It’s been quite awhile since Lobster Johnson has had his own series, even if this one was just a stand alone novel it was good to see him back in action. Being a stand alone you don’t really need to know his history to appreciate the fun little ride we’re given here though it does help knowing his back story. Even without a lot of details about him this would probably be a good jumping in point if they plan on continuing giving us more tales about Lobster Johnson.
Lobster Johnson spewed forth from the pages of Hellboy as an old hero who had long since passed from this world on a mission of vengeance. Being a stand alone story this is actually a tale from Lobster Johnson’s own time era of the 1920’s and not set in the modern post-apocalyptic world that has become of the Earth in the current world of the B.P.R.D.
While his original appearance seemed to be a temporary one his character grew so much on his creators (and us readers) that they’ve kept finding reasons to bring him back. While long term readers may know Lobster Johnson is from the pages of Hellboy you would never guess from the artwork in this issue as while many of the tones are still muted it is lush and full of detail compared to the style usually found on anything Mignola’s name is attached to for writing. This one isn’t just by Mike Mignola though as he’s teamed up with John Arcudi on this one.
Just a note here I’m not complaining about the art as Kevin Nowlan is clearly one of the best detail orientated artists working in comics today.
Satan Smells A Rat opens with an old man sitting down and playing with a train set. As he’s narrating to himself he’s interrupted by someone whose clearly drawn to be an evil character tell him it’s time for his injection. No explanation given and just the right amount of a tease to wonder what’s going to happen next.
We see a man walking a woman home though his little date is quickly interrupted as behind the door there is a corpse sitting in his living room. As the man runs his car is stolen and he is shot by our hero Lobster Johnson.
Shot, but not fatally so. Johnson is a meticulous planner and this flesh wound was done so for a reason. To quote him “You scare an animal, you wound it, and it always runs to it’s owner.”
His owner appears to be the old man shown in the first panel as well as his Doctor friend. Lobster has been tracking whoever has been killing people and dumping them in the sewers for some time and the people behind it are these men. The Doctor tries to claim that he’s a scientist and attempting to save the world though is unable to even save himself before the wrath of Johnson whose sole purpose is to take down evil.
Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Kevin Nowlan