LOBSTER JOHNSON #13. “SATAN SMELLS A RAT”.
Published by dark horse, this is another spin-off “from the pages of Hellboy” by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Kevin Nowlan. Johnson is a Batman style vigilante, the dark, moody and mysterious type, dressed in black and equipped with a utility belt and handgun. The difference being, he actually shoots the bad-guys dead leaving his trademark lobster claw mark on his victims foreheads!
THE STORY, WRITING, LETTERING, TIMING AND SFX:
I don’t want to give too much away about the story, as it is one of those that draws you in gradually, and the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit the more you read on. It is basically a very clever and very well written story, and although we are not given exact dates to establish the time and place, it becomes clear through the dialogue and art alone that it is set towards the end of the prohibition era in America, on halloween night. It is a tale of crime, and a tale of horror. Lobster Johnson, the man of few words, prefers to let his gun do the talking; and it is for this reason that the things he does say come across so powerfully, sometimes even humorous. He is the likeable anti-hero, the real-life vigilante and being set in the 1920/30’s makes him all the more interesting to read!
You can expect to see the same dialogue balloons and lettering that were used for Hellboy himself, that classic inked by hand style that we all know and love. The timing is perfect for this comic, and makes it a very fluent and intriguing read. As for the SFX… sheer brilliance, they move with each and every action as though they are actually a part of the excitement as a pose to just popping up subtly in the background, like too many comic-creators make the mistake of doing. There isn’t really a cliffhanger at the end of the short-story/comic, but if you enjoy reading it as much as I did then you will undoubtedly want to read more.
Very well drawn, with precise attention to detail. The colouring is just as precise and the combination of the 2 creates an immense sense of realism. In fact it looks so realistic it’s as though I’d just been watching an episode from the late night series of Lobster-Johnson on the horror channel! The SFX are inked in different complimentary colours depending on the mood of that particular scene, as is some of the dialogue which changes things up a bit, my favourite one being the disgusted and horrified “EEEEEEEE!” That the girl gives out when she sees the corpse sitting in the goon’s apartment, dripping with sewer-slime!
By DYLAN BUTCHER. 😀
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