"Ars Longa, Vita Fraggis!": Within the walls of Curbyesk Prison, two guards lead an inmate named Stanley to his punishment for participating in a recent riot. They shove the inmate into a pit with a device that contains the most dangerous convict in the entire prison, if not the universe. A sent

Quote1.png Ahhh... I can already hear the sounds of cities exploding! The dear, sweet cries of burning children calling for parental aid. The last desperate gasp of nuclear-fried populations. True art! Quote2.png
The Neural Djinn

Lobo (Volume 2) #58 is an issue of the series Lobo (Volume 2) with a cover date of January, 1999.

Appearing in "Ars Longa, Vita Fraggis!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


  • The Neural Djinn (Only appearance; dies)
  • Shoon-Daa (Only appearance; dies)
  • Rockcliffe (Only appearance; as a corpse)
  • Zkooter (Mentioned only)

Other Characters:

  • Stanley (Single appearance)
  • Queen of the Stranko System (Single appearance)
  • Barnsley (Single appearance)
  • Black Cat (Only appearance; dies)
  • Orion (Cameo)



Synopsis for "Ars Longa, Vita Fraggis!"

Within the walls of Curbyesk Prison, two guards lead an inmate named Stanley to his punishment for participating in a recent riot. They shove the inmate into a pit with a device that contains the most dangerous convict in the entire prison, if not the universe. A sentient free-form neural impulse that has no physical body, other than the ones it chooses to take possession of. Known only as the Neural Djinn, the incorporeal being considered itself to be a great artist, whose "masterpieces" consist of destroyed worlds. Stanley is quickly possessed by the Neural Djinn who revels in the fact that he will soon be free. The guard laughs, pointing out that the Djinn can only transfer himself into a body a maximum of ten feet away. The second guard punches his associate to the ground without warning, having made a deal with the convict, but now within range, the Neutral Djinn takes over the his form. In the prison guard's body, he strolls the halls until he locates his psychotic partner in crime, Shoon-Daa. Releasing her, he tells his accomplice they must hurry, for the muse is upon him.

Deep in an ancient galaxy, Lobo stands on the lifeless body of Rockcliffe, a mountainous bounty of living stone, when he notices an approaching royal-class starship from the Stranko System. The royal guards announce the Queen as she makes her way out of the vessel. Lobo insults the royal highness and demands his payment for slaying Rockcliffe. The Queen, on the other hand, has since uncovered that Rockcliffe did not act alone in looting her treasury, and asks Lobo to also track down her husband, Zkooter. Lobo is only interested in the original deal, so the Queen offers to double the reward. Before Lobo has a chance to mull it over, a messaging device forces its way out of his ear. A universal bounty has been issued for the Neural Djinn and Shoon-Daa, who were last seen heading towards Earth, a one billion credit price placed on their heads. The device enters Lobo's ear again, and he summons his ride with Dawg sitting behind the controls.

Taking the passenger seat to ponder his options, Lobo and Dawg launch into space. They don't get far before a delivery drone streaks alongside with a parcel, asking for a five hundred credit postage fee. 'Bo takes the envelope and destroys the drone. Opening up the mail from the Queen, Lobo pulls out a sock, reminding him that the Stranko System uses them for currency. Already owning a pair of socks makes Lobo's decision much easier, and he forgets about Zkooter and heads toward Earth after the big prize.

The Neural Djinn, as always, primes his canvas by heading first to the planet's seat of power, teleporting himself to Washington, D.C.. In the Oval Office, the Secretary of State has a pronounced case of hiccups and insists on placing a paper bag over his head until they subside. His colleague, Barnsley, asks him to remove the distracting headdress, and the Secretary makes light of his concern, saying no one's going mistake him for the President just because his face is hidden. Their conversation is interrupted violently as the wall caves inward, terrifying a black cat. Shoon-Daa announces herself with a sinister greeting to the "President" and the Djinn follows close behind, not hesitating to take control of the supposed Commander in Chief.

Lobo fails to enter Earth unnoticed like his quarry, and finds himself answering to Superman. Lobo explains the Neural Djinn's plans to destroy the planet and how he once stopped him before, as he is the only being the Djinn seems incapable of possessing. After hearing the bounty hunter out, Superman reluctantly agrees to send him after the threat, provided he promises that no one else gets hurt. The Main Man gives his word and leaves the supercheez to stop any nukes the Djinn might manage to launch.

Taking to the sky in Air Force One, the Neural Djinn prepares his palette, the briefcase from which he can control America's nuclear capabilities. Strangely, a knock coming from outside the door at 35,000 feet intrigues the Djinn. Lobo clings to the side of the plane, knowing the predictable Djinn would hijack the top dog. A fist smashing through the door into his face catches Lobo off guard, and without the ability of flight, he plummets towards the ground.

Lobo ploughs into a rural barn and brushes off the fall. He ambles outside where crosses the path of the kind, elderly couple who own the farm. The woman coos at what she believes is a alien infant she can adopt and raise as her own. Lobo gets right up close to her face and tells maw that baby wants to breast feed. The old man catches his fainting wife and 'Bo walks off chuckling.

On Air Force One, the Djinn cracks the launch codes with confident ease, and initiates the end of the world just before Lobo makes a speedy return on his spacehog, barrelling into the aircraft like a cannonball. Shoon-Daa engages in battle with Lobo, hoping to best him in their second meeting. While the rivals brawl, the Neural Djinn transfers himself to a less conspicuous host, the black cat from the White House. However, the Djinn's new guise still garners the attention of Dawg and the animals tussle also. Dawg mauls the feline fraud and tosses it from the plane, but the Neural Djinn manages to transfer to another body at the last second, while the helpless cat dies at the hands of gravity. Lobo follows suit and shakes Shoon-Daa between his teeth, flinging her from the aircraft, and she too makes a fatal impact with Texas.

With the lackey dead, Lobo hunts for the Djinn. The Secretary of State cowers before him, pleading for his life between hiccups. Lobo traces the Djinn's movements in his mind, leading him to the last living creature in the plane. With merciless vigour, Lobo stomps his canine companion relentlessly until he's satisfied that it, and the Neural Djinn, are finally dead.

Superman explains to Orion how he stopped the nuclear missiles that were launched in time, how the Neural Djinn died with the host, that Shoon-Daa's corpse was discovered by a Texan family of cannibals, that Lobo had the dog stuffed and displayed in a freak show, and the Secretary of State was fine, except for now having bad gas instead of hiccups.



  • On his way to Earth, Lobo passes a sign post with the Vega System in the opposite direction of Earth. Lobo originally appeared in The Omega Men who are from Vega.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

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