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I've always been a huge fan of the "smooth" talking and quick fragging Lobo. I picked up the first part of Lobo: Highway to Hell at a convention for 50 cents and read it the minute I got out of there. Unfortunately, it failed almost all of my expectations. Lobo didn't have as many funny moments as he usually does and the story is not a highway to hell, but a highway to a bad story that is so simplistic it becomes unentertaining. The only redeeming quality is the artwork, which is the best work I've ever seen on a Lobo title.
So, the Devil kills a dolphin which causes Lobo to become extremely upset and he takes a cruise ship to hell to kill him. Lobo may not have the greatest stories, but this one is overlooked and the gore is increased to try to disguise this fact. It is one of the oddest ideas I've ever heard of, and unfortunately the eccentric tale is not a good thing in this case. I didn't find myself laughing like I expected to, and Lobo wasn't as much of a macho man as I would've liked. He gets upset when a guy is about to eat a fish! Lobo is supposed to be very close with the dolphins, but for a guy who kills people for a living you would think he could act a little more manly about it.
The comic is written by the first time writer Scott Ian, a metal icon from a band known as Anthrax. Since it is his first time you would not expect anything fantastic. It reads rather choppy and could have been fleshed out a lot more.
Mostly, I caught myself staring at the pictures rather than reading the text. Like the story, Sam Keith's art is definitely different than your average comic book. It looks painted and can really be breathtaking... though most of the scenes consist of carnage and blood. It is one of those styles, however, that people either love or hate. If you enjoy the art in most titles published by Vertigo you may be pleasantly surprised that someone at DC could duplicate that so well. If you are a fan of DC's usual style, the drawings may just look like scribbles to you.
If anything, don't pick this up for the outrageous cover price of $6.99. Finding it at a convention cheap like I did may be worth it (and I use that term very loosely). People may like this book a lot if they are huge fans of metal since it is written by a guitarist who insists on putting references in the book fans of heavy metal can pick up on.
WARNING: To any parents looking to get their young kids a present, most Lobo titles, including this one, have vulgar references, blood and gore. You have been warned.