Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant
Cover concept by Lorenzo Princi, 12th October 2013

Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich

Author: Keith Giffen and Alan Grant
Artist: Simon Bisley

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi

Bounty hunter, assassin, sadist, scourge of the galaxy and a reluctant member of L.E.G.I.O.N (Vril Dox II's Interplanetary Police Force). There's not much to praise when it comes to Lobo, however he does always keep his word and in his own twisted way, is about as honourable as they come in this part of the DC Universe. Split in two parts, Portrait of a Bastich collects "The Last Czarnian" and "Lobo's Back".

In "The Last Czarnian", Lobo is sent on his most difficult assignment yet; escort a prisoner "alive", who just so happens to be his 4th grade teacher and writer of his controversial biography. All sorts of craziness ensues as the tension rises between the short tempered Lobo and his prisoner - who is bent on making life miserable for him at every turn.

"Lobo's Back" starts off simply enough, with Lobo low on funds, taking a job and hunting a killer seemingly as brutal as he is. Lobo gets more than he bargains for and is killed in a violent dual. Death is not the end of course and things get Biblical from there on. Finding himself rejected from the afterlife, Lobo is re-incarnated over and over in various shapes and sizes (and genders) until he is finally resurrected when and where he dies and given the chance to avenge his own death.

Lobo is an anti-hero who for all intents and purposes can only be liked in a comic-verse. Unbound by reason and law, this heightened 80s metal inspired biker with a bad attitude, violent temperament and super-man strength is as deadly as they come. We can accept his excessive nature in the context of this black satire, with it's sprawling excess, rebellious heavy metal concepts and tongue in cheek social commentary. In many ways, Lobo reflects themes and tones (even a visual style) found in the 2000AD universe. Featuring an 80s metal/punk inspired setting, cheeky dialogue and ultra-violent characters who, though brutal, are not necessarily evil in the context of being products of a strange, overpopulated and dangerous universe. Bombastic, bad-ass, brutal and very graphic, Lobo packs a mean punch. Not for kids this one.