Crush & Lobo Finds Joy in Its (Very) Imperfect Protagonists

Comic News

With a dad like the galactically infamous Czarnian bounty hunter Lobo, you might expect Crush to be a…difficult personality. And, well, you’d be right. The new series Crush & Lobo—issue #1 is out now—picks up with Crush rage-quitting the Teen Titans and blowing up her relationship with her too-good-to-be-true girlfriend, Katie.

Next self-destructive stop? Confronting her dad in space jail, setting Crush off on a galactic road trip to confront the DC Multiverse’s worst dad.

The eight-issue Crush & Lobo series, launching as part of the many DC Pride initiatives planned for the month of June, is written by Mariko Tamaki (who previously wrote Crush in a Teen Titans story published on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE earlier this year as Let Them Live!: Unpublished Tales from the DC Vault #6) and illustrated by Amancay Nahuelpan and Tamra Bonvillain. Tamaki talked with DC Nation about telling a story of Crush on her own away from the Teen Titans, the character’s frustratingly familiar relatability and the “challenging” role Lobo plays in the series.

Now that Crush is on her own, what aspects of her character are you exploring in this series?

I would say that this is a very personal side of Crush. The amazing thing about a character like Crush is that she doesn’t have any semblance of a professional veneer. Who she was as a Titan is who she is all the time, which possibly made being a Titan a bit of a challenge. I think this series is a chance to see Crush “on her own” and look at her “relationship” with Lobo and how she has made a mess of everything else.

This is the first time we’re meeting Katie. What can you share about her?

Well, you’ll get to see how Katie met Crush. Katie is an awesome girlfriend. Crush is not. Which is not to say that Katie is perfect. But if you knew Katie and Crush and they broke up, it wouldn’t be a tricky choice as to whose side you were on. I don’t think you’d be returning Crush’s texts if they broke up. You’d be bringing Katie cake and ice cream.

The pages released so far display a unique and distinct energy. What’s it been like collaborating with Amancay and Tamra on this series? 

It is a joy. This team, which includes Andrea Shea—who is just the most amazing editor and collaborator—has been a great reminder of how making comics can be silly and fun. Like, ridiculously fun. I just feel like everything flows and it’s been so fabulous to see Amancay bring it all to life with Tamra and our letterer Ariana Maher.

Crush is…complicated. Do you see her as more relatable than readers may expect (or admit)? 

There’s certainly a thing about superheroes, where they can be a little untouchable. A little perfect. Crush is only untouchable in that if you touched her without asking, she would break your finger. She makes terrible choices. She is so far from perfect she doesn’t even know where perfect lives. I think imperfect people are frustrating and familiar. 

What role does Lobo play in the series?

Lobo is a source and a catalyst. He is part of Crush’s origin story. He’s a thing she trips over. Often. He’s a challenge.

How much fun is exploring the outer space setting of the series? How weird does this allow you to get? 

Oh, it gets very weird. If you could see my Google search. It is…interesting.
 

Crush & Lobo #1 by Mariko Tamaki, Amancay Nahuelpan, Tamra Bonvillain and Ariana Maher is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

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