As a huge fan of the world that Mike Mignola has created, I try to pickup everything he does. ‘Hellboy’ and everything ‘B.R.P.D.’ are staples on my pull list. Recently the Abe Sapien run has been on there as well.
Then there is Lobster Johnson.
I’ve never been a fan of Lobster Johnson for some reason. He was a vigilante turned Nazi hunter turned one of the most powerful ghosts within the realms of the Hellboy universe. In fact it wasn’t until the very last story arc as a ghost that he was involved in that I actually started to have interest in his character. Of course, after that he was gone. It’s really strange too as he embodies everything I originally liked about comics. Before I was under superheroes, it was the vigilantes in comics that held my interest.
At any rate, you can’t just get rid of popular characters and with one who has so much back story behind him, it’s easy to keep him around. We’ve been giving snippets of his life as a vigilante in the past when he was still mortal on both his vigilante and his Nazi hunting side, and this issue falls squarely in the vigilante side.
To date, none of the shorts have really held my interest. However, being from the mind of Mignola I hesitantly picked up the first issue of this two-parter entitled ‘A Scent of Lotus’.
Much to my surprise I enjoyed it. Not only did I enjoy it but I really dug each panel and am currently salivating for the next issue to come out!
We open with Lobster Johnson running across rooftops to stalk his prey and it looks like he’s about to move in until he comes across a dead body being investigated by the police. He listens in as a cop and reporter talk about the man being a courier for the Tongs, a Chinese mob which has been having multiple deaths pile up on their doorstep.
As he follows through on the investigation, we see that another courier with an even larger amount of money is being sent out. Lobster, with the help of his own sidekicks, is able to track down this new courier and moves in to attack.
Things go south and we see bullets tear into Johnson as he isn’t able to catch everyone. As he isn’t a ghost at this point, you’d have to wonder how he is to survive multiple gunshot wounds. Fortunately he’s got on a bullet proof vest that was just able to save him.
As he stays in pursuit, he is finally able to catch up to the gang’s hideout and it is only on the last page we are teased as to what is really going on. There is a ghostly creature who appears to have a squadron of mask wearing monkeys at it’s disposal waiting for Lobster Johnson. It had been expecting him.
As I mentioned before I wasn’t the biggest Lobster Johnson fan yet this one was a well written and perfectly executed story. Who is this strange ghostly creature? What are the masked monkeys for? Why is someone targeting Chinese gangsters?
Well, we’re going to have to just pickup issue #2 when it comes out to find out those answers.
LOBSTER JOHNSON: A SCENT OF LOTUS #1
Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Sebastián Fiumara
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Tonci Zonjic