It's the cover that changed everything. Simon Bisley's painted cover for the first issue of the Lobo series and his art for the interior is what introduced most Americans to the man. Working with his 2000AD/Judge Dredd partner, Alan Grant, they recreated the spandex-wearing neat-and-tidy intergalactic mercenary originally created by Keith Giffen by interpreting Lobo as the late Lemmy from Motorhead. Long scraggly hair, overblown muscles, a wicked scowl, and a tongue too long for his face, the Simon Bisley version of the Last Czarnian was a world away from the original and was a turning point for the character, the creators, and the medium.
Writers attempted to use Lobo as a parody of the 1990s trend towards "grim and gritty" superhero stories, epitomized by Cable, Wolverine, and Punisher, but he was instead enthusiastically accepted by fans of the trend, generated a number of me-toos across the industry. And Wolverine even became even more Lobo-like. But it all began with this cover.
And that cover is currently being auctioned by Heritage and, at the time of writing, is going for over $50,000 but probably more by the time you read this. The auction ends at 12:00 PM Central Time, Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Warner Bros keep threatening a Lobo movie, originally from Guy Ritchie, then from Brad Peyton. Dwayne Johnson was in talks before he plumped for Black Adam instead. And most recently, Michael Bay has had interest, inspired by the Deadpool movies – a character whose success also owes a lot to Lobo. Might that raise the price even further?
Simon Bisley Lobo #1 Cover Original Art (DC, 1990). Iconic close-up of the mad Czarnian created for the premiere issue of his first miniseries by Simon Bisley, the artist most recognized for his stylized depiction of the interstellar mercenary. The striking image is painted in mixed media with a matted image area of 9.5" x 15", glass-front framed at 19.5" x 22.5". The frame has light wear. Signed by Bisley in the lower image area and in Excellent condition.