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Lobster Johnson vol 2: The Burning Hand

Lobster Johnson vol 2: The Burning Hand back

Mike Mignola, John Arcudi & Tonci Zonjic, Dave Stewart


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 we‘ll find tomorrow.”
“That’s easy. Dead Indians dressed as gangsters.”
“That’d be the logical progression all right.”

Beware the lobster’s claw! The enigmatic and supernatural crustacean fighter of crime is back. Well, he’s 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 it’s some straight-up gangsters he’s 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 Lobster’s foe isn’t exactly alive to begin with, that might just give him a somewhat unfair advantage! Still, a little thing like overwhelming odds isn’t something to get the Lobster in a lather, he’s 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, he’s got a hard exterior, but he’s just a big softie underneath it all. He’s 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 there’s 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.