In the 1930’s, crime is rampant, the world is different, and villains fear the burning hand of Lobster Johnson. Know for his ties to Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Johnson is back in a new miniseries: Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand. The first issue hits next week, marking the end of a four-year drought of Johnson stories: so is it worth the wait?
Lobster Johnson is a pulp-like hero set in the 1930’s, the hero that a young Hellboy grows up idolizing. A masked vigilante with a mean streak for justice and a habit of burning his famed lobster claw symbol into his victims, Johnson is well know throughout the Hellboy universe. This new series kicks off with a bang as groups of phantom Indians invade a city, to be more specific, attacking policemen. Right from the start, we see Johnson dispose justice in the best way he knows how: with bullets littering the skies.
Written by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and long time collaborator John Arcudi, the book has a very pulp, investigative feel to it. The phantom attackers have more secrets behind them than one would think, which has the police and reporters all scrambling to find out. Tonci Zonjic provides the artwork, as the world of Johnson is portrayed to a T. Fans of Mignola’s work will note that even though artist change from time to time, the same aesthetic feel is present: the simple, almost animated look that we know from Hellboy and the Amazing Screw-On Head is present, just with more of a throwback flare to it.
For someone who has never read a Lobster Johnson story, this book was relatively easy to pick up and follow. At times, the book is a little heavy on the text and light on the action, but being the first issue, you know this is all the set up for another outrageous Mignola style battle royal. Highly entertaining, I give Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1 @@@@ out of 5.
For more information on Lobster Johnson, check out Dark Horse’s website at www.darkhorse.com.