Score: 4

If you’re looking for a fun one-shot comic outside of the whole big-two universe of books–because who doesn’t need a breather from them every now and then–than Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones is definitely the book for you. Maybe it’ll be your gateway into the Mignolaverse

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Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones

by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Stephen Green, and Dave Stewart

This one-shot Lobster Johnson book takes a look at Fimbakonu, similar to Voodoo and Chombo – think zombie, but more motion and more life-life. The beauty of a Mignolaverse one-shot like this is it’s a great way for people to peek into the universe who might have strayed or maybe haven’t ever tried it before. Writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi make it easy for anybody to pick this up and immediately get what this world and this character is all about. There’s no guessing at what Lobster is all about, no hidden meanings or subtlety and absolutely no requirement to read all of the previous Lobster Johnson books or cameos.

Of course, you should read all the previous Lobster Johnson comics because, you know, they’re excellent and he’s one of the pillar characters in the Mignolaverse. (Also check out the novels featuring LoJo.) He’s one of those characters that absolutely everybody should find something that they like about him and his pre-Hellboy world of mobsters and the supernatural.

Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones features the newly minted Mignolaverse artist Stephen Green and colorist (and Mignolaverse veteran) Dave Stewart. The two meld styles into the perfect, moody bleakness that one has come to expect with a Mignolaverse book. Green’s Lobster is spot on; menacing, brooding, imposing, and perfectly in line what all the previous artists to tackle this brilliant Mignolaverse character. Mignola and company search high and low for the perfect artists to carry on the torches, and Green is another winner. He’s certainly an avid fan of the master himself, and in his own way there are many Mignola-esque spots and panels. The characters being highlighted in a panel with nothing but a plain background and a word balloon or two, for example. With the genius touch of Stewart’s bold colors, that have come to really highlight the entire Mignolaverse line, Stephen Green establishes himself as another solid Mignolaverse artist that hopefully we get to see for years to come.

Garden of Bones is a creepy, excellent little tale from a corner of the Mignolaverse that hasn’t had as much attention as big Red as of late. Lobster Johnson is a classic archetype character, set in the always thrilling mobster run 30s and he’s a take-no-crap kind of hero. Think of him like Batman, without the rules and with a gun…who likes to burn his symbol onto the foreheads of the people he’s brought to justice. If you’re looking for a fun one-shot comic outside of the whole Big-Two universe of books–because who doesn’t need a breather from them every now and then–than Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones is definitely the book for you. Maybe it’ll be your gateway into the Mignolaverse.

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