Lobo is one of the most entertaining characters DC Comics has to offer. This anti-superhero, as he is usually described, is a guy whose stories are very fun to read. But Lobo is far from being ideal and he has often clashed with heroes around the universe. One of his more frequent opponents is Superman and their rivalry is one of the best-known in the DC Universe. But who would win, Lobo or Superman? We have the answers!
Superman would easily defeat a normal or just slightly stronger Lobo, but an overpowered Lobo would be a match for the Man of Steel, with the outcome likely being a draw or, possibly, even a win for Lobo.
For those of you who wanted to read about Lobo and Superman, you’re in the right place. First of all, we are going to talk about the two characters and their origins, before we actually compare them. Then, after comparing their powers and analysing some of their clashes, we are finally going to well you who the stronger one is among them. So, keep reading to find out more!
Lobo and his powers
Lobo is a fictional character from the DC Comics fictional universe. He is usually described as an antihero or an anti-superhero but his actual typology is very difficult to determine. He debuted in the comic Omega Men #3 (1983) and was created by Roger Slifer and Keith Giffen. His authors soon “abandoned” him and he was in limbo until he was “revived” back in the early ’90s, and has since become a popular member of DC’s roster.
Lobo is an alien born on the utopian planet of Czernia. He was initially portrayed as a villainous interstellar mercenary and bounty hunter. He enjoys violence and killing for the sake of killing; his name roughly translates to “he who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it”. The stories involving Lobo feature excessive and brutal violence.
Lobo is said to be the last surviving Czernian. Why? Well, as depicted in Lobo #0, Lobo unleashed a violent plague of flying scorpions upon Czernia, thereby killing every other Czernian. Why did he do it? For the fun of it, of course! This is just an example of his violent behaviour, which has been manifested quite often in the stories featuring him.
As a bounty hunter and mercenary, Lobo is surprisingly loyal. He firmly believes in the letter of an agreement and will absolutely never break it. This is his own personal, moral code which he – again, surprisingly – respects at all times. He is also a big fan of space dolphins and is highly protective of them, even feeding several of them from his home; if he sees a space dolphin being killed, he will avenge it in a disproportionately brutal manner. He is also known to frequent Al’s Diner, where he flirts with Darlene, the diner’s only waitress.
Lobo has crossed over and interacted with a variety of DC Comics characters (he is even friends with Guy Gardner, one of the Green Lanterns). For a time, he was the most popular DC Comics characters and has since appeared in several derivative materials, including animated films and TV shows, video games and feature series from the Arrowverse franchise and Krypton. A feature film based on the character has been in development for years and there are talks to release it as part of the DCEU.
Superman and his powers
Superman is one of the chief characters in the DC Comics universe. Born as Kal-El of Krypton, he was sent to Earth by his parents, moments before the tragic destruction of his home planet. On Earth, he landed in Kansas, near the estate of ones Jonathan and Martha Kent, two local farmers who took him in and raised him as their own child, giving him the name Clark Kent. Young Clark was thus raised in Smallville, not knowing his heritage and the powers he possesses.
As he grew up, Clark Kent became aware of his powers and found out about his heritage, but he decided to accept the Kents as his real parents, even after discovering his true identity. Most of these scenes include him discovering the messages left to him by his real father, Jor-El, through which he learns everything about himself and his heritage.
Later on, Clark Kent becomes a reporter for the Daily Planet, a Metropolis-based newspaper, while simultaneously “working” as Superman, the protector of Metropolis and the Earth. While working for the Daily Planet, Superman meets Jimmy Olsen, a trusted friend and ally, and Lois Lane, a big-shot reporter, with whom he eventually falls in love and starts a relationship. He’s also had an on-and-off relationship with Wonder Woman, but Lois was always his first and true love.
One of Superman’s first opponents was General Zod, another survivor from his home planet, who threatened Earth, before being stopped by Superman. Unlike some other DC superheroes, Superman has a lot of extra-terrestrial enemies, some of the most notable being Brainiac, the collector of planets, and Doomsday, a Kryptonian monstrosity matching Superman’s own powers. Still, his archenemy is a human, a very powerful and very intelligent human, but still only a human. His name is Lex Luthor and he plays a very important role in Superman’s crime fighting career.
Superman’s most famous nickname is the Man of Steel, which symbolises his superhuman strength and abilities. He is certainly the most powerful among the DC Comics heroes, but he also has a very strong weakness – Kryptonite. Those who know this, often used this to their advantage, since Kryptonite can do devastating damage to the Man of Steel.
He has appeared in a lot of derivative material, including a film series starring Christopher Reeve, the DCEU, where he’s played by Henry Cavill and several animated features.
Lobo vs Superman: Comparing their powers
Before we give a final verdict on who’s stronger, we have to see the powers these two characters have. As usual, we are going to list them and compare them briefly, before advancing to other sections of the article.
First, we’ll give you an insight into Superman’s powers. As far as Superman goes, his powers and feats are well-documented throughout the comics and it is very easy to find precise evidence of his feats and abilities. Superman has superhuman traits like strength, speed, durability and others. He can shoot burning lasers from his eyes and ice from his mouth. He can also fly and is generally able to stand his ground in any form of physical confrontation, despite the opponent. Although he looks like a god from a human perspective, he isn’t one. In fact, on Krypton he would’ve been like any human on Earth, but the Earth’s atmosphere and living conditions enhanced his powers in that environment.
It is important to know that Lobo was initially created as a parody of the Wolverine or Punisher-type of superhero. As it is common with parodies, his powers and abilities have been inconsistently portrayed as being very high and generally undefined. He is strong, but this ranged from regular superhuman strong to ridiculously overpowered. Lobo depends a lot on the author writing him, so don’t be surprised to see many variations of his powers.
As for his strength, it ranges from being slightly above the strength of a regular human to being on par with Superman’s; he was a match for Etrigan the Demon each time they fought. His durability also varies; he has been depicted as being vulnerable to bullets, but also as being resistant to most forms of injuries, similarly to Superman. You notice how much we compare Lobo to Superman? It’s because the two have a steady, ongoing rivalry between them. He has a very quick regenerative factor, which gives him an edge in certain situations, but he is not unkillable, although he is immortal, so go figure. He also doesn’t have to eat to survive! He is likewise very skilled in different forms of combat. Of his more ridiculous powers, we can list his ability to duplicate himself and his exceptional sense of smell, which enables him – like a dog – to track his targets across the galaxy.
When comparing Lobo to Superman, it becomes obvious that Superman has more powers and abilities than Lobo, but the ones they share are surprisingly similar. They both have superhuman strength, superhuman durability and a regenerative factor; sure, Lobo can’t fly, he doesn’t have heat vision or ice breath, but he has an awesome motorbike (the Space Hog), an arsenal of weapons and is a genius when it comes to destruction and chaos.
So, when actually comparing their powers, it is important to see the bigger picture, i.e., the author writing Lobo. Lobo has a similar skill set as Superman, but the intensity of those powers and, with it, his ability to be a match for the Man of Steel in a fight, depends a lot on the author’s own interpretation of Lobo. But that is part of Lobo’s charm – you never know what to expect, except that it’s going to be completely nuts!
How many times has Lobo fought Superman?
The question of how many times Lobo clashed with Superman is a very interesting one. Sadly, we don’t have the exact number, but we have managed to find several stories where the two of them fought and we’ve decided to present them to you so you can see how the fights ended for yourselves.
Lobo vs. Superman in comics
The first time the two of them met was in the story “Blood Brawl”, published in Adventures of Superman #464 (1990), written and drawn by Dan Jurgens.
In this story, a very, very drunk Lobo brags to a group of aliens, who discuss the upcoming fight between Draaga and Superman, that he could easily defeat the Man of Steel.
After getting him even drunker, the aliens coerce Lobo into actually fighting Superman, so the bounty hunter heads for Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, accompanied by a witness, Bibbo Bibbowski; Bibbowski was supposed to record the fight as evidence for the aliens.
Superman soon arrives and Lobo immediately challenges him to a fight, despite being completely drunk. Surprisingly enough, Lobo manages to put up a good match and Superman finds himself in a situation where he cannot win. As they fight, they reach a hidden chest full of Kryptonite which weakens Superman to Lobo’s astonishment.
But the mercenary doesn’t stop there and he fires two missiles at an armored Superman, apparently killing him. He then drinks some more and passes out. Later, he returns to the bar, having apparently killed Superman. He gives the two dolphin aliens the recorder he gave Bibbo, to record his fight with Superman as evidence of Superman’s demise.
The aliens check it, only to find that the recorder had been facing backward at Bibbo’s face the whole time, and none of Lobo’s fight with Superman was recorded.
Their second meeting came soon after in Adventures of Superman Annual #2 (1990), once again written by Jurgens. Sometime after their first encounter, Lobo and Superman meet once more when Superman accidentally comes across the L.E.G.I.O.N. ship.
Mistaking him for someone else, Lobo fires everything they have at Superman and then attacks him. After a brief fight, the two of them recognize each other, but Lobo was so drunk the first time they met that he thought he’d only heard of Superman; he had no idea that the two of them had actually fought.
The thing was calm for a while, but the two of them clashed once more, with Superman having to fight both Lobo and Lar Gand. This fight ended differently, with Superman, getting tired of Lobo and Lar Gand, grabs their heads, and smashes them together. After that, everyone realizes it was all a big misunderstanding, and Superman leaves.
The two of them met once again in Adventures of Superman Annual #4 (1992), in the story “In Blackest Night”, written by Robert Loren Fleming. In this story, Superman is possessed by Eclipso and is hiding inside a volcano in outer space.
The Justice League and L.E.G.I.O.N. track him down and formulate two plans, one of which included Lobo and several other characters going at Superman. Lobo was the first one to attack the eclipsed Superman and he got knocked out in a matter of seconds. Their third clash was short and sweet.
Their next encounter was in the story “Resurrection!”, which was published in Superman: The Man of Steel #30 (1994). In this story, Lobo comes to Earth to fight the newly resurrected Superman, wanting to prove that he is better than the Man of Steel.
This all happened after Lobo destroyed yet another planet in his usual manner; as he came to Earth, he caused havoc, which attracted Superman’s attention. The two of them engaged in a fight and Superman, who was now more powerful than before, beat Lobo to a pulp and finally punched him into space.
There, Lobo was targeted by Zombots and would have been in big trouble had Superman not found him and helped him; the two of them decide to stop their fighting.
The story was continued in L.E.G.I.O.N. #63 (1994), where Lobo “attacked” Superman while he was patrolling in space, only for him to reveal that he was actually recruiting him to help him fight some aliens, which Superman did.
At the end of this story, Superman once again saved Lobo before he crashed into the Sun. (This is important because being disintegrated by the Sun’s heat is one possible way of killing Lobo; he can resurrect himself if there’s even a drop of his blood left, so being completely wiped out of existence by the Sun could be a way to kill him).
A true shock happened in Lobo #50 (1998), in the story “Dead Heroes Don’t”, written by Alan Grant. In this surreal setting, Lobo is set to kill all the superheroes and he succeeds in killing several of them before eventually facing Superman Blue.
The two of them fight, with Superman Blue wanting to take down Lobo to avenge his dead friends, but he won’t kill him, which Lobo readily exploits. As soon as he realizes that Superman Blue is a being of energy and cannot be killed in the traditional way, Lobo fires an E.M.F. Oscillo-Disrupter at Superman Blue and turns his energy into a giant explosion.
The story was revealed to have been a collective experience experienced simultaneously by several superheroes.
In the 1999 comic Superman Adventures #29, which is set in the same continuity as the animates series Superman: The Animated Series, Lobo finds Bizarro and gives him a ride back to Earth because Bizarro wants to see Lois Lane once more.
Back on Earth, Bizarro kidnaps Lois, while Lobo causes havoc around town. Superman fights Lobo, who reveals Bizarro’s plan to turn Lois into a “Bizarro version” of herself. The two stop their fight and head to where Bizarro and Lois are, only to find a Bizarro Lois there.
Furious, Superman wants to kill Bizarro, but Bizarro soon reveals that the real Lois is safe and sound; Lobo stopped Superman from killing Bizarro. Disgusted by the turn of events, Lobo leaves the scene and returns back to space.
The one-shot DC First: Superman/Lobo #1 (2002) gave us another fight between Lobo and Superman. An alien crime syndicate called Hegemony contracts Lobo to kill Superman. Initially refusing, Lobo accepted the contract when he found out that Superman was, like himself, the last of his kind. (The difference is that Superman was orphaned when his planet was destructed, while Lobo killed his people himself. Out of fun.)
Lobo arrives on Earth and starts causing havoc, which attracts Superman’s attention. The two engage in a bitter fight, with Lobo trying to choke Superman with a chain before the Man of Steel sends him flying into a lake.
The Hegemony soon reveals their plan to steal the Earth’s water and turn on Lobo, which angers him so much that he considers the initial contract to be null and void. He reconciles with Superman and the two of them fight together to defeat the Hegemony.
Lobo also appears in the Injustice Universe, where he has a brief and unsuccessful fight against Superman in Injustice: Gods Among Us Annual #1 (2014). Lobo reveals that Darkseid hired him to kill Superman after the latter had killed Darkseid’s son, Kalibak.
Lobo arrives on Earth and confronts Superman, but the Man of Steel easily beats him and then flies of with him to the Sun, wondering whether he would be able to regenerate if he is disintegrated by the Sun. Superman ultimately doesn’t kill Lobo but offers him to find Harley Quinn for him, which Lobo accepts.
Finally, the last fight between Lobo and Superman we managed to find was among the most epic the two had. In the alternative reality of Superman: American Alien #7 (2016), Superman observes a burning building from the sky as a mysterious figure on a motorcycle approaches him.
The two of them talk, with Superman pleading the mysterious man to leave Earth. He refuses and after a brief conversation the two of them engage in a bitter fight. The mysterious man introduces himself as Lobo and the two engage in a destructive clash on Earth.
It seems that Lobo has the upper hand, being the more experienced of the two, but Superman manages to find additional power within himself and, after burning him with his heat vision, punches Lobo into space, far away from Earth.
And with this story, we conclude our analysis of the encounters between Lobo and Superman. The list might not be complete as we might’ve missed some lesser known encounters, but we have still managed to find enough to corroborate our final verdict in the following section.
This, of course, doesn’t all the encounters between Lobo and Superman, rather just those during which they have actually fought. The more cordial meetings aren’t relevant for this article.
Here is a summary of all the fights between Lobo and Superman that we’ve managed to collect while doing our research. The list might not be complete, but we have collected all the major fights and you can use the table as a reference point without hesitation. Here it is:
|1||Adventures of Superman #464||1990||Lobo|
|2||Adventures of Superman Annual #2||1990||Superman|
|3||Adventures of Superman Annual #4||1992||Superman|
|4||Superman: The Man of Steel #30||1994||Superman|
|6||Superman Adventures #29||1999||No contest|
|7||DC First: Superman/Lobo #1||2002||Draw|
|8||Injustice: Gods Among Us Annual #1||2014||Superman|
|9||Superman: American Alien #7||2016||Superman|
Who would win – Lobo or Superman?
Now that we’ve told you everything you need to know, we can finally answer the main question – is Lobo stronger than Superman?
After writing everything we’ve written, you’d think the answer would be simple, but it’s not. Namely, the Lobo character has been so inconsistently written that we cannot even pinpoint just one version that we’d pit against the Man of Steel.
Their comic book encounters show a clear advantage of the Last Son of Krypton, but when Lobo won – he won convincingly. The first time, Superman had to fake his own death to defeat a drunk Lobo; the second time, Superman Blue was completely disintegrated. When Superman won, he’d usually just beat Lobo unconscious or, sometimes, not even that.
So, how do we determine the answer? Well, we decided for an approach which stresses out the inconsistencies of Lobo’s character, taking into account three different versions of Lobo, as presented in the comics.
A Lobo with a regular power level (encounters 2, 3, and 4) doesn’t really stand a chance against Superman. Certainly, the Man of Steel couldn’t kill him (and he probably wouldn’t, even if he could), but he could and did defeat him with ease. The encounters we have found demonstrate this, so in this scenario – Superman is the clear winner.
If we’re dealing with a slightly stronger Lobo (encounters 6, 7, 8, and 9), Superman still seems to be the winner, but he has much more trouble in such cases. In the first-case scenario, Superman easily defeats Lobo, while in these cases – he has to make an effort. This Lobo is by no means an easy opponent and Superman has to give it his best to defeat the Main Man, but he is still able to do it.
Finally, we have to consider a ridiculously overpowered Lobo, which is not something unimaginable. As the comic books show (encounters 1 and 5), this version of Lobo can defeat Superman and it did. In their first encounter, Superman had to run away and in their second encounter, Superman was disintegrated.
This Lobo, whether he’s drunk or sober, is extremely strong and this is where his powers really kick in. He probably wouldn’t kill Superman even in this form, but he would be and was able to defeat him in a one-on-one fight.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!