After a few more very brief appearances, Lobo was stuck in purgatory for effectively the rest of the 80s. The very next decade, he gets a rework, the one he needed. In his self titled solo run, he went from unused and incredibly sinister, to hilariously reckless and edgy. He was created to be a space biker bounty hunter with the personality of Frank Castle and Wolverine combined. The series was honestly always meant to be fun and never serious, you can read it as serious but after enough frags and bastiches, you’ll have a grin over Lobo’s constant shenanigans. Whether he was hunting down and fumbling over an A list character, or completely destroying nameless fodder it was hard not to have quite a large, smug faced grin on your face while Lobo dumped nuclear shotgun shells into a bounty at close range.
This is the look that Lobo carried for the next 14 years, having very many different media appearances in this fashion. Appearing in crossover events like Lobocop and Lobo vs. The Mask, the first installment of the Injustice video game/comic book event and the Justice League animated series that ran on Cartoon Network. The Main Man was easily at the height of his popularity. Having the budget for and demand for the adult-oriented Lobo: Unbound, an amazing six-part series that was written without real censorship. He was actually the MAIN man, but all good things must come to an end. DC comics ensured that would happen to most characters after The Flashpoint Paradox when the entire DC canon is rebooted and stated “fresh.” As we know there was major backlash because of this, Lobo, in my honest opinion didn’t survive the verse wipe.
In 2014 Lobo got his chance in the New 52, with a new self-titled series meant to showcase his origin (which had been done already) the first few issues seemed a bit promising. Lobo was slimmed down and returned to his ruthless and cunning self he was during his inception. This rework did not give us the Lobo we all knew, nor did we get a rework worth liking. Instead, we got what amounts to an alien Dick Grayson who dual wields hooks and behaves like Jason Todd (ick.) He has a rather interesting depth to him in his new origin, providing some culture for the race that Lobo had originally killed off himself in an elementary school science project. However, when the story shifts from this is our new Lobo to, this Lobo is hunting the Lobo that we are missing in our hearts, your care for the protagonist begins to slip away. It felt the writer was rubbing it our faces at that point, waving around our favorite interplanetary doofus just to keep reminding us that he’s going to die. The series only lasted thirteen issues for an obvious reason, but we haven’t seen OUR main man the REAL main man in quite some time. Personally, I think its a fragging bastich.
Some reading if you want to see this for yourself
The Omega Men #3
Lobo vs The Mask