Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Lobo, Volume 1: Targets Review (Cullen Bunn, Reilly Brown)

Pre-New 52 Lobo: a disgusting alien biker assassin who flew around on badass bikes shooting stuff, spouting nonsense and laughing. I’m not gonna say I was a huge fan of his but I liked the silliness of the character who was different from a lot of what DC published and he looked like he was having fun. 

New 52 Lobo: a catalogue model-lookalike tool wearing a diving suit driving the kind of bike you’d see in Attack of the Clones, half of the time droning on about his cheesy romance backstory. Because that’s what comes to mind when I think of Lobo: romance. 

Yup, Lobo is the latest casualty of DC’s new beautification of its less-than-pretty characters policy. Gone is the old Lobo (an “imposter” apparently), enter the blandly more attractive Lobo who comes with no personality to distract from his chiselled features. 

This first volume’s contrived setup has Lobo faced with a choice: defeat eight of the universe’s top assassins or spend his days in jail. Who’re his jailers exactly? Doesn’t matter, quick cut to Lobo fighting assassins! Joining him on his dreary quest are three human characters who’ve somehow managed to be even more forgettable than the new Lobo. Why’re they joining him exactly? Doesn’t matter, quick cut to Lobo fighting assassins! Pew pew! Throw in a pointless Superman team-up and further romance flashbacks from his homeworld of Czarnia and you’ve got another failed reboot! 

Why all the flashbacks? Because Lobo’s feeling guilty about blowing up his homeworld or something stupid. Heaven forbid any New 52 character isn’t a tortured miseryguts and enjoys themselves! ARE his targets (oohhh, now I get the subtitle… subtle…) the best assassins in the universe? They seem like nobodies who’re easily defeated. One is a blue schlub who likes his computers. Another’s a robot. The only one who proves a challenge is the last one Lobo fights. 

Reilly Brown’s art isn’t bad but nothing here stood out as anything more than competent. Cullen Bunn is actually a good writer - check out The Sixth Gun over at Oni Press to see his best work and, to a lesser extent, his Deadpool stuff at Marvel - but Lobo is the worst comic of his I’ve read. Workmanlike is the best that can be said about it - I get it, gotta pay the mortgage! The story is rote joylessness, the flashbacks redundant, the supporting cast completely useless, and the new Lobo wholly unremarkable. Bad dialogue, bad plotting, just awful, all the way through! 

Frag off with your New 52 Lobo, DC, ya bastiches!

Lobo, Volume 1: Targets

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