Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #2 Review

Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #2 Review The body count continues to grow as the criminal element is taken down one by one.

Creative Staff:
Writers: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Tonci Zonjic

What They Say:
With a city swamped in dead gangsters with claws branded into their foreheads, mob boss Arnie Wald seeks the assistance of a deadly mystic and her strange partner to take down the vigilante known as Lobster Johnson!

The Review:
After a somewhat confusing but interesting first issue, Lobster Johnson settles into a bit more of a predictable form as things slow down a bit too quickly. With a mix of mystery, action and the supernatural in the first, the book goes a bit more straightforward here with the criminal element of the time period. Not that the supernatural side has subsided completely as we see in the beginning that there are a couple of dead gangsters that are all dolled up as a different type of gangster that follows the pattern. The opening issue did things a bit more interesting and in a bigger way and in a way that made it pretty darn engaging.

With this issue, it works pretty much two storylines, though one is a bit more involved than the other. While Lobster Johnson had some good moments in the first, he’s nearly a background character here when dealing with Cindy who is now under his protection. Cindy’s pretty uncertain about everything going on here but she manages to hold her own against him and the people that he has working for him. She does start to get the idea that the more she knows, the more drawn into his world that she’s going to be and that makes her nervous. And rightly so since he has secrets to protect, but it has an old school charm about it similar to The Shadow with how his network operates. And the quiet nature of Johnson himself.

Of course, the reason he’s keeping Cindy close by is that she’s still going to be pursued by Wald’s goons since he’s still kicking. Wald himself figures into things heavily in the book as we get a look at how he’s living his life in the wake of fifteen of his top men being taken down. Cindy’s able to point Johnson in the right direction and it lets him do what he does best in trying to eliminate Wald. And this all happens as other things are going on within Wald’s circle with the supernatural as he’s trying to gain some power and control there as well, bringing in some outsiders to try and help. It’s not terribly clear where it’s all going at this point, especially since this is my first outing with Lobster Johnson, but it’s definitely leaving me curious to see where it’s all going to go.

In Summary:
While the first issue of the series was a bit more engaging and intriguing as it laid out some of what was going on, this one slows things down a bit to focus on just a couple of characters and draws it out a bit. After Cindy had such a sizable role before, she’s fairly reduced here though she gets to see some of the magic behind the scenes. With the heavier focus on Wald this time around as well, it just feels like the book is taking an odd turn after the first issue and is a bit less clear about where it wants to go. It does tease with some interesting things to come but it’s left me more uncertain about the whole venture at this point instead of drawing me more completely into it.

Grade: B-

Readers Rating: [ratings]

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