Review: Lobster Johnson – Get The Lobster #4

The fourth issue of Get the Lobster! is the most action-packed yet. It doesn’t really bother with character moments or deeper meanings, it just knocks down, drags out, and kicks ass. In this issue, we pick up with the Lobster under siege in a building as he was at the end of issue 3, and he ends up having to shoot the Chief of Police, who turns out to be under the same robot mind control that the Demon and the Bear were under. The issue ends with a pretty rad shootout and also I CAN’T HOLD IT IN ANYMORE YOU GUYS THERE WAS A MIND-CONTROLLED KILLER GORILLA IN THIS ISSUE.

Like, seriously, if there is one thing I love in comics, it’s robot gorillas. Or, I guess you could also lump in “super-smart” gorillas, like Gorilla Grodd, and those are essentially the same to me. That is to say, THEY’RE FANTASTIC. It seems like a very Mignola-type thing to do that I can’t think of a good example of him actually doing in the past. It helps that the Lobster/Gorilla fight (the Surf’n Turf?) happens right after the Lobster rips this other guy’s huge, mechanical arm at the shoulder.

21550 copy 2In terms of the series itself progressing from issue one to five, there’s only one issue left, and I’m not really latched onto a theme here. At the beginning, the series predicated itself on being the secret history of the Lobster, an examination of the Lobster having to go to ground to protect himself and also maintain his illusion. So far in these four issues, that has capital-n Not Happened. There have been some discussions about the fact that the Lobster may have been a family tradition, passed down from generation to generation, but that came up in the first issue for a minute during the newspaper brouhaha, and then again in this last issue for about two panels. It’s either not answering or addressing that plot thread, or it’s telegraphing the hell out of where it’s going to go, and no one will be surprised at all next month.

Zonjic really got to pull off a lot of cool shit this issue. I mean, there’s the fight against bionic arm man and the killer robot gorilla that all takes place in a miniature version of New York City (think the model village in Hot Fuzz) and he doesn’t need to do much character work. This feels like all the action they’ve been bottling up for now. He’s got burning buildings and brawls... it’s all gorgeous.

I’m enjoying this series, but I feel like I wouldn’t miss it if it were gone. It’s capably done on all levels, but it still feels like an extra book; a side project in the Mignola universe, cashing in on at least two other successful books in that same universe. It’s not quite nailing the pulp, hard-boiled crime genre, but it’s at least having fun making the effort.

Score: 3/5

Writers: Mike Mignola and John Arcudi Artist: Tonci Zonjic Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/4/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital