Review: “Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special” (DC Comics, Jolly Jinglings Special)

Welcome back to The Splintering’s Jolly Jinglings holiday event! Full disclosure! Today we’re going to look at one of my personal, all-time favorite comics: Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special. Written by Keith Giffen and Alan Grant, illustrated by Simon Bisley, and published by DC Comics in 1991, Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special is a gloriously violent one-shot comic strictly intended for mature audiences.

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The “story” opens with a man and his wife on an alien world, and the husband has been fired from his job just before Christmas, and he will therefore not be able to provide the full measure of holiday cheer for his family. The big problem? Apparently, on whatever planet they reside, children are known to get quite violent – murderously so – if their Christmas joys are not to their liking.

Fearful for their lives, the couple decides that the best thing to do is to kill their own children before the kids get the jump on them. However, the impending bloodbath is put on hold when a special book miraculously appears before them! The first page promises to ruin Christmas so completely, that “If your kids still want a Christmas after the reading… we will pick up all burial expenses up to but no exceeding 3,500 credits!”

Sounds like a good deal, right? Before taking their chances, the couple reads on, which brings us to the main meat of the story…

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The intergalactic bounty hunter known only as Lobo is contracted by the Easter Bunny to take out Santa Claus, aka Kris “Krusher” Kringle. The Main Man never liked Christmas much, and holds a grudge against Saint Nick for never bringing him the presents he wanted as a kid, so he enthusiastically accepts the job.

What more is there to say about the “plot”? Not much. The remaining pages are dedicated to an ever-expanding massacre, including elves, reindeer, and of course, Krusher Kringle himself. If you enjoy partaking in a bit of the “ultra-violence” (as I do), you will love this book.

When it comes to this level of violence, artist Simon Bisley (Judge Dredd) is absolutely the man for the job. From the dichotomy between over-the-top action and deadpan humor, the disturbing character designs for the elves, and the painstaking detail with which he portrays the North Pole massacre, Bisley’s artwork is a perfect fit. It’s bloody, visceral, and at times – hilarious.

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This book is a Christmas miracle

If you have a bit of a bloodthirst in your entertainment appetite, then I definitely recommend Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special. It definitely sits near the top of my all-time favorite comic list, and is solely responsible for rekindling my interest in comic books back when I was a teenager. I love it. Always have. Bias: disclosed. If you have an aversion to over-the-top violence and want your comic stories to have some more meat on their bones, then there’s not much reason for you to pick it up.

If you are interested, you can still get a digital version of the book on ComiXology via Amazon for just $1.95, which is even less than the original $2.39 cover price. Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special is also one of three books available in the 2006 trade paperback Lobo/The Authority: Holiday Hell,  which is also available on ComiXology for $7.95.

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Have a merry fraggin’ Christmas, ya’ bastiches!

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