‘Lobster Johnson Volume 3: Satan Smells a Rat’ - Advance TPB Review (Nazis and Mummies and Monkeys! Oh my!)

If you like Indiana Jones, you should be reading Lobster Johnson. I’ll tell you why in a bit.

This collection contains three single-issue stories, one short, and one two-parter featuring the greatest crustacean-themed vigilante the world has ever seen. Lobster Johnson is a relentless crime fighter who always seems to find himself tangled up with the supernatural or Nazis. Or both. Yes, this reminds me of a famous archeologist, Hiram Bingham Indiana Jones. The similarities don’t end with Nazis and the occult. Like Bingham, Lobster Johnson’s roots lie in the adventure serials of the '30s and '40s. Also like Bingham, Lobster Johnson is cooler that a nuclear fridge.

There isn’t a broader story or subtle arc connecting these stories, but that’s not really a problem. This series excels at one-shots. The action is some of the best I’ve seen, and the balance of humor and horror is phenomenal. I won’t give any spoilers, but the unkillable witch with the deadly monkeys is just perfect. That particular issue is a wonderful take on The Wizard of Oz, with a few twists that are worth the wait. There is also the bit in the issue about the horrible melting men, where Lobster Johnson breaks a vital tool of destruction and yells (unironically) “Justice!” This is a book that is not afraid to be silly.

Aside from the humor, compelling horror, and terrific action scenes, one of my favorite parts of this series is that we never waste any time getting to know the man under the costume. I don’t know where he lives, what he does for money, or if he suffers from male-pattern baldness. I just know that he kicks tail. Like a lobster. Lobster tail. (Ed. - Ben, you’re fired. Finish this essay without any more jokes, and I’ll pay you for this review.)

In short, if you like The Rocketeer or Indiana Jones, you will love Lobster Johnson. The action, comedy, and horror elements all add up to a marvelous comic that is well worth your time.

Five Crayfish of Justice out of Five

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python

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