With the runaway success of Marvel's Deadpool and Mark Millar's Millarworld line (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) in both comics and movies, it's easy to see why DC Comics wants to get in on some of that irreverent, anarchic action. These characters make fans laugh as much as they thrill them with their adventures, and their rebellious tones translate perfectly to the silver screen. It's often been said that Harley Quinn is the closest DC has to a character like Deadpool, and she is a similarly big deal in the pages of the comics. DC is trying very hard to replicate that success in movies with Margot Robbie playing Harley in Suicide Squad and the rumoured upcoming Birds Of Prey film.
But, it's hard to ignore the fact that DC has had another Deadpool-esque character waiting in the wings for his big moment for many years. This character is, of course, the 'Main Man' Lobo. At one point in the '90s Lobo was one of the most popular characters in comics, with fans lapping up the satirical wit and overblown, preposterously cartoonish violence of his adventures. In the 2000s his popularity has waned somewhat, but a Lobo renaissance could definitely happen if the right writer/artist team get a hold of the character, or a big-budget Hollywood movie is finally produced. This article is for the fans out there that realize the value of the Last Czarnian. Here are 20 facts only his true fans will know.
20 IS STAN LEE'S FAVORITE DC CHARACTER
This one is strange but true. Of all the characters in the pantheon of DC Comics, Lobo is not the first one that would spring to anyone's mind when thinking about Stan Lee's favorite character from Marvel's Distinguished Competition. And yet, Stan has gone on record a few times to say how he finds Lobo unique and if there was any DC character he wishes he'd created, it's the Main Man.
He has said he loves how vile, strong and ugly the Last Czarnian is, and believes he should've been a Marvel character all along. Sorry Batman. Sorry Superman. Sorry Wonder Woman. But Stan Lee has a huge soft spot for the Ultimate Bastich!
19 FIRST APPEARED AS A VILLAIN
Lobo was created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen (Justice League International) and made his first appearance in 1983's Omega Men #3. He led a group of bounty hunters in an attack on the Omega Men's mothership, where they ended several crew members.
This original incarnation of Lobo was a Velorpian whose entire race had been exterminated by Psions and he was most definitely a villain rather than the foul-mouthed anti-hero fans would come to know and love. He was paired with a character called Bedlam, who he would later take out, and he went on to make sporadic appearances throughout the '80s in Omega Men and Green Lantern.
18 BOTH A SUICIDE SQUAD AND JUSTICE LEAGUE MEMBER
DC Rebirth has been much more well-received by fans than The New 52. It returned the DC Universe to a more classic state and, crucially for fans of the Ultimate Bastich, it restored Lobo to his pre-New 52 characterization. He first appeared in the "Suicide Squad Vs Justice League" crossover event, where he was a member of Amanda Waller's first Squad.
He was being mind-controlled by Maxwell Lord, but Batman saw a way to sever this control: he implanted a bomb in Lobo's head and blew it up! When his head regenerated, he was free of Lord's influence and in debt to the Dark Knight. He then accepted Batman's offer to join his unorthodox new version of the Justice League.
17 ANIMATED APPEARANCES
Lobo made the jump to the small screen in the brilliant Superman: The Animated Series, which debuted in 1996 and was made by the creative team behind Batman: The Animated Series. He first appeared in the appropriately titled 'The Main Man' and was voiced by Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond, Fargo).
His animated incarnation was remarkably faithful to the source material, though his ultra-violence was toned down to fit in with the Saturday morning cartoon crowd. He then appeared again in the Justice League episode 'Hereafter'. In the hilarious episode he forced his way onto the team as a replacement for Superman, who everyone believed had passed.
16 KRYPTON SEASON 2
Krypton recently finished its first season on SyFy and was fairly popular amongst fans and critics alike. The show, which follows the trials and tribulations of Seg-El (Superman's grandfather) 200 years before the destruction of Krypton, was renewed by SyFy for a second season the day before season one finished its run.
The original Kryptonian God's Nightwing and Flamebird have been confirmed to appear in season two, as has none other than Lobo! How exactly he will fit into the show is anyone's guess, but fans are hoping it will be the first faithful live-action adaptation of the beloved character and won't betray his anarchic roots.
15 CREATED AS A PARODY
Lobo's name translates as 'he who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it'. He is completely and utterly arrogant and self-obsessed. All in all, he's not a subtle character, which makes sense when you find out that he was created as a parody of the late '80s/early '90s trend for 'grim n' gritty' superheroes like Wolverine and The Punisher.
Co-creator Keith Giffen said he had no clue why Lobo became so popular, as he created him as an indictment of those excessively violent and extreme characters. In the end, it seemed that comic book fans didn't get the joke and simply loved Lobo for the same reasons as the other characters!
14 PARODIED BY MARVEL
In Deadpool #41, written by Christopher Priest (Black Panther) and with art from Paco Diaz, the Merc with a Mouth found himself stranded in space. He made a deal with a group of alien criminals named The Last Men for a ride home. In return for getting him back to Earth, he had to help them spring their leader Dirty Wolff from a prison colony.
Dirty Wolff was the last survivor of his race, had pale white skin, wild black hair and drove a demonic motorcycle. Yep, Dirty Wolff was a parody of Lobo, and a pretty funny one at that. Amusingly it meant that Marvel were parodying a character who was already a parody of several of their characters to begin with!
13 BLOODWULF WAS ALSO A PARODY
In 1993, Image Comics published Darker Image #1, which was intended to be the first of a four-issue miniseries. It introduced three new 'grim n' gritty' characters: Sam Keith's The Maxx, Jim Lee's Deathblow and Rob Liefeld's Bloodwulf. Only one issue of the series was ever produced, but both Keith and Lee's characters would go on to become big hits.
Bloodwulf, on the other hand, didn't catch on and it was probably because he was a blatant rip-off of Lobo. An alien bounty hunter from the planet Luap'ur who rides a space motorcycle and engages in crazy adventures, the subsequent 1995 Bloodwulf solo miniseries completely lacked any of the knowing humor or satire Lobo had become known for.
12 BITTER ENEMIES WITH SUPERMAN
If there is anyone in the galaxy whose personality is going to clash with Lobo's, it's the Man Of Steel himself. While both men are the last surviving members of their respective races, that is where their similarities end. Lobo took out his entire world on a whim, whereas Superman kept the miniaturized version of Krypton's capital city in a bottle in his Fortress Of Solitude, showing his people the reverence they deserved.
Lobo actually clashed with Superman on his very first visit to Earth, where the two immensely powerful aliens fought each other to a standstill. Superman thinks Lobo is psychotic and, because he can't beat him physically, usually has to appease him somehow before the body count gets too high!
11 CONTRACTED BY THE EASTER BUNNY
After The Last Czarnian was a big hit in 1990, Lobo went on to star in a bunch of increasingly ludicrous minsieries'. There was LoboCop, a parody of RoboCop (obviously). There was Infanticide, in which his daughter gathers all his illegitimate offspring together to try to end their deadbeat dad, and there was Unamerican Gladiators, in which he took part in a deadly televised game show.
But perhaps the best was Paramilitary Christmas Special, where Lobo took on a contract from the Easter Bunny to take out Santa Claus, who had been constantly upstaging other holiday icons. When Lobo caught up to Santa, it turned out he was a vicious taskmaster with a gorilla right-hand man named Kong!
10 FOUGHT WOLVERINE... AND LOST
In 1996 Marvel and DC put their differences aside and threw all their characters together in the ultimate crossover miniseries. Two godly brothers, who personified the respective comic book universes, became aware of each other and pitted their champions against one another in combat.
Batman fought Captain America. Superman fought the Hulk. Wonder Woman fought Storm. And, fittingly, Lobo clashed with Wolverine in a bar brawl. Disappointingly for the Main Man, Wolvie won their fight pretty easily, and most of it occurred off-panel. To be fair, in a crossover in which each company had to end on an even number of wins, the more popular Wolverine taking this one made sense. Maybe.
9 APPEARED WITH THE MASK AND JUDGE DREDD
As well as DC Vs Marvel, the '90s gave fans a huge amount of other inter-company crossover comics. Batman and Superman went toe-to-toe with Aliens and Predators. Judge Dredd came to Gotham on several occasions, as did the likes of Daredevil, Spider-Man and Spawn.
Lobo got in on this action as well, and starred in crossovers with Dredd (2000AD), The Mask (Dark Horse) and The Authority (Wildstorm). Lobo/Judge Dredd: Psycho Bikers Vs The Mutants From Hell is a particular blast of insane '90s fun, as it follows two characters not exactly known for their restraint as they crack the skulls of a wild uprising of Undercity mutants.
8 HAD A SPACE DOG
Lobo is not a man with many friends -- anyone stupid enough to get close to him for long has a very high chance of winding up offed, you see. But, there was a space bulldog that followed him around for a while and got into all sorts of mischief. Lobo tolerated the mutt, and named him Dawg, but had no patience if anyone referred to it as his dog.
Dawg wore an iron cross collar and usually had crisscrossed bandaids on his face. He was once stomped on by Lobo when he became possessed by a Neural Djinn, but a few DC continuity reboots later, Dawg was back by Lobo's side when the Main Man was hired to stage a fight with the Red Lantern Atrocitus.
7 ARCH-NEMESIS IS GOLDSTAR, A SUPERHERO PARODY
Goldstar is the name of three superheroes from the history of DC Comics. The first two heroes to use the identity (Trixie Collins and Michelle Carter) were characters associated with Booster Gold, but the third (Ernest Widdle) was introduced in Lobo #5 from 1994, as the complete antithesis of Lobo.
Goldstar was clean-cut, nice, kind and decent and all he wanted to do was encourage goodness in the universe. Naturally, this made Lobo think he was a boring, stuck-up do-gooder, and he smashed the poor guy on several occasions. At one point Goldstar contracted amnesia and Lobo, ever the opportunist, convinced him he was his personal servant and routinely humiliated him. Poor Goldstar.
6 HAS A SOFT SPOT FOR SPACE DOLPHINS
In the cosmic DC universe, a race of highly intelligent dolphins exist, who 'swim' through the harshness of space and communicate with each other telepathically. Lobo was once told that they are actually star-beings from the 12th harmonic overtone of the fourth dimension and that they protect all of creation from the satanic spirit forces allied with evil reptilians.
Regardless of whether that makes any sense or not, space dolphins are the only thing in the known universe that Lobo shows genuine love and affection for. The Last Czarnian finds a level of peace in their presence and even formed a strong bond with one named 'Lundgren', who was named after action movie star Dolph Lundgren.
5 BECAME A SPRITUAL LEADER OF SPACE SECTOR 3500
Speaking of space dolphins, a member of their race named Fishy once served as Lobo's assistant during a period in which he found religion and declared himself the Archbishop of the First Celestial Church Of The Triple-Fish God. The refugee residents of Space Sector 3500 became part of the church, which preached pacifism and, yes, worshipped a fish god.
All of this happened during the year-long series 52 in 2006/07, and if it seems too good to be true that Lobo had renounced his ways and found God, that's because it was! In the end it was revealed that the fish god had forced Lobo to vow non-violence, but as soon as Lobo got his hands on the means to end him, he blasted that fish god.
4 SOUL WAS ONCE TRAPPED BY A DEMON
In 2008, Lobo's co-creator Keith Giffen wrote a miniseries entitled Reign In Hell. It told the story of a conflict in Hell between the demon Neron and a rebellion led by Blaze and Satanus, the rulers of Purgatory. So what exactly did it have to do with the Main Man? Well, it turned out that Lobo's soul had been trapped in Hell ever since he made a deal with Neron in 1996 miniseries Underworld Unleashed!
Lobo's soul was in the Labyrinth, Hell's prison, and his soul being there was enough to power Neron's castle. Lobo was eventually freed during a battle between Etrigan and Blue Devil, and went on a rip-roaring rampage through Hell to get revenge on Neron.
3 THE NEW 52 REIMAGINED THE CHARACTER
The New 52 was one of the most controversial periods in DC Comics' history). The entire universe was rebooted and most established continuity was jettisoned. Lobo was reimagined twice during this period. The first new version, created by Rob Liefeld, saw Lobo as a Czarnian who wiped out his entire race except his beloved Princess Sheba.
The second version, claiming to be the 'real' Lobo, was a cultured and well-educated mercenary with a much leaner physique than classic Lobo. This version was originally a bodyguard to the Czarnian Royal Family. Neither version connected with fans, and the New 52 Lobo solo series lasted less than a year before being cancelled.
2 FROM THE UTOPIAN PLANET OF CZARNIA
Lobo's origin story was changed completely in 1990 miniseries Lobo: The Last Czarnian, which was plotted by co-creator Keith Giffen, scripted by Alan Grant and drawn by the character's defining artist Simon Bisley (Judge Dredd). This miniseries really established everything we would come to expect from Lobo going forward, including the anarchic and ultra-violent yet blackly funny tone of his stories.
Lobo was born and raised on the peaceful planet Czarnia. One day, out of the blue, he decided he had to end the other five billion people on his world, so he would be unique. He then found out his fourth grade teacher was still alive and was forced to protect her from other hunters. That is, until he took her out too, of course!
1 A LOBO MOVIE?
A live-action Lobo movie has been in some sort of development since 2009, when Warner Brothers announced that Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword) would be directing. Ritchie was set to begin filming in 2010 and wanted to bring an irreverent tone to the film, but he wound up leaving the project to direct the Holmes sequel A Game Of Shadows.
In 2012 Brad Peyton (Rampage) was reportedly set to write and direct, with Dwayne Johnson in talks to star, but this also broke down. The latest rumour, from February 2018, found Michael Bay (Transformers) being courted to direct a film in a similar vein to Deadpool, but only if he could keep the budget lower than $200 million.