With the strength of Superman and the attitude of Wolverine, it’s little wonder that Lobo is one of the most popular characters in the DC Universe. And now this bad-a$$ space biker is due for a major popularity boost in the years ahead, as it looks like he could finally be getting his own movie.
Reports emerged earlier this year that Transformers director Michael Bay had met with Warner Bros. and DC about possibly directing a Lobo movie, and had also given the studio some notes on a rewrite of the film’s script. That means now is the perfect time to brush up on all things Lobo and learn why the Main Man has earned himself such a loyal following.
Lobo Explained: The Basics
Lobo is an alien from the planet Czarnia. Like Superman, he’s the last survivor of that dead world. The difference is that Lobo is the last Czarnian because he killed all the others. In Czarnian culture, his name translates to “he who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it.” Basically, he’s just living up to his name. Lobo has built his reputation as one of the most fearsome bounty hunters in the known universe, but deep down he does have a heart of gold, even if he tends to care a lot more about his beloved space dolphins than he does actual people.
Lobo’s Powers and Abilities
There’s a reason Lobo rarely fails to carry out a bounty. He’s gifted with incredible strength and durability, though the exact limit of his strength tends to vary a great deal from story to story. At his best, though, Lobo is capable of going toe-to-toe with Superman. And even when he is confronted with a stronger foe, Lobo’s Wolverine-like healing factor effectively makes him immortal.
Despite his brutish appearance, Lobo is actually a highly intelligent person with a knack for chemistry. He designed a specialized poison that wiped out his fellow Czarnians, one so deadly it destroyed all life on the planet in the span of a week. Lobo also rides a “space hog,” a space-faring motorcycle that can travel faster than light and allows him to breathe in the vacuum of space.
Lobo: Origin and Background
Lobo was created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen and made his debut in 1983’s The Omega Men #3, becoming a recurring character in cosmic DC books like L.E.G.I.O.N. and R.E.B.E.L.S. However, at the time his appearance and back-story were quite a bit different, and he was generally portrayed as more an overt villain than the anti-hero he would eventually become.
Lobo didn’t truly come into his own as a character until he was given his own solo comic in the early ’90s. There, Giffen, co-writer Alan Grant and artist Simon Bisley dramatically revamped Lobo, transforming him into a leather-clad parody of other “grim and gritty” superhero characters like Wolverine and the Punisher. This is also where Lobo acquired his new back-story as the last surviving Czarnian in the DCU.
In addition to his own series, Lobo became a popular recurring character throughout DC’s comic book line in the ’90s, butting heads with heroes like Superman, Batman and Green Lantern Guy Gardner. He even got the opportunity to fight Wolverine in 1996’s DC vs. Marvel crossover series. Unfortunately, due to fan voting he lost that particular battle.
DC eventually gave Lobo another huge overhaul as part of their New 52 reboot in 2013. The company introduced a completely new version of the character, one who was slimmer and more intelligent than his counterpart but no less deadly. This character claimed to be the real Lobo, killing the other Lobo he dismissed as an impostor. This new Lobo was given an ongoing series of his own, though it only wound up lasting a year. Many long-time Lobo fans were understandably upset by seeing the Main Man upstaged by this from-out-of-nowhere upstart.
Fortunately, DC relented, and the original Lobo was restored to his rightful place thanks to the 2016 DC Rebirth relaunch. This Lobo played a major role in the Justice League vs. Suicide Squad crossover and now serves (however reluctantly) as a member of Batman’s Justice League of America team.
Lobo: Beyond the Comics
Lobo made his first non-comics appearance in Superman: The Animated Series (voiced by Brad Garrett), which portrayed him as a bounty hunter hired to capture Superman. Garrett later reprised the role in the 2001 Justice League series. Lobo has also appeared in subsequent DC cartoons like Young Justice and Justice League Action.
Lobo was also slated to star in his own fighting game on the Super NES and Sega Genesis. The game was completed (more or less), but scathing early reviews convinced Ocean Software to cancel it shortly before release. Lobo has since appeared as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us and LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
Lobo actually made what is probably his live-action debut back in 2002 in the form of an unofficial fan film called “The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special,” which was directed by Scott Leberecht and starred Andrew Bryniarski (also known for playing Leatherface in the Texas Chainsaw remake). Rumors of an official Lobo movie have swirled since at least 2009, when director Guy Ritchie was attached to the project. But with those recent reports suggesting that Michael Bay is in talks to direct, with Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) currently rewriting the script, it seems the Main Man may finally be on his way to the big screen. Reportedly, Warners and DC are hoping that Lobo can become their answer to the massively successful Deadpool franchise, suggesting that the film will be taking a comedic, R-rated approach to the source material.