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Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus #1

Posted: Saturday, September 8, 2007
By: Ray Tate



Writer: MIke Mignola
Artists: Jason Armstrong, Dave Stewart(c)
Publisher: Dark Horse

Mike Mignola works with pulp conventions to fill Lobster Johnson's universe. The character draws on the usual suspects: Doc Savage, the Shadow, the Spider, but there's something in Mignola's characterization and Jason Armstrong's artwork that makes this dark figure unique.

The story opens upon a shadowy figure returning home. With a splash of color glowing from the cool blues and grays, Lobster Johnson looks on as a monster grumbles through the doorway. Now that is compression. Mignola sets up the mystery. Introduces the star and the threat on the third page.

Jason Armstrong stages a terrific battle pitting pulp adventurer against beast, and the mystery figure reveals his side through a massive glowing fist and clunky armor. Shocking developments occur, but not before Lobster Johnson leaves behind his signature at the scene of the crime--a claw mark on the forehead of the perpetrator.

Dialogue that's terse in the tongue of Lobster Johnson and B-Movie goodness in the phrasings of the bystander distinguishes characterization, feeds the plot and establishes the period. A clue leads Lobster Johnson into Chinatown while enigmatic figures in nondescript trenchcoats and hats force Johnson into the sewers where we meet his operatives. "Holy cow!" This was fun.



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