Thought you knew who Lobo was?

Well apparently you don’t.  No one does.   Get ready to meet the real Lobo as part of  DC’s Villians Month even this September.

Now it may come to a surprise to some that Lobo has already appeared in DC’s current universe.  If you missed him you wouldn’t be alone.  The (former) new Lobo debuted in Deathstroke #9 by Rob Liefeld.   By that point in the book’s run, sales were more than half of what they were when the New 52 started.  So few fans even knew this version of the character existed.

That Lobo, while sharing some visually thematic connections to the Main Man, was not the same character. He was also not well-received by readers in general and Lobo fans in particular.   A seemingly more pre-Flashpoint Lobo has appeared in recent issues of Stormwatch. It was that version of the character that had been featured in Justice League appearance. (See the above image, featured on DC’s website for Justice League 23.2.)

So which is the real Lobo?  Neither.   Turns out the last Czarnian has been a imposter.  And the real Lobo is coming to take his name back.   DC’s Editor-in-Chief went to the internet today to introduce the new Lobo to the comic reading world.

Back when we introduced this “What’s New In The New 52” column, I told you that the most important word in The New 52 is “New.” We’re always striving to keep things exciting, different and surprising. Which is why JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.2: LOBO (from the creative team of Marguerite Bennett, Ben Oliver, Cliff Richards and Daniel Brown) contains a major surprise – one we’ve had planned for a while.

The Lobo you’ve seen so far in the New 52 is not who you think he is. In this one-shot, you’ll be introduced to the real Lobo. A ruthless killer, Lobo is on a quest to kill the man who has taken his name.

The New Lobo

This Lobo is equal parts strong, vicious, and driven. There’s a darker and more logical idea about what a force of nature like him is capable of. After all, this is someone who can infiltrate high society, fly a space ship, and adhere to a very specific moral code that’s not your typical anti-hero one. Oh, and, this one-shot takes place very far away from Earth. And when I say very far away, I mean it takes place literally on the other side of the galaxy.

Like most comic characters, Lobo has had some variations and redesigns over his 30+ year history. (Including a brief period Omega_Men_v.1_03as a pre-teen, Slo-Bo, in the pages of Young Justice.)  One thing is certain, this new version has as much in common with the pre-New 52 version, as the character at the height of his popularity in the mid 90′s has with his first appearance, back in Omega Men #3 (at right).   Have you seen it?  That’s Lobo riding his space cycle on the cover.  Yeah I can’t quite see Simon Bisley’s version of the character in a purple and orange unitard.

While I find the concept interesting, and can agree with some of the logic behind it.  I can’t see this latest version striking a chord with the anti-hero’s hardcore fans.   He just a bit too “pretty boy.”  Kenneth Rocafort, the artist behind the redesign, went through a series of designs, each one becoming progressive less Main Man and more Main Metrosexual.  The thing is, I do think it is a good design.  It just doesn’t scream “One who enthusiastically eats your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it.”  There is a coldness to this character.  He is not the force of nature that Lobo has been for the better part of two decades.

I have not seen anything beyond these few character sketches, so I will reserve final judgement when Justice League 23.2 hits stands next month.

What do you think?