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Justice League #23.2 - The Last Paycheck Review

4

What is going on? Who is Lobo? We've seen him already in the New 52 (or have we?). Now we get to see him for the first time (again?).

The Good

The Villains Month issues are meant to give us a look at who these villains really are. In some case we see their origins or just what they're currently up to. With this issue...we're not quite sure.

You may have heard some controversy or outcry over the new character design of Lobo. That is a part of the story. What we discover is the Lobo we've seen in the New 52 just might not actually be the true Lobo. Hence the introduction to the proper one. For those concerned with the movement away from the leather jacket and chains look, keep in mind that was a far departure from Lobo's very first appearance in 1983 debut.

Setting aside the change (which does look better here than what we first saw), we get an interesting situation. The question is raised, if we didn't see the real Lobo before, who exactly was that and why was he masquerading as Lobo? It's this shake up and question that makes you wonder, regardless of how you feel about the change.

Maguerite Bennett does a good job introducing this Lobo to us. We don't get a typical flashback origin. It's actually better to not be subjected to that as we are being inundated with several decent and mediocre origins this month. Bennett's task is to show us what makes this Lobo tick and why we should have any interest in him. This is exactly what she does. In some obvious and subtle ways, she makes it clear who he is and how he operates. I didn't think I'd say it but I'm actually really interested in finding out more.

Ben Oliver's art (as briefly mentioned) makes this Lobo look better than the first redesign images. It will still take some getting used to but that isn't something to be placed on Oliver (or Bennett for that matter). The key to keeping my interest in sci-fi comics is depicting interesting-looking aliens. Too often attempts fall flat in comics but Oliver succeeds here.

The Bad

Obviously the verdict is still up in the air for these changes to Lobo. We will have to wait for more on his story to find out what is going on and why one of the higher ups decided to go in this direction. Bennett does a good job in fleshing out this character but being a one-shot, the story feels deeply incomplete. Instead of getting answers about this particular villain, we're left with a doorway to more questions. Not necessarily a completely bad thing but it doesn't seem what these books were supposed to do.

Minor thing, why was this in the JUSTICE LEAGUE title? Are we to assume this Lobo or the battle between the Lobos will take place in future issues. Some of the others have been a little odd but this is pretty far out there.

The Verdict

Welcome to the New 52 Lobo. Just when we thought we knew who the character was, we discover that wasn't the case. With new true Lobo, Marguerite Bennett has the task of introducing him to us and showing us what he's about while telling a compelling story at the same time. Ben Oliver takes the redesigned take on this Lobo and makes it work in a cool sci-fi setting. This may not be the Lobo we knew or the one we asked for but Bennett definitely makes the changes intriguing. We'll have to wait to see where this Lobo, or the other one, will turn up next.