Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1


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Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1


  • Words: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
  • Art: Tonci Zonjic
  • Colors: Dave Stewart
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $3.50
  • Release Date: Jan 11, 2012

This new mini premieres with a pulpish tale filled with a murderous mystery.

The opening scene follows a couple leaving the cinema after watching a new Buster Keaton talkie when they discover a scalped police officer tied to a lamppost. If that wasn’t horrific enough, they soon get ambushed by a group of people dressed as Native Americans, until Lobster Johnson saves the day with the quotable, “Taste justice, impostors!”

Cindy Tynan from the Herald Tribune seems to know more than the police do about this bizarre and gruesome situation, and the neighborhood citizens prove untalkative. Thankfully mechanic Harry McTell is more heroic and helpful and the growing relationship between the pair takes up the bulk of this issue. In fact the pulp-like hero of the title hardly appears in these pages.

So far the mystery behind the attacks seems like something out of a Scooby Doo story, but the brief inclusion of a mysterious pair on a cruise ship in the Caribbean adds needed depth and an air of intrigue.

Mignola and Arcudi obviously know this world well and are making sure to align all the characters, both good and bad, so that when the evil ploy rears its ugly head, it’ll be that much sweeter when justice does too.

Zonjic is a hot property after the success of Image’s Who Is Jake Ellis? with writer Nathan Edmondson. That deft spy mini-series showed the variety that Zonjic could bring to the comic shelves and here he continues to impress. His technique here isn’t as reliant on the palette as it was with Jake Ellis, as this is a more subdued tale, set in the time of bootleggers and fedoras. As such, the color choices by Stewart of mainly browns and grays are in synch with Zonjic’s clean, attractive lines.

This five issue mini-series is the first original Lobster Johnson tale in four years, which is welcome news to fans of the Hellboy character, while also being an easily accessible story for newbies to the adventurer such as myself.

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