Comic Review

REVIEW: Superman Vs Lobo #1

Superman Vs Lobo #1 is finally here and I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to read this book. Lobo is a character who is the literal embodiment of what the Black Label series stands for. From his look and demeanour down to the creators who have brought him to life, Black Label is the spiritual home for the Main Man.   

In regards to the main cover, Mirka Andolfo has created a cover that perfectly encapsulates what we can expect from this series. Lobo’s maniacal facial expression in the face of one of the most powerful beings in the universe represents his confidence and off the wall demeanour perfectly. Superman is right to look apprehensive as he goes toe to toe with a being he cannot possibly predict.   

Superman Vs Lobo #1 Review | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

The first variant cover feels extremely exclusive as Philip Tan has created a striking portrait of Lobo. Philip Tan’s cross hatching and line work has created layers of depth and texture and Lobo’s maniacal trademark grin has never looked so menacing. This is a really great piece which perfectly captures the personality and traits of Lobo.

Superman Vs Lobo #1 | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

The final variant is created by industry legend and Lobo alumni Simon Bisley. This quintessential Bisley cover encapsulates both the character and artists aesthetic perfectly. I love how detailed and stylised this cover is and the colours used really makes it pop right off the page. The duos positioning on the page really creates a big fight feel.

Superman Vs Lobo #1 | The Aspiring Kryptonian
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

Superman Vs Lobo #1 starts off perfectly by introducing us to the key players involved in this story as well as the world they inhabit. Metropolis alongside much of the world has become enamoured by the latest social media craze known as ‘Lexxer’, which is of course controlled by Lex Luthor. This makes perfect sense when you consider how integral the role that social media plays in our everyday lives. If comics are to mirror the real world then ‘Lexxer’ is long over due and writers Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie have handled that perfectly.

Superman is of course off to a heroic start as we find him rescuing the lives aboard a damaged Space Station. It’s here where the Man of Steel learns of the catastrophe that is currently befalling the Leisure Planet ‘Telk’. This is of course where we find the Main Man himself, the Ultimate Bastich – Lobo. Now I know what you’re thinking. What kind of trouble has that Bastich got himself into now? Well, you will be surprised to learn its not actually Lobo causing the trouble.

Superman arrives quickly on the scene only to butt heads with the Main Man himself as the pair look to resolve this catastrophe by very different means. I love how Superman’s understanding and compassion instantly agitates Lobo. Superman is everything that Lobo despises. From Lobo’s perspective, Superman is a self righteous hypocrite who is too afraid to get the job done, so Lobo antagonises Superman mercilessly throughout this exchange. This is how Lobo gets out of most of the problematic situations he finds himself in. Riling up his opponent into making a mistake is both fun and effective, this is of course Lobo’s unofficial superpower.  

As the catastrophe is successfully averted thanks to Lobo’s typical style of violence, Superman’s disapproval is too much for the Last Czarnian to bear as he vows revenge upon the Last Son of Krypton. Back on Earth, Lobo shows that he isn’t just a brainless mercenary as he utilises his cerebral side with surprising degrees of success as he uses his ‘Lexxer’ account to besmirch Superman’s good name. The issue comes to a close with a bang as the being responsible for the opening catastrophe looks to make amends with questionable degrees of success as he inadvertantly turns Superman and Lobo’s lives upside down.

This coincides with a movement already gaining traction on Earth via ‘Lexxer’ that sees the populace of Metropolis turning their back on Superman’s ideals. Be it calculated manipulation or herd mentality, this is perfectly touched upon at the beginning of the issue in an exchange between Perry and Clark. The points put across by both men carry weight and are valid opinions from perspectives for and against. 

This very much reflects todays societal rifts and conflicting ideologies. The conversation regarding social media and the fact that anyone can create a platform for themselves be it beneficial or detrimental to society is highlighted very well indeed. This is a very relevant topic that needs to stay in the global conversation as we become more depended on social media. 

Lobo is a very self-aware character who always works best when his adventures are tinged in reality. Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie capture Clark and in particular Lobo’s distinctive voice effortlessly. Nothing is sacred in Lobo’s eyes as he comments on Superman being the last of his kind. Superman rallying the denizens of Metropolis, encouraging them to fill the world with a little positivity is joyous to read. Compassion, understanding and sympathy are ideals that can be easily forgotten especially when behind a keyboard. Being able to remind others of these ideals is a duty that we should all share, so seeing Superman do so is inspiring to say the least.

Mirka Andolfo and Arif Prianto are the perfect artistic team to take on this book. Every page is full of dynamic artwork that pops off the page. The characters facial expressions featured within these pages speaks volumes. From compassion to determination, you can feel every emotion Superman experiences in the face of emotional odds. I cannot wait to see what they do with the rest of the series.

Superman Vs Lobo #1 is a tremendous read that touches upon real world issues that effect us all inadvertently or otherwise. This is really great start to a series and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

Haven’t picked up Superman Vs Lobo #1 yet? You can get the standard cover by Mirka Andolfo here (UK), or here (US). If you prefer the variant cover by Philip Tan, you can get that here. Or if you prefer the final variant by Simon Bisley, you can get that here.

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