If you follow the Hellboy series, you will already know that Lobster Johnson is young Hellboy's idol. Much like an Indiana Jones, Batman or a James Bond character, Johnson is a human and has to rely on human skills and toys to fight the bad guys. This is the key element that sets apart this series from the others in the Hellboy / BPRD / Abe Sapien world.
Mignola grapples with the exploits of this clever and (sometimes ridiculously) durable human without the predictable story line crutch of a super-human character that can just knock down the building when they get in trouble. That isn't to say this series is devoid of monsters and supernatural mayhem! Demons, creepy warlock guys and brains floating in jars are a staple of Mignola's universe and are plentiful as always. And of course there are plenty of Nazis behind it all.
An interesting movement in the stories are the chapter breaks in the form of news clippings that give you brief snapshots into the Lobster Johnson character as if he was a home-town hero. Set in the late 1930's the news clippings serve as a documentary on the individual as if written by a local news writer obsessed with discovering the "Claw"'s identity. These quick veins of clipping serve to cement the time period and the character's identity in the community as a crime fighting hero. I like to think of them as the the newspaper of the time and the comics in between are the public's (or Hellboy's) fantasies of Johnson's exploits....
Check out the "harsh claw of justice" Lobster Johnson through amazon.com or DarkHorse.com Also check out my post on Mignola's Abe Sapien :: The Drowning!!!
Publication Date: June 18, 2008
Format: FC, 140 pages, TPB, 7" x 10"
Age range: 16+