It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not least when LOBO is around to boost the festive spirit. In the words of DC Comics' beer-swilling bruiser:
Ya'd better watch out -- ya'd better not cry! Ya'd better not pout, I'm tellin' ya why -- Santa 'Bo is comin' to town!
Released in December of 1991, the Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special offered the first appearance of Rudolph the Mutant Reindeer (who promptly perishes), Kris “Crusher” Kringle (he also kicks the bucket), Santa’s elves (yep, they die, too), and the Easter Bunny. Who survives unscathed. Go figure.
The comic book’s cover came emblazoned with some tongue-in-cheek (yet accurate) words of warning:
"Contains Bad Taste In The Form Of Ultra-Violence, Icon-Bashing, And "The Finger." More Offensive Than Christmas Usually Is.”
Writers Keith Giffen and Alan Grant concocted the carnage, with Simon Bisley providing deliciously sinister art. The story introduces Aurifice and Ferryt Thung, who stumble upon "The Lobo Xmas Sanction." Besieged with the pressures that coincide with Christmas, the couple are relieved to find the book offers tips on how to handle Holiday Season Madness.
We then join Lobo en route to a bar, accompanied by Dawg, his trusty canine companion. Lobo meets with the Easter Bunny, who, having quaffed a heroic dose of festive cheer, is in an extreme state of refreshment. Unimpressed with Christmas and its savage upstaging of other holidays, the Easter Bunny has decided to punish the man responsible: Santa Claus! All too eager to obliterate the beard-bearing deliverer of gifts, Lobo jets off to the North Pole.
Gatecrashing Santa’s workshop and mowing down the hapless elves within, Santa's toy factory soon resembles Kill Bill’s “House of Blue Leaves” restaurant scene (or at least, its gore-soaked aftermath), leaving Lobo free to infiltrate Kris “Crusher” Kringle’s personal dwelling.
But he sure ain't a jolly bearded bloke draped in red...oh no. This Santa is a fiendish advocate of mindless violence! Armed to the teeth with flesh-puncturing shivs (and backed up by Kong, a brutish gorilla), Kringle engages in battle with his bloodthirsty foe.
In true festive spirit, Santa finds himself decapitated with one of his own razor-sharp weapons. Lobo then takes Rudolph (the mutant version) out back and executes him. Ho ho ho!
But the murderous lunatic isn’t done yet! After pilfering Kringle’s sleigh, Lobo identifies a fresh opportunity for mayhem—loading the Santa mobile with bombs and dropping them on unsuspecting dwellings across the globe!
(Interestingly enough, director Scott Leberecht adapted this tale into a short film in 2002. Part of the American Film Institute's director's studies program, it was made with a budget of only $2,400.)
The comic book wraps with a revolting rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”:
Rudolph the Mutant Reindeer
Was very aptly named
He had a fraggin' monstrous schnozzle
Of which he was ashamed
Then one starry xmas night,
Lobo came to say --
"Rudolph lead my sleigh tonight --
Or I'll blow you away!
We then see poor Rudolph groveling for mercy. Alas, he won't receive any—a gunshot rings out, followed by a loud, dead reindeer-induced thud.
Ebenezer Scrooge, hate Christmas? Bah, humbug! Compared to Lobo, he's the season of goodwill's most warmhearted enthusiast.
A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!