Lobo: The Last Czarnian

by Keith Giffen & Alan Grant

(Art by Simon Bisley)

This book was the first story produced when DC chose to relaunch the character of Lobo.  Here the foul-mouthed violence-loving alien bounty hunter is tasked with escorting a prisoner alive to the L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters.  Lobo's task becomes all the more frustrating when he discovers that not only is the prisoner the only Czarnian to survive his genocide of his own people, but she was also his disapproving 4th Grade teacher.  En route, a string of violent encounters leads to an ever-increasing number of antagonists in pursuit of Lobo and his prisoner.

Lobo had originally been a straightforward villain co-created by Giffen, but with this story he decided to reintroduce Lobo as an edgy anti-hero, intended as a parody of popular Marvel Comics characters Wolverine and the Punisher.  The fact that this Lobo is a tongue-in-cheek creation is brilliantly conveyed throughout this book due to the work of Grant and artist Bisley.  Those two had previously worked on the British series 2000AD which was (and is) famed for its dark humour and dry wit.  In fact, this book reads more like a 2000AD story than it does standard DC fare and, as a big fan of 2000AD since I was a kid, that only works to the book's advantage.  I'd be interested to find out if there's ever been a Lobo/Judge Dredd crossover...

I really enjoyed this book and I reckon it should appeal to anyone who also likes 2000AD or, ironically, those who like Wolverine and the Punisher.

4 out of 5