LOBSTER JOHNSON: THE PRAYER OF NEFERU
Written by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Art by Wilfredo Torres
Release Date: August 22, 2012
From the pages of Hellboy comes one of the most fun one-shot stories I have read in a very long time. I’ll plead my ignorance right now, I’m not overly familiar with Lobster Johnson, but I can only assume that if I knew this character intimately that this comic would have been even better than it was for me. Lobster Johnson: The Prayer of Neferu is a pulpy romp that showcases what fun adventure stories comics can tell. This is like Indiana Jones meets Hellboy with all the fun that a combination like that entails. Mike Mignola & John Arcudi have fantastic pacing in this issue, putting a ton of story in for a one-shot and telling a story that does not feel cut off as one-shots tend to do. Mignola and Arcudi do a great job of keeping this issue light and accessible as well. I’ve had a lot of bad luck trying new series lately just to get lost in confusing continuity that I just can’t break through and I was elated to find this Lobster Johnson one-shot to be so accessible to new readers. Anyone can pick this book up, whether they have ever read the book or not, and get a kick out of what the title hero goes through. This isn’t the most verbose story, or the most complex by any means, but at the end of the day it was a fun comic to read, and one that I would happily read again a few more times.
As strong and fun as the story is, Wilfredo Torres makes this book soar. The pulpy nature of this book is carried by his art and the expression he puts into Lobster’s face makes for some fantastic moments within these pages. Torres’ art is a great fit for this particular one shot, and if I ever see his name associated with a Lobster Johnson book again I will pick it up immediately. There are several points in the issue where the art is telling the story and I was impressed with how well Torres handled the task of moving the book along.
Torres wasn’t alone in the visuals department, as colorist Dave Stewart puts an excellent stamp on this book with his muted coloring. A pulp adventure can’t be too flashy and the color choices Stewart makes in this issue are perfect. This book is a great showcase of what a great colorist Dave Stewart is, plain and simple.
This comic isn’t earth shattering, but it is a lot of fun. It is a great pulp adventure tale and I look forward to delving deeper into Lobster Johnson’s world.