This is the first of 10 articles that we’ll be posting to celebrate DC comics in all their weird and wonderful entertainment! At #10, we have a comic that introduced the world to a character who would only hit his stride later in his career…
“The Omega Men” #3 marked the first appearance of anti-hero Lobo. Though he has evolved significantly in his transition from side character to front man, it is fascinating to look back on his debut. Isolated from the rebellion and political commentary of the rest of The Omega Men comic, #3 tells a story familiar to most sci-fi horror fans – the crew of a ship is stranded in space, and strange things are beginning to happen around them. Systems are going down, and people are beginning to disappear…all due to the influence of bounty hunter Lobo (and Bedlam, who would not be featured outside of The Omega Men), hired by the Citadel to take down the Rebellion. True to his anti-hero status, he returns a few issues later to support the Rebellion, but only after agreeing on his payment.
His appearance has changed dramatically – though he sports white and black facial markings, he’s missing his hard rock hairstyle and iconic red eyes. Under the hood, however, he’s just about the same nasty, violent, wisecracking character that’s so entertaining to read. His later backstory cranks it up to 11 by not only having him be the last of his kind, but having Lobo be the cause of his race’s near extinction.
If you enjoy fantastical names like “euphorix,” “shlagen,” and “greeshagurt,” give the original Omega Men comic run another look. It’s full of interpersonal intrigue, deep lore, and sci-fi body horror, not to mention the origin of Lobo. If you’re more interested in gritty ultra-violence, Lobo’s title comic will be right up your alley.
Written by Kai Newquist, Comics Research Associate