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Hey! Look at the calendar! It’s October again (already), and that means it’s time to open the coffins, air out the tombs, shine the skulls, and replenish the blood supply because it’s Halloween time! Last year I reviewed a few Halloween/horror themed comics and had more fun than a flesh eating virus at a nude beach, so I figured I’d try another round and see how it goes. Who know, it might become another fine tradition!

LOBO/DEMON: HELLOWEEN
Written by Alan Grant
Art by Vince Giarrano
Published by DC Comics (1996)

On the moon was a statue with a green jewel on his head. It stood in a crater and looked over the Earth for a hundred thousand years. That is, until Lobo arrived. Knocking the head off the statue, he blasts it with his gun because, well, he’s supposed to meet someone there.
Enter: Etrigan The Demon… wearing a Bill Clinton mask.

Why are they on the moon? Seems Lobo took a job and is there to meet him employer while The Demon is there to meet hisLobo new employee. It takes Lobo a moment to realize the whole ‘keeping his word’ thing just bit him in the rear end again.

So begins our Halloween special: The Demon begins to tell Lobo about a religion on earth that created it’s god and devil. This religion had a self appointed leader who made the sun a god while the night was the domain of a terrible monster made from the Sun-God’s very shadow. It ruled the night and did many bad things (according to this guy). The monster was named Malak-Karu.

Things went fairly well for the Prophet, he was given women and slaves, he had many palaces built in his honor. But his people were still scared of Malak and wanted the Prophet to protect them further so he created a magical rite to capture the monster and a guardian of gold to overlook the imprisoned monster.

The rite worked, in a sense, but instead of ‘capturing’ the non-existent Malak, it actually created the beast and much damage was done before it was finally captured, imprisoned on the moon and the guardian was placed there to keep it locked away while on Earth the day of Halloween was marked as a celebration of Malak’s defeat.

The Demon contracted Lobo because this was now the time for Malak to be free from his prison and attacks Earth, planning to destroy it. The kick here is Lobo isn’t there to stop Malak, he’s there to stop the guardian from stopping Malak!

After a nice fight between Lobo, The Demon and the guardian, The Main Man and The Demon stand triumphant. They also have gotten the attention of Malak who simply eats them! It’s then they realize they will have to stop Malak and Etrigan knows how: a gem on the head of the statue… which was destroyed by Lobo! Now they only have one chance: Using the guardians sword they can stop Malak, but the sword is powered by good thoughts. Yeah, I was thinking ‘Earth is screwed’ until Etrigan helps Lobo think of the one thing that he actually loves: his Fishies, the Space Dolphins! It’s the thought of their trusting innocence that powers the sword and stop Malak once and for all.

*

It’s been more than a few years since I’ve read this issue and it reminded me of what I loved most about Lobo. You didn’t really need to have an understanding of the DCU to enjoy him. He’s a fairly basic character who, while part of the DCU, operated with his own set of rules.
While this book was entertaining it seemed to have very little to do with Halloween itself. Mostly, the holiday was made a part of the story but didn’t drive it. The main purpose for the book, apparently, was just to get the Demon and Lobo together and have them do what they do best: annoy each other and then end the whole thing beating the crap out of each other. It’s what fans expected of them and it was always fun to see. It was like… respect through beatings.

While I can’t recommend the book to anyone who’s looking for a comic with deeper meaning I can certainly recommend it to fans of Lobo and the Demon. We know what to expect from these characters and it isn’t much. Which is how we like it.

Alan Grant always had a great handle on Lobo, which is shown, again, in this book, and the Demon is spot on in his antagonistic position. When he’s with Lobo he’s like the guy who likes to poke a bruise and say ‘does that hurt?’ I can always expect a great time when Grant is writing The Main Man.

Vince Giarrano’s art was always something of a love/hate thing for me. I don’t mind his art but there was always something about it that I just couldn’t get my mind around. I never figured out what it was but it’s still there and while it doesn’t take away from the story it just wasn’t enough to help the book stand out.

Again, a perfect book for fans of these characters but for those who don’t understand why we love these guys… You might want to avoid this one.

 

Feel free to check out last year’s offerings!

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