REVIEW: ‘Superman vs Lobo,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Superman vs Lobo #1 - But Why Tho

Superman vs Lobo #1 is published by DC Comics, as part of their Black Label imprint. Written by Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie. The artist is Mirka Andolfo and the colours are by Arif Prianto. The letterer is Fabio Amelia.

Vacationing on the resort planet of Telk, Lobo’s reverie is interrupted by a huge alien invader loathing overhead. Angry at the disturbance, Lobo launches into an attack on the being. He is unwillingly accompanied by the teleporting Dr. Flik, a woman with a desire to document and witness rare species. As she sees the last Czarnian take out his frustrations, the Last Kryptonian arrives, saves the day, and batters Lobo. Recovering, Flik comments that Superman was the better of the two. Hurt, Lobo decides to instigate a popularity contest and ruin Superman’s reputation. 

The most important aspect of this comic that should be mentioned is how huge it is. This is an extended issue with a gigantic story. The structure is well crafted by Seeley and Beattie. There is the first adventure on Telk, led mainly by Lobo. This serves as the first half of the comic as the story switches to Earth. Both of these sections feel very different and keep the long tale refreshed. There is a vibrant, carefree energy within Superman vs Lobo #1 from the start, with both worlds embracing what they are known for. Clark Kent is working for the Daily Planet, dealing with the emergence of a new app created by Luthor. On the other side of the universe, Lobo is on holiday on a planet made for holidays. It creates the atmosphere of completely different worlds before they collide.

The plot may start to lose stability as different parties enter the fray and more and more elements are added, but the chaotic nature of the comic makes it so much fun to read that the reader may not care if they lose sense of what is happening. The ending is very surprising and sends the story in a completely new direction.

There is a brilliant sense of humour to the comic and part of that is seen within the characters. The dialogue may be the shining light within this entire issue. The nonsense that Lobo spews is expertly written by Beattie and Seeley. It is full of vulgar synonyms and masterful descriptions of murders. The audience will take such delight in the randomness of his conversations. The writers revel in the crass words that they are given a free license to use. All of the characters are authentic, from the two main figures down to Jimmy Olsen. The relationship between Lobo and Superman is the fulcrum of this book. It is a one-sided rivalry in the first half. Superman is almost ambivalent to the bounty hunter’s presence like he is merely an annoyance as opposed to a threat. 

A fun addition to this popularity contest is Dr. Flik. For much of the comic, she follows Lobo like a wildlife presenter follows a rare animal for a documentary. She is fascinated by those that are the last of their kind. So when the final Czarnian and Kryptonian appear, she finds it delightful. It is great seeing Lobo’s shift in his reaction to her. In their first greeting, he tries to cut her head off. But upon realising he can’t really touch her, and the fact she isn’t leaving him alone, he seems to quite enjoy having someone to narrate to. 

The art is perfect for Superman vs Lobo #1. Andolfo recognises the craziness of this comic and their style matches it beautifully. The proportions for Lobo and Superman are exaggerated slightly to make them much bigger than anyone else around them. The worlds that they exist on feel like battlegrounds merely created for them to fight in, but they still have fantastic detail. The movement and power that each character has is made clear and results in some awesome displays of their abilities. The design of Dr. Flik is very cool as she is presented as a cosmic superhero without necessarily being one.  She could be mistaken for a Legionnaire.

The colours are stunning. Lobo is always a striking figure due to the shades of colour on him. He consists of light grey and black, which is very different to the vibrant red and blue of Superman’s costume. Around them is a cavalcade of different colours. The different alien species on the resort planet create many opportunities for a variety of tones and combinations. And the style that Prianto uses is gorgeous too as surfaces appear to have a brilliant shine to them

The lettering is smaller than what may be seen in a regular comic. It may require some extra concentration at times, but this will allow the reader to absorb the glorious dialogue fully. SFX are frequent and extravagant, fitting with the cartoonish feeling of the issue.

Superman vs Lobo #1 is a mad and enjoyable issue. The story may not be the most engaging within this world all on its own, but these aspects are almost second inside this book. This comic may have been better suited to being called a Lobo Standup Special, as that is where the real brilliance can be found. Those that are a fan of the writers, Beattie’s comedy style in particular, may find it an entertaining ride to tag along with. The second issue looks to be a completely different setting and story, and it will be interesting to see how that is handled.

Superman vs Lobo #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Superman vs Lobo #1
3.5

TL;DR

Superman vs Lobo #1 is a mad and enjoyable issue. The story may not be the most engaging within this world all on its own, but these aspects are almost second inside this book. This comic may have been better suited to being called a Lobo Standup Special, as that is where the real brilliance can be found. Those that are a fan of the writers, Beattie’s comedy style in particular, may find it an entertaining ride to tag along with. The second issue looks to be a completely different setting and story, and it will be interesting to see how that is handled.