A gangland hood finds himself being stalked by the mysterious Lobster Johnson, which can mean only one thing; he’s hiding darker secrets than simple violence and murder.
We at Fanboy Confidential are pure, unadulterated Mike Mignola nuts, and the various mediums of his Hellboy related properties, it would be fair to say, brought the team, as it currently stands, together.
So, it dismays us that despite two feature films and two animated features, one of the more fun characters of the franchise has so far been mostly denied a mainstream voice and so (perhaps fittingly) remains a mystery to the average Joe.
I’m referring to a character called Lobster Johnson, proud owner of one of the more obscure handles in popular comics and 30s based pulp-style crime fighter. He first turned up as a semi-helpful apparition in the Hellboy stories proper, but over the years has taken centre stage in a number of his own mini-series and one shots.
The most recent of these one shots, Satan Smells A Rat, is available on the racks of your local comic shop this very week and is well worth giving a look.
It must be said that these adventures aren’t really essential reading, they effect the overall B.P.R.D. continuity very little and are never mind-blowingly original, but what they always ARE is fun. The stories themselves very much harken back to pulp era narratives, they’re pacey, to the point and more than a little ridiculous, and Satan Smells A Rat is no exception.
As is Mignola’s usual want of revolving solidly talented artists on his books, this particular Lobster Johnson yarn is privileged enough to have genuine industry maestro, Kevin Nowlan, onboard as artist, giving its imagery a level of clarity and detail that is worlds away from some of the other retro-pulp books on the stands at the moment (I’m looking in your direction Dynamite).
So, with great dialogue, excellent art and a mental story, Lobster Johnson: Satan Smells A Rat is about as much fun as you can have with a reasonably priced, stand-alone, twenty-some page comic. Go get it.
B- grade – for storytelling
B+ grade – for artwork
B+ grade – for genre content
Overall grade – B