The cover: Lobo is in action mode has he lurches low to fire a gun, sweep his sword to behead his target, and wrapped around his gun-firing wrist is the weapon that carries his proof of the kill. Nice image. Very clever way to have a graphic event on the cover, but do so that it keeps most of the gore off the page: just underneath the issue number and price is the victim’s hand with a copious amount of blood, hinting at what’s occurred. No credit is given inside to the cover artist or colorist, but thankfully their signatures are recognizable, Aaron Kuder and Wil Quintana. Really nice job on the wash of colors behind Lobo. Overall grade: A
The story: Before I review the story I must state that I’m a huge fan of the “old” Lobo. I bought his first appearance in Omega Men #3 when it was new (Yes, I’m that old), and I bought everything he was in. I appreciated the humor of the character, his unpredictability, his look, and the over-the-top violence. Saying that, this issue, written by Cullen Bunn, pretty much slapped me in the face on the first two pages. The issue opens with close-ups of both Lobos trading words about history, who will be remembered, yadda-yadda, and then on Page 2 readers see that the new Lobo is holding the severed head of old Lobo. The original Lobo’s head is then fried, putting an end to that character’s existence. The “real” Lobo then has an immense pain in his head, passes out, and dreams. This moment in dreamland is a complete rip on an infamous scene in Titantic, but played straight. Then the moment becomes a nightmare and our hero wakes and the plot begins. Boiled down, Lobo is hired to seek out nine of the deadliest assassins in the universe who’ve been hired to kill one target. The unknown client wants each killed, one a day. Lobo accepts. What follows is a rote action story as Lobo goes for the first killer on Earth. This is a generic action story with the cliché super cool one-liners. This wasn’t fun, it was boring. Overall grade: D-
The art: The visuals on this book are okay, but nothing spectacular. The pencils are by Reilly Brown and inked by Nelson DeCastro. The opening page of talking heads is done in nine panels, and I can’t help but think that this is a nod at original Lobo artist Keith Giffen’s later style. The dream sequence is the best art of the book, as it’s unique, but the rest of the book looks like any other comic. The backgrounds are filled about 50 percent of the time, and in the others it’s up to the colorist to fill them. The characters look fine, though the alien designs seem as though they’re out of the 1980s. This is bit disconcerting as Lobo is drawn in a modern, sleek style, and they are illustrated in thick lines. In fact Lobo’s target for this issue looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ villain from that time period. The art is passable, but not anything to rave about. Overall grade: C
The colors: This is the area where the book really shines. Pete Pantazis is selling this title. The colors are extremely vivid and he excels at making the foreground brighter than the background. This sounds like something any colorist will do, but he’s able to provide depth through his colors in those backgrounds; for example, take a look at the splash page for Page 2. Both Lobos stand out, but the background of the setting is nicely shaded to show the age of the location, but there are objects that are a titch brighter than others, giving the art a dimension it did not have before. This also occurs in the third panel on Page 3 with depth created in the background smoke. Pantazis is working his tail off. The coloring on the dream sequence is slick because of the washed out look, giving it pencil colored look. With several panels lacking backgrounds, Pantazis is the one doing the heavy lifting. He’s working these visuals exceptionally well. Overall grade: A+
The letters: Dialogue, scene setting, narration, opening title and credits, and sounds are done by Travis Lanham. All are done well. Overall grade: A
The final line: This was an average comic. Any spark that made Lobo fun has been neutered with this new Lobo. Generic, acceptable reading, but not one I’ll purchase again. Overall grade: C
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.