Lobster Johnson Volume 5: The Pirate's Ghost and Metal Monsters of Midtown

Lobster Johnson Volume 5: The Pirate's Ghost and Metal Monsters of Midtown
Mike Mignola & John Arcudi, story; Tonci Zonjic, art; Dave Stewart, colors (Metal Monsters of Midtown)
Dark Horse Books, 2017

The pulp adventures of Lobster Johnson take an especially fantastical turn in this collection, which compiles two three-issue miniseries. The title characters of "Metal Monsters of Midtown" are giant robots straight out of a steampunk story (or perhaps Martian war machines from H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds ). They are apparently indestructible, and their purpose is mysterious: for example, they break into a bank but do not take any of the money. Turns out the source was a mysterious secret Chinese cavern, full of machinery thousands of years old, and they have been remote controlled by a group of missing industrialists. "The Pirate's Ghost" is almost as weird: it features a fake ghost and ghost ship...but also an apparently real ghost (at least, one character thinks so). The reporter Cindy Tynan winds up as a hostage in a plot to lure the Lobster out to save her. But the real repercussions come in the form of permanent changes for some major characters. Cindy leaves New York to take a job in television news (the coming thing) in Chicago. And gangster kingpin Wald--as well as his henchman Isog (the spitting image of actor Peter Lorre)--make their final exits. Artist Tonci Zonjic does a wonderful job on the character designs--human and robot alike--and there is extensive sketch material included.

 

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