Lobster Random

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Lobster Random is a comic strip that ran in 2000 AD, created by Simon Spurrier and Carl Critchlow.

Lobster Random was once just an average grunt. After being wounded in combat (his first gunfight no less), he is "volunteered" into the Lobster squad and given a pair of lobster claws grafted onto his hips. The result of this is he can no longer feel pain nor does he need to sleep. After winning the war, his entire unit barring himself and his Sergeant are wiped out in an explosion at a celebratory party. Lob himself is discharged and becomes a torturer for hire.

After many years travelling the galaxy dispensing pain, he is apprehended and sent to prison. Our story begins as Lob is about to be executed by use of a memory regression machine when he is rescued with a job offer.

The strip is known for its Black Comedy and its protagonist is in keeping with the comic's tradition of avoiding square jawed handsome hero types.

Tropes used in Lobster Random include:
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The claws. Also the mind spheres used by the Skeaxxians against human soldiers, causing them to have vivid nightmares and kill each other. The Lobster Squad's lack of need for sleep means that they don't dream and, therefore are immune.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Lob loses one of his claws when Cadmium Redd slices it off. Lob replaces it with a mechanical claw until he loses that and his other claw on the Vort. Also, his left arm has been amputated on three separate occasions. And twice he has done this himself.
  • Big Bad: Warathraal.
  • Brains and Brawn: Played with with Hogg and Pinn. Turns out the skinny guy with the massive head, Pinn, is the brawn, while the massive pig-like creature, Hogg, is the brains.
  • Bounty Hunter: Hogg and Pinn.
  • Combat Pragmatist
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Damn near everyone.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Random.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sergeant Lobster Diaz.
  • Exposition Fairy: Oddly done. Random's execution is performed like this. It essentially shows his entire life in reverse, starting from his time on Death Row and finishing with his earliest childhood memories.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Random tortures Sergeant Diaz by surgically implanting a mindsphere into his brain, leaving him unable to come into contact with anybody. He later grants him a Mercy Kill.
  • Feel No Pain
  • Future Slang: Mostly swear words (Frag seems to be the most common one), but a few other terms show up.
  • A God Am I: Cadmium Redd and Warathraal.
  • Grumpy Old Man
  • Hammerspace: Random's bag in the first story allows him to pull out anything as he needs it. Lampshaded when he is examining a guy he needs to torture, explaining how chakras can be used in torture, before dismissing it and hauling out a massive sledgehammer and proceeding to beat his victim with it.
  • Heroic Sociopath: Lob, so very very much.
  • Interspecies Romance: Random is a mechaphile (or "mekfag"). That is, he is only sexually attracted to robots, whether they be male, female or otherwise.
  • Meaningful Name: Rex Ferris. The Lobster squad could also count, seeing as their first names were all changed to Lobster.
  • Outlaw Couple: Random and Mrs Redd become this for a while. Their modus operandi involves Mrs Redd's robotic body disguising itself as a live woman and seducing billionaires into marriage, after which Random would torture them into a huge divorce settlement.
  • Robosexual
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran
  • Shocking Swerve: The Vort was a seemingly unrelated story about a war on a planet where nothing electrical will work. The story focused on a journalist covering the war who escapes with a soldier named "Crispy". Turns out that Crispy is actually Random who was compelled to go there by Warathraal to help him cross dimensions.
  • War Is Hell: The war backstory from Random's youth is over the planet Nixx's proximity to a wormhole. The humans and Skeaxxians spend years fighting over it, with heavy casualties on both sides (Random states that the rainforests went extinct due to the high volume of KIA letters sent to families) until the humans work out a way to overcome the Skeaxxians' Applied Phlebotinum weapon with the lobster squad. Cue the end of the war and the humans send probes through.......only to find nothing on the other side. Understandably, Random sees setting foot on Nixx as Nightmare Fuel, particularly when Cadmium Redd resurrects the dead lobster troopers as zombies.
  • Weapon of Choice: Random's is the blowtorch.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Cadmium Redd's fate.