Monday, August 3, 2015

Lobo the Duck #1 Review

Written by: Al Grant
Art by: Val Semeiks and Francesco Ponzi
Cover Price: $1.95
Release Date: June 1, 1997
Publisher: Amalgam Comics

Duck and Roll (a Cigar)

It's Monday again and while that means I had to get up early for work this morning, it also means that I can pick any book my little heart desires and review it for Just for the Hell of it Monday!  This week I bring you my review of Lobo the Duck #1.  Amalgam Comics was a shared imprint of Marvel and DC which they used to combine some of their most popular characters into one crazy ass character. Some of the cooler ones were the Batman/Wolverine combination, Dark Claw and the Iron Man/Green Lantern amalgam, Iron Lantern.  However, none of them jump off the page at me like the book I'm reviewing here.  I like the old Lobo enough and while I never got into Howard the Duck (yes, I did see the movie, but never read the comic), the combination of the two somehow turns this into a must read in my opinion.  Now that I've read it, is it still on the top of my list of Amalgam books?  Let's find out...

The issue begins with Lobo the Duck amid the rubble of Manhattan.  The city is in ruins and while our hero tells us why, he also realizes that all the other heroes are dead.  He does have his continuity be damned pet, Impossible Dawg (an amalgam of Marvel's Impossible Man and DC's Dawg) and while both head off for a bite and a beer, they are being watched by the henchmen of Dr, Bongface.

The fun of an event like this is to see what crazy characters show up and the next scene was just  While Lobo grabs a brew and plans his next move, he tangles with Ambush the Lunatic (Ambush Bug + Lunatik).  While Ambush gets the early lead in laughs and punches, Lobo mounts a big comeback and makes a meal out of his opponent...literally.  Being a combo of two lady loving characters, it's no surprise that he enjoys the spoils of his victory and yes, I mean he gets very lucky.

After a funny, fourth wall breaking moment, things get a little hairy (feathery?) for Lobo.  He's caught with his hands in two cookie jars by his gal, Bevarlene, and she is none too happy.  She kicks him to the curb and throws him right into another bunch of cool amalgam characters, Jonas the Turnip, Gamorola and Billie the Millie.

While Jonas dukes it out with his brother, Lobo keeps the ladies company, but again is interrupted by a jealous Bevarlene and it's off to face Gold Kidney-Lady.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but...actually, it's pretty damned ridiculous!  While Kidney-Lady wants to cleanse the planet, Lobo has other plans.  He fills GK-L with lead and like any crazy book worth it's salt, that causes the Gravitoninoutometer to pull the Moon towards Earth and inevitable destruction.  And...scene.

It's hard not to expect utter craziness when you combine Lobo and Howard the Duck, but this was was more lunacy than I expected.  The fourth wall stuff was really good and fit the characters and the story, but it was the editor notes referencing nonexistent books that made me laugh the most.  In the end, this was a fun, fast read that had little story and ended with the unfulfilled promise of more to come...and I really liked it.  I didn't love it like I was hoping, but I liked it more than most of the Lobo books I've read and it was my favorite (and only) Howard the Duck story I've ever read.

Val Semeiks' art was exactly what I'd want for a book like this.  Lobo the Duck's character model was outstanding and everything had a cartoony, but brutal look.  Everything had a Chuck Jones on a whisky bender look that fit the story so well.

Bits and Pieces:

While I wanted more of a complete and self contained story, Lobo the Duck #1 was exactly what I'd thought it would be, a fun, inappropriate action romp.  It's a shame we didn't get more of this, but at least we got this issue with great art and an even greater lead character.  Some day we might get to return to the Main Duck, but I doubt it.


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