The cigar-chomping bounty hunter is being reimagined as a sophisticated, cold-blooded killer for the current iteration of the DCU–and pretty much stripped of any visual identity.
Back in 2011, as DC began unveiling some of their redesigns for the New 52, I began writing about some of the interesting–and limiting visions for the look of the new line. Specifically, it was the heavily-armored, 10-years-too-late-for-the-“Ultimates” aesthetic that I objected to. How many characters have been introduced since the relaunch of the line with segmented, jointed armor that looks like production design for the gritty film reboot of the same comic properties.
The problem with this aesthetic is that it gives many of the heroes (and some of the villains) in the DC Universe the same visual profile: lean and rigid, giving many, if not most of the male characters in the line an identical silhouette.
Lobo, who was previously thought to have been introduced into the New 52 (but that version was an imposter, naturally), is the latest to get a visual rethink in the DC Villains Month special, “Justice League #23.2: Lobo.” It’s the character’s 30th birthday this year, but the 1983 creation didn’t really hit his stride in the popular consciousness until the late-’80s/early ’90s when he became a striking parody of same of the excesses of that period’s grim, gritty, and kill-crazy characters.
So the shock and big black hair and shirtless with leather jacket look might be a little outre, and I’m actually intrigued by DC’s new pitch for the character, although it sounds like he’s less of a bounty hunter and more of a trained killer. I’ll confess that there was something intriguing about the previous version in the present day, something extreme and weird in the DCU when it really, really needs it, but this is an interesting direction.
From DC editor-in-chief Bob Harras:
This Lobo is equal parts strong, vicious, and driven…. There’s a darker and more logical idea about what a force of nature like him is capable of. After all, this is someone who can infiltrate high society, fly a space ship, and adhere to a very specific moral code that’s not your typical anti-hero one.
The main flaw I see with this design is that from the vest to… everything else, it’s a very terrestrial, very grounded-in-the-same design we’ve seen across the rest of the line. He looks like a Juggalo cosplaying as Han Solo.
Anyway, what do you think? Are you a fan of Lobo’s new look? Or do you wish DC had gone back to the drawing board?