I’m a big fan of Mike Mignola’s work on Hellboy, which successfully merges elements of history, mythology, and science around an anti-hero trying to find his place in the world. Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus has similar themes to Hellboy but is wrapped around a different anti-hero.
Lobster Johnson is a vigilante who sees himself as the defender of justice. He wields a variety of guns, gadgets, and has a strange mark on his left hand that he brands his enemies with. He isn’t afraid to deliver death to those that cross the line, be they mobsters or supernatural beasts.
Set in 1937, The Iron Prometheus sees Lobster Johnson come to the aid of a man in a strange mechanical suit. Various factions, including some Nazi’s and a sect of Mongols believed to be long dead, are after the suit. Lobster Johnson must unravel the mystery, serve justice and protect the world from the great power that the suit contains.
After doing a bit of research, it turns out there’s another Lobster John story I needed to read first (Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand). Despite this, I easily slipped into the world set up by Mignola. It starts off with Mignola’s usual silent tone, but unlike Hellboy get’s far more verbal as the story progresses. The story is pretty simple, but has a couple of twists to keep you engaged, as well as leaving you with a few questions that need to be answered.
The art is typical Mignola, which means it’s great if you like his style. It’s simple, with heavy blacks and great use of shadow that suits the supernatural tone of the story.
Graphic Novel Rating: Well worth the time to read. It’s not groundbreaking if you’ve read any Hellboy, but it’s still a lot of fun.