15 Things You Never Knew About Lobo
WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS
Fans of brutal antiheroes have certainly been having a great couple of years when it comes to live-action comic book movies. First, Deadpool broke records in 2016, proving to the world that a foul-mouthed, uber-violent superhero could be a massive commercial success. Then Logan hit screens to become a second huge R-rated hit absolutely full of extreme violence and bloody scenes. Then, DC has confirmed that they would be willing to jump on board the rated R trend, should a character warrant it, and there’s one movie in development that is crying out for the ultra-violent treatment: LOBO!
This intergalactic bounty hunter has been a fan favorite since the ’90s, and he is the perfect DC super(anti)hero to launch an R-rated corner of the DCEU. In the comic book universe, Lobo has even joined the Justice League, putting him front and center in the DC universe and making him ripe for a live-action adaptation. Most fans know him as the unkillable rogue with a love of booze and bounties, but there’s a lot more to him than that! In the hopes of an official Lobo movie being added to the DCEU in the very near future, we’re wrapping up some of our favorite factoids about this glorious bastich.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Lobo.
15. HE HAS TWO ORIGIN STORIES
It’s not unusual for comic book characters to have more than one origin story; reboots and relaunches tend to come with some retcons and character changes that range from minor to game-changing. In the Pre-Crisis universe, Lobo was a Velorpian, a race of near-impossible to kill aliens who turned to violence and greed when their world became massively overpopulated (because they never died). Lobo became the last surviving member of this race when he was the only one not killed by a poison designed to wipe the Velorpians out.
Post-Crisis, the Main Man is a Czarnian. In this new backstory, he was born to a peaceful race, and shocked his people with his predilection towards extreme violence. By age sixteen, he had already slaughtered half the planet’s inhabitants. By seventeen, he sped up the destruction of his own race with a plague that wiped out all but one Czarnian: himself. Having killed his entire race, Lobo left Czarnia to become a bounty hunter
14. HIS NAME HAS MULTIPLE MEANINGS
Lobo’s name has a couple of different meanings, depending on who you ask. In one origin comic for the character, it was stated that ‘Lobo’ means ‘He Who Devours Your Entrails And Thoroughly Enjoys It’ in the language of the Khundian empire. Although the Khunds would certainly give a baby a name like that (being a particularly aggressive, war-happy race themselves), Lobo was not born on Khundia, but on Czarnia, so this begs the question…how did he come to have a Khundian name?
Outside of the comic universe, ‘Lobo’ means ‘wolf’ in both Spanish and Portugese, suggesting that his name was inspired by the ‘lone wolf’ nature of his character. Or perhaps it was inspired by the legend of Lobo, the King of Currumpaw: a story of a wolf in New Mexico that was exceptionally violent and incredibly difficult to kill — just like our favorite DC Comics bounty hunter.
13. HE HAS COLOR-CHANGING HAIR
Technically, color-changing hair doesn’t appear to be one of Lobo’s many powers. He’s not someone who can change his appearance at will, or change his hair color to match his mood (without hair dye, that is). However, throughout his comic history, Lobo has appeared with several different hair colors. It seems to shift between purple, black, greenish-black, and grey, and although some of that can be put down to the lighting of a particular scene, much of it hangs simply on the whims of the artist.
His most common hair color is black, of course, and this is how we see him most often. Lobo himself has described his hair as ‘Sepulcher Black’, which also happens to be his favorite color. A ‘sepulcher’, for those not aware, is a name for a crypt or grave — which means that Lobo, in his inimitable Lobo vernacular, is referring to his hair color as ‘as black as the grave’ or ‘as black as the crypt’.
12. HIS STRENGTH VARIES A LOT
In addition to his hair color, Lobo’s strength seems to vary depending on which comic he appears in and who is writing/drawing him at the time. One of Lobo’s chief powers is super-strength, so at all times, he is significantly stronger than your average human. Beyond that, however, his strength can fluctuate hugely.
At times, he has strained to pick up objects like a car, which would put him at the mid-to-low end of the super-strength spectrum. On other occasions, however, Lobo has shown extraordinary super-strength, including the ability to throw an entire building at Superman with seemingly little effort. He’s also managed to knock down Superman with a punch, which would take an incredibly powerful blow.
As is the case with many other comic heroes, it does seem as though Lobo’s strength has increased over the years, becoming more powerful as he takes on more powerful foes. His power may also be somewhat connected to his anger (and potentially to how drunk he is at the time).
11. HIS FAVORITE ANIMAL IS THE SPACE DOLPHIN
Lobo does have a little bit of a softer side, too. He will never break his word — which is how Batman got him into the Justice League — and he would do anything for his beloved pets: space dolphins. These sentient beings look like the dolphins of planet Earth (and have even come to Earth and interbred with our dolphins on occasion), but they also happen to be telepathic, and are capable of surviving and traveling in the vacuum of space.
Lobo has often kept space dolphins as pets (and friends, similar to the way that Atlanteans interact with dolphins and sea life), and will actively fight to protect them. These are the only creatures in the universe that he would not be willing to hurt, no matter how much money was offered. He will also hunt down any who capture or attempt to hurt space dolphins, even though he’s not being paid to do it.
10. HE CAN REGENERATE FROM A DROP OF BLOOD
The Main Man has one of the most powerful healing factors in comics, although it’s not quite as fast as some others’. Part of his immortality comes from being banned from entering either Heaven or Hell (we’ll get to that in a moment), but it is also said that he could only be killed by another Czarnian, and that his healing and functionally immortal nature also come from his race. He has healed from some incredibly impressive injuries, and although some put him out of commission for a time, he has even been shown with the ability to regenerate his entire body from a pool of his blood.
He doesn’t have to just regenerate into one single Lobo, either. He has previously managed to regenerate a whole army of Lobos out of different drops of blood when he was killed by parademons. Of course, these Lobos immediately started slaughtering each other until only one remained, but still…
9. HE’S BEEN KICKED OUT OF HEAVEN AND HELL
As well as the healing factor that gives Lobo functional immortality, the bounty hunter has a little extra immortality insurance courtesy of the fact that he has been banned from both Heaven and Hell. This happened when, in his early days, Lobo was actually successful killed. He was sent to Hell (unsurprisingly, given his penchant for booze and slaughter), and there proceeded to continue his usual murderous rampaging. As a result of all the trouble he caused, he was booted from Hell, but was still dead, so ended up in Heaven.
Of course, he just kept right on killing things and getting into trouble, so Heaven also kicked him out and barred him from returning to either place via a memo to all Gods, Goddesses, Devils, and Death. Now, unable to get into Heaven or Hell again, he occasionally leaves his body when it is taking a long time to heal, and wanders about as a ghost, continuing to cause phantasmal chaos.
8. HE ONCE TOOK A VOW OF NON-VIOLENCE
This may be one of the most surprising entries on our list. Lobo is known for his ultra-violent approach to life, so what led him to take an actual vow of non-violence? This happened in a particularly bizarre storyline where Lobo also became the pope of an intergalactic fish-god Church, appropriately known as The First Celestial Church Of The Triple Fish God. Lobo then goes on a quest for the Great Fishy One to find a magical object called the Emerald Eye of Ekron. When he finds it, he gives it to the Great Fishy One in return for being freed from his vow of non-violence (which we all knew couldn’t last).
He then returns to his murderous ways in true style by using the Emerald Eye to blast the Fish God out of existence, before returning to his previous life as a wandering mercenary. This period saw him change his costume to a very papal hat and robe, as well.
7. HIS CATCHPHRASE COMES FROM HIS FIRST EMPLOYER
Lobo’s comics are filled with vaguely rude-sounding words and phrases, a choice made to allow the character to ‘swear’ without actually cursing or using profanity. This includes one of his favorite words: bastich. A portmanteau of two other common swears, ‘bastich’ became such a popular word in Lobo comics that it even got its own Urban Dictionary entry.
As well as being a fun-sounding quasi-swear word, bastich also has its own comic history, as it was the name of Lobo’s first ever employers in his mercenary career. Bob Bastich was a hard-bitten mercenary who hired a young Lobo after he found that he was too fond of killing for any other career, and he liked the sound of the name so much that he started using it as a swear word of his own. Bob Bastich had a bald head and an eyepatch, and although he assumed that Lobo would never be able to hack the life of a bounty hunter, he was obviously wrong!
6. HE WAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY BY THE NEW 52
With DC’s New 52 came a slew of re-imagined characters, including Lobo. This version of the intergalactic mercenary was massively different!
The original Lobo has always looked like an ‘80s heavy metal singer on steroids, with long hair and enormous muscles to match. The new version, however, was significantly slimmer, smaller, and sported a shorter hairstyle.
This look didn’t last, and Rebirth saw a new Lobo that looked much more like the crazy space-biker of yore. the New 52 version (which fans dubbed “Lipstick Lobo”) meanwhile, ended up miniaturized and imprisoned in a glass prison by Green Lantern villain Larfleez.
5. HE HAS BEEN A DUCK, A GYM TEACHER, AND A CLONE
There have been some pretty phenomenal versions of Lobo over the years, in alternate universes and through bizarre happenstance. Lobo the Duck appeared in the Marvel/DC Amalgam universe as a combination of Lobo and Howard the Duck, which really just looked like a duck that shared Lobo’s style and love of cigars. Meanwhile, in the Tiny Titans universe, Lobo cleans up his act to become the healthy-living gym teacher. In this world, Lobo doesn’t drink or smoke, and he loves coffee and “good old fashioned exercise”. He also doesn’t appear to have his beloved space hog in this series.
Finally, he’s also become a weak teenaged clone named Slobo in the mainstream DC universe. Slobo came into being when Lobo was destroyed and regenerated from his own blood into an army of Lobo clones. One clone was stunted, and instead of joining the multi-Lobo battle royale, Slobo snuck off and joined Young Justice.
4. HE WAS VOICED BY BRAD GARRETT IN DC’S ANIMATED UNIVERSE
Most people recognize Brad Garrett from his long stint on Everybody Loves Raymond as Robert Barone, the titular character’s extremely tall, extremely grumpy brother. However, Garrett has also lent his vocal talents to a huge range of animated films and TV series, including Finding Nemo (Bloat), Ratatouille (Gusteau), and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (Krang).
His best vocal work, in our opinion anyway, came when he voiced Lobo in the animated series Justice League. Lobo appeared in two episodes of the show, the two-parter “Hereafter”. In these episodes, Superman ‘dies’ (not for long, of course), and the Main Man crashes the wake… literally. He bursts in through the window, declaring his intention to take the Man of Steel’s place. Lobo helps out the League in a fight, but his destructive ways don’t exactly fit with the team’s style. He makes his exit at the end of the second episode, when Superman returns and boots him out of the team, at which point he storms off on his bike.
3. HE’S MADE HIS LIVE-ACTION DEBUT ALREADY
He hasn’t made it into the DCEU (yet!), but Lobo has appeared in live-action already. In 2002, Scott Leberecht (known for his visual effects work on Sleepy Hollow and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters) directed a thirteen minute short film, an adaptation of the Christmas-themed Lobo comic, The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special. This insane holiday special sees the Easter Bunny take out a hit on Santa Claus because he (the Easter Bunny) is drunk and angry that Santa is always upstaging all the other holiday mascots.
What follows is a North Pole slaughter and the eventual death of Santa Claus, as Lobo will never miss a target when he’s taken on the job. The original comic even came with no less than two cover disclaimers warning that it wasn’t suitable for children, just in case any parents unfamiliar with the character thought that it would be a fun holiday read. In this fairly underwhelming short, Lobo was played by Andrew Bryniarski.
2. HE WAS CREATED AS A SATIRE OF WOLVERINE
It’s well-known that plenty of comic book characters have been inspired by other comic heroes, and Lobo is no exception. He was actually first created as a satirical take on Marvel’s uber-violent antiheroes, specifically Wolverine and Punisher – His love of cigars, in particular, is lifted directly from Logan.
Creators Keith Giffin and Roger Silfer didn’t expect him to actually become as popular as he did, especially not for the same reasons that Wolverine and Punisher were themselves successful. When Lobo was retconned in the early ’90s, he took on aspects of Deadpool, another Marvel antihero who had just appeared on the comic scene, and this new version (created by Simon Bisley and Alan Grant) shot to fame as DC’s answer to the antihero. He may have been created as a satire for the flamboyant excess that DC saw in Marvel, but these characteristics are just why the character works — from his space dolphins to his drinking, fans love the over-the-top nature of Lobo!
1. HE’S STILL (RUMORED TO BE) COMING TO THE DCEU
Lobo fans are certainly hoping to see the intergalactic bounty hunter on the big screen at some point, and a live-action adaptation is in development, but it’s been stuck in development limbo for some time.
In 2009, Guy Ritchie was announced as director for a Lobo project that was set for a 2010 release. However, Ritchie left the project soon after. Then, in 2012, Brad Peyton (San Andreas) was reportedly in talks to pick up the film, with Dwayne Johnson set to star as Lobo. Johnson then left the project to take on the role of Black Adam in the DCEU, and despite a meeting between Tim Miller (Deadpool) and DC on the project, the Lobo movie was left to languish in development hell for a little longer.
However, it looks like the Main Man might be back on the horizon for DC, with screenwriter Jason Fuchs teasing his involvement with the project with an Instagram post of the character captioned “#portraitofabastich”. With DC talking about R-Rated superhero movies and bringing Lobo on board for the Justice League comics, it looks like we might be gearing up to see Lobo on the big screen at last!