NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6
It’s gotta feel good to be the main man. His introduction into the world of DC Comics may have been as a simple villain, an alien bounty hunter who was essentially un-killable, but the years since have turned Lobo into a certifiable legend. An anti-hero, space biker willing to take on almost any job for the right price, and likely to do it with as much blood and gore being spilled as possible (most of it, his own). But after DC’s Justice League vs. Suicide Squad event saw Lobo pulled out of imprisonment and into the fight, he’s bound for a high-profile role in the publisher’s future.
He may not be what comes to mind when picturing the most admirable, powerful, and team-oriented “superhero,” but at least in Batman’s eyes, Lobo proved he can do incredible things… if properly motivated. And when the events of the series resulted in the mercenary indebted to the Dark Knight, he wasted no time in calling in the favor. It’s hard to believe, but it’s really happening: Lobo is joining the Justice League.
Batman Does The Main Man a Solid
For those who missed out on the now-concluded Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, we’ll catch you up to speed as quick as possible. Aside from the title teams, it soon became evident that the real antagonists of the story were those criminals recruited by longtime DC villain Maxwell Lord – specifically, the original Suicide Squad that Amanda Waller had buried (literally) for years. Using that hatred for Waller, along with his own skills of telepathic suggestion, Lord soon brought the team to his command, and launched an assault on Belle Reve in order to steal a superweapon from Waller’s grasp.
As the Squad, League, and Lord’s lackeys duked it out, Lobo pursued Batman, completely unaware that he had bee mind-controlled by his new commander – despite Lobo’s promise to kill him, if he tried it. The only way to stop the unstoppable killer was to insert one of the infamous Suicide Squad brain-bombs, and blast Lobo’s head clean off his shoulders. When he came to, he was understandably upset – until Batman revealed his motives, and the extreme measures only served to endear the hero to the newly-resurrected mercenary.
Since he had only ever been in this fight for the money, and Amanda Waller needed to live to pay him, Lobo agreed to join Batman in battle alongside Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Deathstroke. The Dark Knight dubbed the group his brand new Justice League, establishing yet again that the Suicide Squad is far more complex an idea than simply ‘supervillains forced into action.’ The results were hard to ignore, too: Lobo followed the order to keep his attacks non-lethal, and proved to be a one-Czarnian wrecking crew who would never back down from a fight, no matter the odds.
Lobo Owes Batman a Favor
When the dust settled, the villains were defeated, and the world saved from self-destruction, the members of the League and Squad took a moment for relaxation. But as they swapped war stories, inquired as to the actual sanity of their peers, and how their powers are wielded in combat, Lobo had other concerns. Having been locked up since Waller’s first mission went wrong, he only had eyes for his beloved space hog, and the endless expanses of space and opportunity that the cosmic chopper could bring him. But he wasn’t the only fighter with a mind for more than distractions, or commiseration.
While Batman expects a fight from Lobo’s heightened excitement and the drawing of a cigar from his pocket, the killer-for-hire is only after peace. He may be brutal, but he’s got honor, too: Batman saved him from Maxwell Lord’s mental manipulation, and for that, he’s in the hero’s debt. It’s clear Lobo enjoys throwing Bats off his game by suggesting he would try to kill him regardless, leaving their interaction on a content, if not friendly note. And as tempting and useful as a free favor from an invincible space warrior might seem, Bruce Wayne doesn’t need to consider how to spend it.
Lobo convinced Batman of more than his skills in the fight for the planet’s population: he convinced him he was ready for something bigger.
The Dark Knight Has One Demand
That’s right, Batman’s one request is for Lobo to join the Justice League. The alien initially protests, explaining that he’s not much of a joiner, given the roaming galactic bounty hunter he remains at heart. But his word is his word, and Batman’s favor is being called in. Fans have known for some time that Lobo would be appearing alongside heroes like The Ray, Vixen, The Atom, and reformed villain Killer Frost in the upcoming Justice League of America, but the circumstances of his presence weren’t known.
Now we know that no matter how long he stays on the team, or how well he actually fits a team of do-gooders and tortured heroes, his entry into its ranks is no stunt. He showed up when others fled, fought well when he had to, took orders, and didn’t rest until the job was done. That may not earn him a solo title in Dc’s post-Rebirth era, but it definitely earns him a spot in Batman’s good books. How the series explains his commitment to an American offshoot of the Justice League, let alone an Earthbound version… well, that’s a story we think most fans will want to see told firsthand.
We can tell you this: given Lobo’s inability to be killed and lust for violence against those who deserve it, and paired with Killer Frost’s ability to take down the entire Justice League, the ‘of America’ may soon be a formality – with this team becoming plenty of readers’ preferred version.
Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #6 is available now.