Portrait of a Bastich collects two Lobo miniseries, The Last Czarnian and Lobo’s Back, both long out of print. The book is filled with the carnage and planetary destruction one can expect from the intergalactic bounty hunter who managed to kill every living being on his home planet as a science project before he graduated from high school.
For those who take comics very seriously, this trade paperback might not be the most enjoyable, but I have always liked sequential art with a bit of humor and that is exactly what I find so appealing about Lobo: Portrait of a Bastich. The jokes are funny, the humor slightly twisted, the body postures and anatomy exaggerated (as intended by artist Simon Bisley), and the action is non-stop and completely over the top. In the first tale Lobo is sent by L.E.G.I.O.N leader Vril Dox to extradite a prisoner and deliver her alive to intergalactic police headquarters. Unfortunately said prisoner happens to be Lobo’s fourth grade teacher Miss Tribb, the last Czarnian (other than Lobo himself)… and the author of Lobo’s unauthorized biography, making her the one being in all creation our beloved anti-hero wants to kill more than anyone else. Unfortunately for Lobo, he isn’t the only one desiring Miss T’s death, and a galaxy wide manhunt ensues.
The second tale follows Lobo as he enters both Heaven and Hell, and the resulting chaos caused by the presence of the Main Man on the spiritual plane. Both of these stories made me laugh out loud at times (most notably the scene where Lobo converses with a gnomish bounty hunters who has a penchant for infectious rhymes). For those readers who wish to experience the lighter side of comics, buy this collection. It doesn’t warrant five stars, since essentially Lobo is all about gore-drenched action scenes and macho banter… but hey, I loved it.
Written by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant with art by Simon Bisley, this team made a very enjoyable book. I actually got to sit with Simon a few weeks ago at Pensacon, and told me some cool things about his time drawing Lobo.
JQ gives this book a 8.7 due to the awesome art and fun dialogue.