Lobster Johnson: The Prayer of Neferu Review: No Surprises
“Lobster Johnson: The Prayer of Neferu” is a one-shot comic that tries to take standard noir elements and make them fun. No syrup. No sprinkles. Straight noir. It’s tough, but writer Mike Mignola isn’t your average scribe. Colorist Dave Stewart is a modern-day legend. Regardless, the deck was stacked from the beginning.
In this comic there’s a mummy unwrapping, a staple during the 1930s so this shouldn’t be a big deal. However, the one giving the unwrapping, a woman calling herself Princess Neferu, has a shady past and Lobster Johnson thinks she has murdered a person named Edgar Wormick. On top of that, he also thinks she works for Owney Steinmetz and Johnson, as usual, wants to deal with her in his own way.
The story is your typical noir tale with a villain dabbling with some dark Ancient Egyptian magic to please their own needs. The story also throws in a big, dumb henchman, blood sacrifice and a ritual where we see our here tied and dangling from the ceiling. It’s just what you’d expect from these types of stories, so don’t expect any surprises. The comic also ends abruptly and leaves something to be desired.
The two fight scenes are also a joke. They are way too short with each lasting for only one page and each having not much going on in them, especially the second one which is the quickest of the two. Lobster Johnson comics usually have entertaining fights with lots of action, but these two are disappointments.
The artwork is your usual “Lobster Johnson” fare that looks like the old 1920/30s noir comics style all the way down to the outrageous outfit Neferu wears. It fits perfectly with the story with some slight mishaps. These are Neferu looking bland and uninteresting with very little thought put into her design. There is one continuity error where Johnson gets a bloody nose from Neferu’s crony at one point and the comic sometimes remembers and sometimes forgets to add the blood streak. The streak is magically gone at the end of the comic and at no point do we Johnson wipe himself.
“Lobster Johnson: The Prayer of Neferu” is a decent Lobster Johnson one-shot that should appease noir fans but put off everyone else. The story itself is by the books, predictable and not that engaging- unless you already like these types of stories.
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