Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lobo #1 (1993)


Lobo #1 (December, 1993)
"The Qigly Affair, Part One"
Script - Alan Grant
Pencils - Val Semeiks
Inks - John Dell
Colors - Gloria Vasquez
Separations - Android
Letters - Bill Oakley
Asst. Editor - Peter Tomasi
Editor - Dan Raspler
Cover Price: $2.95

Growing up, I never really got into Lobo.  My buddy Dave did... which just reaffirmed my belief that the Lobo books were "those ugly books" that I didn't want anywhere near my pristine X-Men books.  In late 1993, following a line of miniseries the main man finally got his own real-deal ongoing... and, at least in my opinion, it doesn't look nearly as ugly anymore.  How does it read?  Let's find out...

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We open with intergalactic bounty-hunter extraordinaire Lobo hot on the trail of a "Robert DeNitro".  Lobo finds himself the victim of a DeNitro ambush, and the two enter into a battle of furious fisticuffs.  DeNitro's power is that his hands can be charged full of unstable molecules (probably not the same kind that comprises the Fantastic Fours costumes), with which he can... well, punch real good.


Lobo does the smart thing, and tosses him a cute li'l frag bomb... which DeNitro catches.  The frag explodes and takes his magical hands with it.  Knowing that the jig is up, DeNitro sits and sulks.  Lobo informs him he's running him in for being behind on his alimony payments in the sum of 1,000 credits.


Lobo hooks his chain into DeNitro's nose ring and perp marches him to the Space Hog.  DeNitro gets a wild hair, and decides to play "feets don't fail me now".  Lobo simply yanks him back... however, he may just have pulled too hard.  DeNitro's nose comes off in the yank, and DeNitro himself goes splat.  Lobo expresses surprise by saying "Feetal's Gizz".   It's something he's going to say several more times today... and, thinking about it phonetically, I can't help but giggle each time.


We jump to Al's Diner, a sad little 24-hour eatery on a lonely asteroid.  Inside, Al and waitress Darlene lament their lack of customers, when... our main man deciding he's thirsty, pops in.  Lobo engages in his normal charming small-talk, and seeing a "Buy One Get One" offer posted decides to order a six-pack of intergalactic beer.  While he orders, proprietor Al has a bit of a run-in with Lobo's dog... Dawg.


After an attempt at dissuasion, Darlene relents and fetches Lobo his six-pack.  Lobo quickly downs each one, and lets out both a belch and a... 'Feetal's Gizz". 


After he slams his sixth, Lobo can't help but notice there's another patron bellied up to the bar.  It's a jilted old partner, Jonas Glim... who is less than happy to see our main man.


What follows is a diner-destroying battle for the ages, with Lobo coming out on top.


With the fight won, Lobo hands Glim his business card... gives him the ol' kayo boot, and decides to drag him back with him.  He turns to Al, points to the buy one get one deal, and says they're even-steven because he only got one of his two meals... and one should cancel the other out.


We shift scenes to a warehouse in Dagma City on Planet Vurkan.  Inside an odd little man is playing cards with a pair of goonish alien types (though, one might just be Frankenstein).  This little fella is Qigly, and he is worth billions of credits to the Pan-Galactic Mob... the mob who is currently hot in pursuit.  There are several other members of this "Dead Boys" crew, including their leader Mort Fatale.  While Qigly plays cards and entertains himself by doing complex math in his head, the crew is trying to dig their way out of the warehouse.  They anxiously await their getaway driver, one Mr. Robert DeNitro... oops...


Lobo and Glim arrive at the Bounty Office with a "Feetal's Gizz".  He attempts to trade in DeNitro's schnoz for the credits... unsuccessfully.  Lobo does not ingratiate himself to the Bondsman, and almost finds himself losing the gig.  


Before things get too heated, Lobo heads off into the main bounty hall.


Inside the already ticked off Bondsman offers Lobo the 10 million credit bounty for... Vernon Z. Qigly.  Lobo peeps the geek on the poster, and thinks it's money in the bank.  He happily accepts, and heads out for his "sure thing".


Back in Dagma City, the Pan-Galactic Mob discovers the Dead Boys, and a hellacious firefight takes place.


At the Bounty Office, we see that the Bondsman tore off some very important information from the bounty memo... it appears as though the main man was sent in on a suicide mission...


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Okay, I had a bit more fun than I was expecting with this one.  My Lobo frame of reference is pretty much "that guy Superman fights sometimes" and "Young Justice team member Slobo"... Seeing the "main man" in his natural habitat was a treat.  I get the idea that Lobo is not someone we should be cheering for, however, there is just something about him... an odd charisma, that makes you (or me, at least) wanna see him just punch fools out.

The art and coloring were great too.  When I think Lobo, my mind usually goes to the abstract Keith Giffen covers that look more like his Trencher work than his DC work... or those overly "meaty" looking covers that always grossed me out as a kid.  Val Semeiks' art here is more of a classic comic style, and is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to follow.

This probably isn't must-reading or anything, but if you come across it... it's definitely worth a look.  

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2 comments:

  1. I have to say that even thou k giffen sort of "created" Lobo, I find is writting boring and his art confusing. Lobo has never been more alive than when alan grant writes him and hes being pen iled by semdiks or critchlow. The coloring is just bful too.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Smoke, thanks for stopping by!

      I think many hold Giffen's writing in such high regard for many of his collaborative efforts with J.M. DeMatteis. I do enjoy him... and did really like his pre-Flashpoint Doom Patrol run. That was a lot of fun, and he managed to tie up the entire half-century's worth of DP stories into a cohesive singular narrative. His art, I will agree, can be a bit confusing at times.

      Alan Grant does do a great Lobo! I'm currently trying to track down as much of this run as possible

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