveiling panel I scanned above:

"Welcome to Club New 52 Clown Makeovers, pal!"

NuLobo's new job is to deliver some shit so he can get some information and for a few pages it reads like Firefly fanfic. We'll just skip that part since it's just some action and NuLobo trying to talk like a psychotic Mal.

After NuLobo is ambushed in Grave Space and crash lands on a nearby rock with atmosphere, he murders everybody and discovers that his cargo is people. HIS CARGO IS PEOPLE!


Not sorry.

See how annoying that shit is? But please keep it up, people. It helps reveal your true nature as a fucking royal douchebag.

The cargo people think NuLobo has just rescued them instead of just taking a peek at what he was hauling since his ship has crashed. They reveal that their bones are rare elements and people love to melt them down into trinkets. Obviously they don't know to whom they are speaking because NuLobo don't give a shit about their lives. He's not going to care that he's delivering them to their deaths. He's probably just going to kill them all now so they shut the fuck up for the rest of the trip.

That's what I'd expect from him. But what I don't expect from him is what he says after locking them up again. You guessed it. "Sorry. Not sorry."

NuLobo is doing all of this for information. I have a feeling that information has to do with the other versions of Lobo that have been running around. Because DC has a continuity thing and they're going to have to deal with the fact that Rob Liefeld created a Lobo and now there's this Lobo and they're obviously not the same Lobo!

So he makes his delivery and gets the information he's been hunting and, well, wouldn't you know?

Ugh. What a boring piece of shit NuLobo has turned out to be.

Oh! That's my new theory! NuLobo is actually the regenerated hemorrhoid of Real Lobo that busted off in a gigantic bloody turd that Lobo took in some deserted Space Record store filled with rockabilly posters and Morrissey CDs! And now he thinks he's the real Lobo when he's actually just a bloody dingleberry from the Main Main's Main Sphincter! I hope whoever continues Lobo's story remembers to use Sheba, the last female Czarnian. Because even though Rob Liefeld created her and most of Rob Liefeld's writing has been trashed as DC Continuity, I'd still like someone to remember her. She was Liefeld's only good idea!

Lobo #1 Rating: What can I say? DC created a character that would be unlikeable and succeeded. And they gave him the catchphrase that they want to personally say to all of their fans every fucking day and every time they put out more garbage: "Sorry. Not sorry." I know a lot of people hated Lobo back in the day. I didn't. But I bet all those haters are dying for the old Lobo back now! NuLobo couldn't be any less interesting as a character. What a bland, boring twat.

Now I've read some of Marguerite Bennett's comments about the Lobo redesign and I really like what she posted on her Tumblr but which was eventually taken down for some reason. She actually tells fans to read to page four before buying the issue! That's great advice seeing as how my main complaint is the bait and switch cover. She also thinks her story rocks and, really, it's not a bad story. It's just not a story about Lobo. It's a story about a new character that goes by the name Lobo and thinks he's the original Lobo. So Lobo in this story is correct every time he says, "You don't know me." It's fucking annoying. But it's true. This isn't Lobo. He just happens to be another surviving Czarnian using the same name. Also, he's an uninspired bore.

1 comment:

  1. "That's great advice seeing as how my main complaint is the bait and switch cover."

    The covers had been created way before Bennett had even created the story, just to let you know.

    "What can I say? DC created a character that would be unlikeable and succeeded. And they gave him the catchphrase that they want to personally say to all of their fans every fucking day and every time they put out more garbage: "Sorry. Not sorry."

    It's funny you mention that, 'cause Lobo himself had been specifically created by Keith Giffen to be hated. Giffen hated Lobo so much that he even swore him off.
    In terms of the "catch phrase", I don't think it had been intended that way, I think it had been meant as a one-off for this issue to highlight certain aspects of this version's character - that is, his utter cruelty and indifference. The attitude in the writing suggests that behaviorally those phrases mean absolutely nothing to him, like 90s Lobo. On the other hand, though, it also indicates that he may have a conscience, is very much aware of how horrible his actions are but he had long stopped caring or is in the midst of trying to keep himself from doing so. One reviewer from Ret-Con Punch actually made this remark about it:

    "I don’t disagree that there’s not much to love about the narrative or the character, but that sells short the fundamentally ballsy idea that Marguerite Bennett puts forth. The first two lines of voice over in this issue are:

    You think you know me. Screw you.

    And then the retconned Lobo behaves like a humorless jackass while seemingly defying every characteristic of the original (except his cruelty, of course). In this issue, Lobo is representative of every reboot and every fashionable redesign – of course he’s unpleasant. Bennett’s not having fun at our expense, she’s having fun at the expense of the suits that make the decisions – those that say “sorry” and mumble “not sorry” under their breath. It’s such a bold idea, I wish there was a fun story supporting it. As an experiment, as a statement against DC’s editorial practices, I think this is a smart, brave issue."

    "Let's take a break here at six pages in and analyze NuLobo. He hates the reader. He uses "sorry not sorry" which is the motto of young racists everywhere. And he's a murdering bastard that finds lack of social niceties offensive. Congratulations, DC! If you actually made a really unlikable character!"

    That also describes Lobo in general.