Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Yesterday we find dead gangsters dressed up as Indians, all of them with that claw mark on their heads. Today we got a couple of stiff gangsters dressed as gangsters, again, with the mark. Makes you wonder what well find tomorrow.
Thats easy. Dead Indians dressed as gangsters.
Thatd be the logical progression all right.
Beware the lobsters claw! The enigmatic and supernatural crustacean fighter of crime is back. Well, hes not actually part shellfish, but he certainly is scary, leaving as he does his mysterious mark singed on the forehead of deceased villains wherever he finds them. This time around its some straight-up gangsters hes battling with, to begin with at least, before an equally spooky protagonist that might be at least partly familiar to readers of BPRD itself, makes a dramatic appearance.
Then the gloves are off - which is just as well as they do tend to get in the way of claws as the two face off to the death. Given Lobsters foe isnt exactly alive to begin with, that might just give him a somewhat unfair advantage! Still, a little thing like overwhelming odds isnt something to get the Lobster in a lather, hes used to finding himself in hot water and has the skills, gadgets and resourceful chums to help him save the day, and the damsel in distress of course.
I do like old Lobster, hes got a hard exterior, but hes just a big softie underneath it all. Hes clearly a blatant rip-off of THE SHADOW (check out Ennis recent reworking of said character, by the way) but Mignola and Arcudi throw in considerably more humour, plus the overall setting of the wider BPRD universe always adds a little something to the bubbling pot. With that said, it is the usual scenario for me personally, in that I do typically prefer the team dynamic of BPRD itself, where theres just so much more going on, than these one-offs that focus on the individual characters, though there are some brilliant exceptions to that rule of claw... errr... I mean thumb... like the first volume of WITCHFINDER and now, the two BALTIMORE books.