Well, that wasn’t as bad as the leaked design art made it look. Then again, it couldn’t possibly have been.
There was a lot of Internet nerd rage over Kenneth Rocafort’s new design of Lobo, and a lot of that rage included the terms, “Twilight,” “metrosexual,” and “Bieber only more effeminate and probably white due to liberal application of semen.” And I’m guessing that that was based on the fact that the dude is named “Lobo.” The world is full of wuss-looking swordsmen who fluidly chop apart all comers before moving on to woo the maidens fair. After all, Orlando Bloom doesn’t get more ‘tang than an astronaut because he is a credible-looking medieval warrior. If it takes you more than five seconds to realize that Genghis Khan could kill Orlando Bloom just by thinking about it really hard (if Khan wasn’t busy thinking about whether to make Bloom his woman), then you don’t need fantasy literature because you clearly are living in one.
The problem has been that name. If you’re gonna call that mincing pretty boy Lobo, you’re gonna piss off anyone who is a fan of The Main Man, even though writer Marguerite Bennett has tried to make it clear that this character is a completely different guy than the Lobo that we all know and love, and that that design was not a redesign of the traditional Lobo. But that is an easy thing to forget or to put aside when all you have is a drawing, labelled “Lobo”, of a dude who looks like he’s a sword away from being a regular at Tower of Power night at the Manhole Club.
Well, the story is now here, in Justice League #23.2, and having the whole package in front of you makes it clear that this dude is not Lobo. He’s got the same name, and he is gunning for Lobo, but it’s a different guy. And that went a long way toward taking some of the sting out of my initial reaction to that concept art.
What took a lot of the rest of that reaction out was the fact that Rocafort didn’t draw this issue. Which means that the “new” Lobo looks a lot less like a clown and leather fetishist’s fantasy about who’s on the other side of the glory hole.
And all things being equal, it’s actually not all that bad.