Saturday, June 16, 2012
SurVILEvor Island: Lobo
Despero had won The Vile Menagerie March Madness 2012 by popular vote, and has been considered the The Fifth Most Important Martian Manhunter Adversary. Ever the gamesman, he had put his own head first on the chopping block to determine who might be ejected from his present company, but a 92% mandate out of 25 votes affirmed his place among the rogues on SurVILEvor Island. His gamble had paid off, and now Despero could begin weeding out unwanted competition and the truly unworthy... The Last Czarnian is perhaps also the last person to rate inclusion among the Vile Menagerie. As an anti-hero with his own relatively long running solo series and countless minis/specials, he isn't likely to ever be under any one hero's domain. If any, it would certainly be Superman's, and not the Alien Atlas'. While Lobo was created in 1983 for The Omega Men, he only began to come into his own after he was overhauled and reintroduced in a 1988 issue of Justice League International. While the Martian Manhunter was one of his primary opponents in that encounter, the Main Man more famously sparred with Green Lantern Guy Gardner. Lobo would continue to play a major role in Gardner's life, facilitating his acquisition of a yellow power ring and continuing to have rows into the Warrior years. After his forced induction into L.E.G.I.O.N. in 1989, Lobo gained a monthly venue for appearances, butting heads with the likes of Captain Marvel, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and his boss Vril Dox. Lobo even turned up in the 30th Century, a time period Martian Manhunter also lived to see, but their paths never crossed during their separate appearances in Legion of Super-Heroes. In the 1990s, the Main Man began to routinely battle Superman and the Demon. Lobo returned to Justice League International, but as an ally against Despero. After numerous successful try-outs, 'Bo got his own ongoing. Martian Manhunter appeared in its fiftieth issue, as part of a shared dream in which he and other heroes were murdered by Lobo. Lobo and Martian Manhunter were both in the short-lived, altered reality Justice League of Aliens team, but otherwise, they've had only brushing contact over a great many years. It's been nearly a quarter century since their one real fight, and there are scores of other heroes who could lay greater claim to Lobo as a villain than that. Even Miss Martian fought Lobo more recenly, and she's only six years old! Including the Last Czarnian in the Vile Menagerie was an overreach in 1999, and it's outright laughable today. He'd be a great foil for the Sleuth from Outer Space, but too many years have passed for that to occur organically. Time to sit Lobo down on that enormous space bike of his and let him ride off into the sunset...
Posted by Diabolu Frank at 12:00 AM
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I just re-read the Magna Khan and Break Downs storylines that he appears in, and those are pretty great, but ultimately J'onn hasn't had enough sustained contact with him to make inclusion sensible.
If I ever got my hands on the Martian Manhunter and Lobo, I'd make it happen in a big way, but it isn't really on the page at present.
As we have not seen Lobo interacting much with J'Onn in the recent past, it is time for Lobo to move fromthe Vile Menagerie. Half the time, Lobo is a somewhat ally. Mind you, I still contend that the best way to read any story where Lobo is the protagonist is to presume that the narrator is quite unreliable.
As a villain, Lobo is very different than J'Onn but I always see Lobo as the spoof on 1990s antiheroesl So, we will see if J'Onn and Lobo meet in the DCnU. I doubt that J'Onn would particularly like someone who destroyed his own world.
Lobo is an excellent counterpoint for J'Onn in a different way than Despero/Malefic/etc., but he has some essential flaws that make his usage highly problematic. Lobo cannot exist as presented in his solo series within a shared universe. Besides being Dragonball ridiculous in his abilities, someone like Superman could not allow a genocidal madman to roam the universe. Either he's a mass murdering villain who needs to be #1 on the JLA's wanted list, or he's a delusional anti-hero who only believes that he destroyed Czarnia. Martian Manhunter would be the perfect detective to solve that particular case, and in solving it forge a lasting antagonistic relationship with Lobo. Again though, he shouldn't be in the Vile Menagerie based on decades old minor scuffles and fanfic.
Well, Lobo was in one episode of the JLU cartoon, does that count for anything?
"Martian Manhunter would be the perfect detective to solve that particular case, and in solving it forge a lasting antagonistic relationship with Lobo." I would like to see a storyline like this.
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