Lobo/Road Runner Special
Writer: Bill Morrison
Artist: Kelley Jones
Colourist: Michelle Madsen
Letterer: Rob Leigh
A review by Amelia Wellman
I don’t know a single thing about DC’s Lobo character, but I do know about the Road Runner and that bird is pretty obnoxious and begging for his comeuppance! So while I’m just a little disappointed that it’s not the Flash with Road Runner (now that I’ve said that, you want it too, yeah?), I was excited to see Wile E. Coyote perhaps get the prize he’s been chasing for sixty-eight years.
In this second round of DC/Looney Tunes crossover one-shot comics, Wile E. Coyote travels to the far reaches of space to hire Lobo to hunt down and kill his greatest nemesis of all time, the Road Runner. And when the Coyote and Lobo are after him, the Road Runner knows if they catch him—he’s through.
The two stories of the Lobo/Road Runner Special are the “Fast and Fraggy-ous” which is Wile E. Coyote in a Lobo story and “But Wait, There’s More” which is Lobo in a Looney Tunes story. The first story takes up the bulk of the comic and has Lobo being contracted by Wile E. Coyote to finally catch and kill the Road Runner. It’s a story that sees a rather unsavoury scientific beginning to Wile but fails to really dive into why he feels compelled to chase the roadrunner. Lobo’s reasons are laid out well enough since he just wants money, but that’s really all we get of him as a character as well.
The second story plays out much the same as the first, just with a change in art style. Between the two stories, there’s not a lot of substance, at least there wasn’t for me, a reader who has never picked up a Lobo comic before. I feel like every trope that Lobo has is amplified here to meet those Looney Tunes proportions and it feels tacked on and annoying more than anything. Overall, if you’ve never read a Lobo comic before, this doesn’t strike me as the best place to start. After this, I’m not sure I’d ever want to read any other Lobo material.
A quote from Lobo himself sums up the art in the Lobo/Road Runner Special: grim and gritty realism. The first story features dark shadows, muted colours, and a Wile E. Coyote that’s definitely not the scrawny little ragamuffin you know from the cartoons. The second story’s art is a bright, colourful departure from that grim and gritty realism and puts Lobo right into a Looney Tunes cartoon. Bugs Bunny is even there to walk him through the changes he’s gone through, including the fact he’s got to keep it PG. But don’t worry, that still involves some violence, just cartoon violence! Which is illustrated in exaggerated faces and Looney Tunes approved gore. Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the stories, the art fit both narratives nicely.
Depending on how you feel about Lobo before going into the Lobo/Road Runner Special, this crossover can run (see what I did there?) from something you’ll like if you like Lobo to something you just won’t care about if you don’t care about Lobo. I personally fell at the don’t care end of the spectrum, but I don’t see why a Lobo fan wouldn’t enjoy this violently whimsical crossover.