Monday, June 14, 2010

Lobo Annual #1 (1993)

Just to show what an aberration the reprehensible Lobo's popularity was at DC, his annual was used to kick off the first round of the rather graphic Bloodlines event, Outbreak, even though he didn't actually have an ongoing series yet!

Lobo was at L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters, preparing to torture a perp who was associated with the Poiple Mob, which had stolen the Main Man's space bike. He was called off by Strata under orders from Vril Dox, who had a mission for 'Bo. Officer Layla and her squad would be joining Lobo, which prompted the usual sexual harassment and a knee to the crotch. "Lucky them's tough stones, babe!"

Dox was eventually allowed to begin his debriefing. "Twelve hours ago, a spaceliner en route to Tau Ceti witnessed a most unusual event! A rift-- or rend-- in the fabric of space! Fortunately, the captain had the presence of mind to focus his external cameras--" Dox showed footage of a rough-hewn brown mass exiting the rift. "That's all they got before wide-band interference from the warp disrupted their electrical systems and they had to leave the area." Layla's team, including Lobo, would be sent to investigate. To encourage 'Bo, Dox mentioned that the Poiple Gang had also been reported in the vicinity. Lobo wasn't inclined to follow anyone, but he'd sworn an oath to follow Dox's orders long ago. "'S what sets me apart from the herd!" Dox also felt this would be a "trial by fire" for Layla, who was proving herself as an exceptional candidate to join the core L.E.G.I.O.N. team.

Meanwhile, the Poiple Gang, more accurately described as space pirates, were preparing to raid the mysterious vessel. The usual lack of hailing replies/warnings it's made of unknown materials/etc were applied beforehand.

As the Poiple Gang struggled to burn their way into the curious vessel, Layla's ship approached the site. Lobo was anxious to wreck havoc, and Layla had no reservations about indulging him, seeing as the gang were wanted dead or alive. "Be my guest! Just don't hit the alien ship!" The Main Man fired the ship's lasers in an ongoing barrage. The Poiple Gang's craft was damaged beyond repair. First mate Smee, a heavyset bearded ginger, killed one of his own for a spacesuit. Lobo made a point of avoiding Cap'n Poiple, so he could be done personal like.

A few gang members made it into the ship, so Lobo decided to try to get frisky with Leila before the upcoming penetration, and earned another slap in the face. "Nobody rejects 'th Main Man twice, iceberg! Get ready to rumble!" Lobo was distracted by one of Layla's officers, giving her time to hypnotize 'Bo with a pendant she carried. "You want to behave like a dog, Lobo, you'll be treated like a dog-- Sit, boy!"

While still articulate, Lobo acted as a hunting hound for Layla as they tracked gang members in the alien craft. As expected, the walls are organic, conventional means of analysis ineffective, yadda yadda. You've seen an Alien movie. You know know the score. Layla's primary officer was a dreadlocked black male named Zembler, who took point with a second investigative squad as the group split up.

The various intruders had awakened the native aliens within the vessel from suspended animation, and they were hungry. The vessel also had its own automated defenses, which began killing L.E.G.I.O.N. officers. Lobo had been struggling to overcome Layla's conditioning without success, so it was some relief to be let off his leash to sic the enemy. Laser weapons were completely ineffective against the automatons, who ripped officers limb from limb. Lobo applied the same brute force, ripping the head off a "dome-head bastich!"

Meanwhile, Smee was confronted by three of the Bloodlines aliens. One, the gluttonous Glonth, had assumed a human form-- Smee's. The aliens were ravenous, and in the face of Smee's negotiation attempts, Angon declared "That is of no concern to us. He must die. All must die!" Smee's weapon was useless as Glonth resumed his normal form and drained the life out of the back of Smee's neck.

Zembler's team were lured into a trap by Glonth's Smee-form, and devoured by more aliens. Pritor took Zembler's life, and then his form. The other aliens did the same with their officers, but all were discussed to find these's subjects essence was bitterly repellent. Layla's team fought off the aliens, but were conned by Glonth, who attacked from behind. Only Lobo's sense of smell offered any advance warning.

Lobo took a nasty slice to the ribs. "Ya plug-ugly bastich! I'll learn ya t'go spillin' th' Main Man's blood--" Layla wasn't fooled when "Zembler's" team came calling, recognizing "They're shape-shifters!" Glonth managed to take a drag off Lobo's neck, but found him "foul-tasting--!" Layla jumped into the fray to rescue 'Bo, but proved a tastier dish for Slodd. Lobo managed to separate the two with a grenade, but the rest of the team was now dead. 'Bo considered leaving the unconscious Layla behind for that "mutt crap," but decided one save deserved another.

While the Bloodlines aliens were highly resilient during this crossover, Lobo's grenade managed to kill Slodd. Pritor noted, "We are only six now. We can afford to lose no more, else our mission may be seriously [sic] imperilled." Angon continued, "As it stands now, our shapeshifting will be extremely restricted." Glonth concluded, "No mercy. When we find him-- kill him! But save the female. Her juices were... perfect."

Lobo was attacked by Eugene Poiple, and vicious combat ensued. Once the Main Man learned the gang had celebrated stealing his bike by setting it on fire, the Cap'n's life came to a grisly end. Lobo tossed the corpse at an approaching alien and bolted.

The Main Man set a series of explosives, then tore the pendant Layla had used on him off her neck. Lobo needn't have bothered, as the recovering Layla was struck with amnesia. Lobo tried to trick Layla into believing they were lovers, but his disgusting snail tongue kiss convinced her otherwise. 'Bo received another kick to the man parts, but this time, with enough force to double him over in pain. Layla had gained super-human strength and invulnerability from her Bloodlines encounter, and could take as much punishment as she dealt.

Lobo was reminded of his explosives, and the pair departed the vessel for the vacuum of space, until they reached their L.E.G.I.O.N. craft. A hasty retreat was beat, though the detonation did the Bloodlines little harm. Lobo assumed otherwise in his video report to Dox, who demanded more concrete answers, and was instead exposed to Lobo's "dark side of the moon!"

"Hounds of Blood" wuz by Alan Grant & Christian Alamy. The former was on auto-pilot, while the latter was in full-on Simon Bisley imitation mode. Alamy's anatomy was actually much better than the Biz's, as was his clarity and the consistency of quality. In fact, Alamy essentially married the erratic, primal Biz to the crisp, clean, Swandersonesque art Barry Kitson had provided for Lobo's parent title, L.E.G.I.O.N.. It was quite the bipolar feat.

No comments: