Lobo #17 (July, 1995)
“Lobo, P.I. Part IV: White Hoot!”
Writer – Alan Grant
Penciller – Val Semeiks
Inker – John Dell
Colorist – Gloria Vasquez
Separations – Android Images
Letterer – Bill Oarkley
Assistant Editor – Peter J. Tomasi
Editor – Dan Raspler
Cover Price: $2.25
So, whattaya do when it’s Friday the 13th… and you wake up thinking it’s Saturday?
The answer to that question, and a whole lot more… probably ain’t found in the discussion below.
We open with Lobo busting out of the cee-ment drum he’d been jammed in by Big Jake and his gang (I’m assuming) last issue. He then shambles into The Gutted Gizz (ew) Bar, and asks the barkeep if he’s got any info on ol’ Big Jake. He sees a swarm of detectives and learns they’re in Hammer City searching for the missing “Eddie the Head”. We got everybody from Angel and the Ape to Kojak?! Hell, Columbo, Holmes, and Detective Chimp too! Really fun page.
Lobo thinks to himself… maybe the best way to find Big Jake, is to have Big Jake come a’lookin’ for him. And so, he stomps through Hammer City, and busts up all of Big Jake’s businesses.
With his day’s work complete, Lobo heads back to his headquarters… in Al’s Diner. Notsomuch noteworthy, but I wanted to share the pic anyway… Lobo is greeted by the mailman as he makes his way inside.
Inside, Al… of Al’s Diner, is fretting about his new neighbor… ya know, the Main Man. He’s worried that Lobo is going to wreck his place (which, I’m guessing is sort of a running gag here?) Lobo stomps in and makes a beeline to the kitchen… though, not before checking the ripeness of Al’s wife’s caboose.
In the kitchen, Lobo digs through a large freezer… and procures, (the appropriately named) Eddie the Head! He tosses the noggin in the microwave to thaw it out.
When Eddie comes to, he’s none too pleased. Turns out folks have been looking for him because he has a certain formula for explosives in his… well, head. Lobo figures maybe turning up the heat might get him to spill the beans.
Elsewhere, Big Jake receives word that Lobo has messed with all’a of his businesses… also, some jacked-up Dick Tracy gets a call about Lobo tearing up a bunch of businesses. Looks like there’s a major whacking and/or bust in the works.
Back in Al’s Kitchen, Eddie the Head starts telling Lobo the explosives recipe… which includes Corn Flakes (for the riboflavin, o’course). Meanwhile, some rats under the Diner are gnawing on the pipes (more on them later).
We jump back outside, and find yet another group of geeks who wanna get in on the action… the bird-like Ornitho-Justice League of Hammer City. The who now? Well, whoever they are, they’re keen on taking down Big Jake.
Back inside, Al starts pounding on the kitchen door to let Lobo know that he’s got some… guests. The Main Man steps out to greet his waiting public, leaving Eddie the Head on full-nuke… with only one ingredient to go.
While Lobo deals with Big Jake, Eddie eeps out the final ingredient… natural gas. I was bracing myself for a certain kind of joke here… thankfully, classier heads prevailed. Al and his wife head into the kitchen… and empty the explosive cocktail down the drain. Oh, also… Eddie the Head… is dead.
Outside… it’s getting to be a real scene. The Ornitho-Justice League of Hammer City have shown up… also, jacked-up Dick Tracy and the Hammer City Police Department. Also… Danzer Khan and the Loose Federation of Offworld Outlaws… also, Lobo’s landlord who has come to evict him… also, the mailman from earlier… who brings letters from the Hammer City Bank, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Hammer City Council! Lobo’s having quite the day! Oh yeah, and those rats down below are still nibbling on pipes… only now, they’ve got that explosive cocktail down there too!
Which brings us to our next “guest”, the Gasman! He’s come to turn Al’s Diners’ line off… due to nonpayment. And when he does…
… Hammer City goes boom! Well, all of Hammer City except Al’s Diner!
We wrap up with the arrival of the… uhh, Rasta Gangsta Killas?!
Ya know, I’m not usually one for the “random” humor… but, this wasn’t half bad… and hey, howsabout that cover, eh? That jumps right out atcha!
Now, I’m not terribly steeped in Sin City knowledge… only having read the The Hard Goodbye… and about a third of A Dame to Kill For, so I dunno if there were any direct “nods” to it on the inside… and I won’t be able to speak to any’a that. Definitely loved the cover though!
I was super-pleased with Val Semeiks’ art… a lot more cartoony, and a lot less… er, Giffenish than I was expecting. Nothing against Giffen, but sometimes I find his art to be… I dunno, challenging? Especially in his super-angular days… I find myself unable to absorb the story, and I often have to reread pages. That might be more of an indictment on my reading comprehension than his art… but, whattayagonnado?
This story really heated up around three-quarters of the way in… when, with a crazy frenetic pace, everything started coming together. Everything from folks we’d briefly met earlier on… to a full-on impromptu alien invasion! Thought that was a lot of fun… though, I’m not sure that’s something I’d like to read every time out. This was a “Part 4”, so it’s entirely possible/probable that seeds for the Avian Justice League and the Interstellar Outlaws were planted in an earlier chapter.
The cameos from all of the detectives was a lot of fun… and, as little patience as I have for “random humor”, I might dislike pop-culture references even more! This turned out to be just a gag though, so I’m cool with it. Nothing worse than substituting actual story with a reference… that’s one’a my bigger pet-peeves.
Overall, I had a good time! As mentioned, not sure I’d wanna read a book like this every day… but, as a one-off random pull? There’s a lot to dig here. For your convenience, this issue is available digitally.
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