Review – Crush & Lobo #1: Dysfunctional Day Trip

Comic Books DC This Week
Crush & Lobo #1 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Crush & Lobo #1 – Mariko Tamaki, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: This is an odd project, and an even odder project when you consider that it’s written by one of the hottest writers in the industry. Mariko Tamaki is an acclaimed Eisner-winner. Crush is the daughter of Lobo introduced in the previous Teen Titans run, which wasn’t regarded all that well. But good stories can come out of anything, and Crush’s previous short anthology tale—where she was revealed to be a lesbian—showed sides of the character that we hadn’t seen in the main run. Tamaki nicely builds on that with a first issue that shows Crush as someone who, in many ways, doesn’t know how to be happy. Her biological dad is a mass murderer and her adoptive parents were trainwreck criminals, so her frame for relationships is a little askew—as we see when she’s a complete disaster at her human girlfriend’s birthday party, even accidentally causing a minor alien attack due to cross-contamination.

Fight night. Via DC Comics.

On the outs with her girlfriend and having recently quit the Teen Titans, Crush gets a visit from Red Arrow to try to talk things out—but she’s got more on her mind. We find out about her mysterious message from Lobo, as the ultraviolent maniac has been imprisoned and seems to want to talk things out and make amends. I’m guessing the truth is a little more complicated than that, but into space Crush goes for a probably ill-advised father-daughter reunion. This first issue has some funny moments, but is overall surprisingly melancholy. Crush is someone who has been let down by just about everyone in her life at some point. She’s prickly and honestly kind of unlikable, the kind of antihero women rarely get to be. She’s not always fun to read about, but you do wind up rooting for her. This isn’t a totally smooth first issue, but DC and Tamaki deserve praise for breaking the mold with LGBT leads in a similar way as Midnighter.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

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