COMIC BOOKS: Lobo

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Jul. 10—"Lobo" was one of the most violent mainstream comic books of the 1990s.

The shaggy-haired, space biker, bounty hunter was intended as a comical indictment of the violence in popular comic books of the late 1980s and early 1990s: The Punisher, Wolverine, etc., according to Keith Giffen, the character's creator. But instead of serving as a warning against such violence, fans made Lobo the "main man" of comic book violence.

Lobo violence is presented in an over-the-top manner — think of a Looney Tunes cartoon with gore.

In one of the earliest solo storylines, Lobo is held to a promise to bring back his former school teacher alive. Other than Lobo, she happens to be the last Czarnian — the people of Lobo's home world — a population he obliterated.

As violent as Lobo is, if he gives his word, he keeps it.

In his earliest appearances in the DC Universe, LEGION, Superman, the Justice League, etc., kept a tight check on Lobo. But with his solo outings, he became increasingly violent and uncontrollable.

In "Lobo's Back," he is killed then forces heaven to reincarnate him so he can return and mete vengeance upon his killer. He's first sent back as a female version of himself to the Blitz in 1940 England. Then, he works his way back to heaven until it reincarnates him to his usual self so he can exact his revenge.

Lobo had a few miniseries and special editions before DC gave him his own title for several years in the 1990s.

Revisiting the earliest issues some 30 years later, they are interesting but the humor has paled through the decades ... though that is partly a change in the times, it is also a sign that this reader is 30 years older.

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