As we used to say in the old APA and Fanzine days…
Summary: Lobo doesn't lead "lambs to the slaughter" -- he brings the slaughter to the lambs!
Bonus Summary Pun: "Double or Mutton"!
Let’s begin with an abbreviated version of my “stock introduction” to Lobo, for the few who may be unfamiliar with him:
On some far-off world, a class of alien high school students has just returned from their summer vacation. Note the student population:
But our main focus, sitting right up front as you’d expect him to, is “Cecil B. Geecky”, looking for all the world like a purple alien version of “Cleveland Brown, Jr.”, from the THE CLEVELAND SHOW. This is all the more odd, because FAMILY GUY had not yet made its debut. Sometimes, coincidences just happen!
Oh, well… I didn’t write (or dialogue) it, though I’d LOVE a shot at LOBO someday. It’s the only DC comic I feel I could really do well with! But, I digress…
Meanwhile, Lobo, partnered with an attractive female bounty hunter, is on the trail of the four members of “The Shapeshifter Gang”. The gang has eluded their pursuers, and fled to (You guessed it, again!) Sheepworld.
|A tale to tell the class!|
|Lobo sez: "NO SPOILERS, ya Bastich!|
The Story Title: Ever since my brief turn at professionally scripting Disney comic books, I can’t help but look at certain things in comics and imagine how *I’d* do ‘em! One of my favorite things to do was to create TITLES for the stories I scripted – and, instead of the Way-Too-Generic-for-LOBO “What I Did on My Holiday”, I’d have called this one: “Baa-Baa Frag Sheep!”
“You Know the Names. But You Don’t Know the Secrets of – TANGENT COMICS. The biggest names in comics in nine world-shaking specials. Raising the stakes this July.”
Yep! It’s all of the classic DC character NAMES, with new meaningless one-shot characters created around them. “Superman”, “The Batman”, “Wonder Woman”, etc. Unfortunately, in the nineties and if they were from DC, I bought ‘em all… when there were some things I shoulda skipped.
|No 'Bo! Leave the REAL Superman alone!|
It’s LOBO written by Alan Grant: Alan Grant came out of the wonderful British comics publication 2000 AD, where he wrote the humorous-but-violent feature JUDGE DREDD, first partnered with DREDD’s regular writer John Wagner and then on his own.
Grant moved to the States, and to DC Comics, where he was a mainstay on Batman titles (notably, DETECTIVE COMICS and BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT) and supplanted Lobo’s creator Keith Giffen as my personal favorite of Lobo’s writers.
|Detective Comics # 604 written by Alan Grant|
|LOBO # 25 written by Alan Grant|
It’s DC Comics, of the Nineties: In the nineties, as opposed to today, DC Comics could do no wrong. (Okay, maybe not useless gimmicks like “Tangent” – but MOSTLY “no wrong”!) I’d extend this streak back into the eighties. Even their seventies comics were “okay”, if less distinguished, but that was a lesser period for most publishers.
Never mind DC’s landmark accomplishments of the Silver Age, which pretty much BECAME the cornerstone for mainstream comic books ever since.
|DC Comics Silver Age Logo.|
Such a pity, DC lost its way (and lost ME) in the 21st Century. With the departure of President and Editor-in-Chief Jenette Khan and Executive VP and Publisher Paul Levitz, DC Comics was never the same. But, they sure were great BACK THEN, and for most of their long and illustrious history!
|DC Comics Logo - when they were best!|
Comics DC Wants Us to Buy (Also Advertised in This Issue): “DC One Million”: “Witness the ultimate vision of the DC Universe. From the minds of Grant Morrison and Val Semeiks.”
Um, we’ll just ignore the fact that ACTION and DETECTIVE COMICS would reach that impossible milestone well over a half-century before LOBO would – and just enjoy the story. Grant Morrison was DC’s most innovative writer of the decade, and virtually anything he touched turned to gold. “DC One Million” was no exception.
|Maybe they REALLY DID come out on the same day, after all!|
Gag Creator Credits: A hallmark of the LOBO title were “Gag Creator Credits” that were, in some way tied into the subject matter of the story – much as the credits on each year’s SIMPSONS “Treehouse of Horror” jokingly tie into Halloween. As our story was “sheep-themed”, we were treated to such credits as: Script: “F. Ewe Grant” (Alan Grant), Pencils: “Aries Jorgensen” (Arnie Jorgensen), Assoc. Ed: “Tony Baadaard” (Tony Bedard – GOTTA love THAT one!), and Editor: “Bad Dan Ramsbottom” (Bad Dan Raspler).
Bonus Bottom-Tier Comic Strip: Later in its run, LOBO developed yet another stylistic quirk that was never seen in another comic book title – a “Bonus Bottom-Tier Comic Strip”. Like the gag credits, the subject matter of the strip, running at the bottom of various story pages, hooked into an aspect of the subject of our story. Here, we had examples of taken from the aforementioned “Hall of Sheep Fame”, strewn across the lower tier of several story pages. Here’s an example or two…
Letter Columns: Once upon a time, comic books had Letter Columns, in which readers who were able to express themselves with writing skills in excess of the minimum requirements necessary for a “text” or a “tweet”, would partake in an exchange with the book’s editor (or one of his or her assistants). Published comments were almost always both intelligent and fun.
|Delivering letters to LOBO?|
Rapid-Fire Sheep Pun Closing Alert: This is no “sheep” trick. You “wool” trust me on this, won’t “ewe”? For the “shear” delight of it all, grab a copy of LOBO # 55 before somebody “bleats” you to it – and all you can say is “Baaa! Humbug!”