Review: Lobo: Highway to Hell

Published on January 11th, 2011

Okay so I’m definitely not the biggest fan of Lobo, in fact my only experience with the character was that one episode of the Superman Animated Series where he comes in as a bounty hunter and causes trouble for Superman. It was a good episode, he was voiced by the brother in Everybody Loves Raymond (on a side note, I don’t love Raymond). Granted I think I was about twelve or thirteen when I last saw that episode, but he was funny. Looking back on the character now he makes me think he was one of those lame 80’s or 90’s characters that were overly aggressive and just plane annoying. So why did I decide to pick up Lobo: Highway to Hell and feature it on this week’s edition of Trade Tuesday? Simple, I’m a big fin of the band Anthrax, and Scott Ian (the guitarist) was brought in by DC Comics to write this book. If that wasn’t reason enough the art was done by Sam Kieth who created The Maxx.

lobohellThe story is pretty simple, Lobo is at home enjoying a day off until  a couple of dead space dolphins are thrown through his window. Lobo seems to have an affinity for these gentle space mammals so he’s down right pissed off and ready to go out and avenge these creatures. Attached to one of the dead dolphins  is a note from Satan to call him at 1-666-C-U-N-HELL. Well instead of giving the eternal master of evil a phone call Lobo gets on his space bike and heads streight for an inter-dimensional-what’s-it that sends Lobo to Hell.

Once in Hell, Lobo fights his way through a sea of the damned to force his way onto the cruise ship of the river Styx where he spends some time killing and drinking until he ends up sinking the entire ship and making his way to the road to Hell. Then Lobo finally reaches Downtown Hell where once again he is forced to fight his way through an army of the damned until there’s nothing left but a squishy sea of rotting flesh. After making his victory over the damned Lobo finally finds Satan himself, or herself because Satan has taken the form of an adorable little blonde-haired girl. Lobo tries to confront her about the dead dolphins, but she’s only interested in showing Lobo her “Fashion Show From Hell.” So Lobo does what comes natural and threatens Satan with his “I’m the toughest guy ever routine.” So Satan does what’s natural for him/her and shows Lobo who’s really in charge by lighting Lobo on fire and then putting him out with her/his own vomit.

Lobo is then sent through the worst tortures of Hell, standing in line at DMV Hell and getting eaten alive by a geisha’s demonic dress. Eventually Lobo fights his way out to go after who he believes is really the cause of all his trouble, Vril Drox who I guess has previously been a pain in the ass to Lobo. While Lobo gets a few good punches in, he eventually ends up getting his ass kicked back to Hell where Lobo is given the chance to kick the crap out of Satan, but after he defeats Satan Lobo is devoured by yet another army of damned souls. Eventually Lobo’s remains find their way back together, but when Lobo becomes himself again he discovers that he is surrounded by an unending army of himself that he’ll be forced to fight over and over.

Wow. That’s all I can really say after reading this book. This was one of the weirdest stories I have ever read, and I have a hard time making sense of it. It started out just kind of goofy, but by the time it got to the part where he’s going after Vril Drox, I was lost. I get that Vril was a hoax from Satan to throw Lobo off, but I didn’t see the point because he ended up right where he left off. I think the best thing about this book was the art. I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Maxx, but I always thought the art was cool. It’s just such a weird style, and I think it’s the only art that could have possibly worked for this story. While reading it though, it definitely felt like a first time writer, don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of Scott Ian, and for a first book I think he did a good job. I’m even willing to pick up their next collaboration for DC Comics, The Demon, when that comes out. I think the biggest problem with this book is the price, it’s only two issues and even though they’re pretty lengthy I think the list price of $19.99 is a bit much. You can get it cheaper on Amazon for about fifteen bucks, but I think even that is a bit much. The fact that I read this in about twenty minutes makes me think it shouldn’t have been more than ten dollars.

Ken Zeider