So if it wasn't clear based on my past posts and profile pic, I'm a big comic book and Green Lantern fan. The Sinestro Corps War is what really got me into comics, and Geoff Johns' run on Green Lantern is my all time favorite comic book run. But after Johns and the creative teams that worked on the other Green Lantern books left their books after issue #20 in the New 52, my love for the books started to dim a bit. Now I still enjoyed Red Lanterns and Green Lantern Corps (I actually think those books got better when the new teams came on), but Green Lantern and Green Lantern: New Guardians decreased in quality. There were also changes that affected the mythos of Green Lantern that I have problems with, but I'll save that for another time. Now let's talk about Lobo.
Created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen, the character was different from the more popular version. Instead of being a bulky anti-hero wearing biker gear, the original incarnation was a villain that wore a purple and orange leotard. The character was later changed to be the parody of 90's comic book characters we all know and love.
But recently Lobo has changed. DC's New 52 reboot changed all of their characters, Lobo included. The iconic version of Lobo appeared in the reboot, but in 2014, another Lobo appeared. Apparently the fan favorite character is an imposter and the real Lobo, who's an assassin, showed up and killed the imposter.
Fans were not happy. The main complaint I've seen is the design change and that it was a mistake to make this large, bulky guy that stands out into a slender "pretty boy" version. Another complaint I've seen is that he's now not a comedic character and more like Deathstroke in space. I don't really have much to say on this change because I'm not really a fan of Lobo. It would be fine and make sense if the character went from a parody of the bloody anti-heroes of the 90's to a parody of the bad boy stereotype of the modern age. But from what I've read and seen, the character is written completely seriously. Now since I'm not a Lobo fan, the reason I'm talking this comic is because of the recent involvement of Green Lantern characters.
Now I'll talk about the two issues. And let's start with the covers.
Now this is a problem I've had with comic book covers for a while. They're misleading. What do I mean by that? Well you see that cover of Lobo #10? Well Lobo and Sinestro don't fight in that issue at all. In the issue, Lobo is working for Sinestro. I understand that covers need something enticing to get people interested, but I have a problem when it is advertising something that isn't even close to what actually happens. The artwork for the covers are good though.
The story focuses on Lobo being hired by Sinestro to kill members of other Lantern Corps. Issue #10 opens on the Planet Nok where the Indigo Tribe lives with a brief history lesson on the Indigo Lanterns.
Indigo-1 is meditating until she is attacked by the Lantern Munk.
Munk's hand containing his ring has been cut off and he has become a killer again until he his killed by Lobo. Lobo has been collecting Lantern rings and attacks Indigo-1, but she managed to teleport away. Lobo returns to Sinestro and is assigned to hunt down the Red Lanterns.
He begins chasing Bleez and Rankorr. Rankorr wants to stay and fight while Bleez wants to run away. Now here's another problem I have with this story. In the Red Lanterns comic, the rage filled animalistic Lanterns became more sensible. And Rankorr was never like he is in this issue. So he and Lobo fight until...
Bleez escapes and reaches the other Red Lanterns, being led by Atrocitus. Now for those who don't know, Atrocitus was originally the leader of the Red Lanterns and became the antagonist by the end of the book's run. By the end of Red Lanterns, Atrocitus was defeated and lost his ring. Also keep in mind that Bleez and Rankorr hated Atrocitus and would never work with him again. So either there was some story I missed where Atrocitus rose to power again and somehow gained control over the two, or the writers, Frank J. Barbiere and Cullen Bunn, forgot or ignored those events. Either way, I'm disappointed to see this happen to a character I really grew to like.
Issue #11 opens with Lobo attacking Atrocitus and his new Red Lanterns, and that's the rest of the issue. The entire issue is one big action sequence and that's about it. Lobo outsmarts all the Lanterns and kills the Red Lantern cat, Dex-Starr.
And again, this hurts me a bit. And yeah, this comic is bloody and has gore in it. I don't know if it's a lot compared to some indie comics, but it is compared to most DC comics. So the issue goes on until it's a fight between Atrocitus and Lobo. And then Lobo kills Atrocitus.
Yep, so not only are most of the Indigo Tribe killed, most of the Red Lanterns are dead. Oh wait...
Nevermind. On the last page of the issue, Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns are brought back to life with blood magic. Making all the violence and death and point of this issue pointless. Now yes, this could become important in the current Sinestro series, but for now it just feels unnecessary.
Let me start with some positive comments on these issues. This is a good jumping on point for new readers. I haven't read any issues of the book before these two, and I wasn't confused by anything happening in it. I also liked the concept of the Rage Mother, a victim of the Sinestro Corps and is basically powering the Red Lanterns.
Now for the bad. It really hurt me as a Green Lantern fan reading 2 issues of characters I like being slaughtered. There were also some pretty big continuity errors. There's Atrocitus and Dex-Starr having rings again, Bleez and Rankorr being loyal to Atrocitus, and Rankorr being completely out of character. And then there's the art. For the most part, it's not bad at all. But it's clear that the artist cannot draw Dex-Starr.
I found these two issues to be pretty disappointing. There wasn't much story and just a big fight scene to show how awesome Lobo is. And it's really starting to feel like DC does not like the Green Lantern characters. It has been retconned that the energy from the power rings are literally destroying the universe, the Green Lantern Corps in now viewed as bad guys, all of the Green Lanterns except for Hal Jordan are trapped in an alternate universe, most of the Blue Lanterns are dead, most of the Indigo Lanterns are dead, the Orange Lantern Larfleeze hasn't been seen since the failure of his book, and the Star Sapphires haven't been seen for a while.
The best thing about this story was the art and the idea of the Rage Mother, but if you are a Green Lantern fan, I would not recommend this. I give this a 4 out of 10.