Posted on April 6, 2011 by Matt-M-McElroy
Available at Amazon.com
Lobster Johnson is a character from the Hellboy mythos. He is a crime fighter and masked vigilante with a team of loyal sidekicks? assistants? that help him take out mobsters, villains and other assorted scum. The Satan Factory is a pulp novel about The Lobster’s battle against a failed mob doctor named Jonas Chapel who stumbled into some very dark magic.
I enjoyed all of the appearances of Lobster Johnson in the Hellboy comics I’ve come across, so I was especially pleased to see this novel on the shelf at the store and scooped it up right away. I was wondering how well the character would translate from comic to fiction, and I wasn’t sure if the character could carry a book by himself (with no Hellboy trash talking in the pages). My concern was not needed, Sniegoski delivered a great story with some great characters.
This story has plenty of action, with The Lobster and his team of minions/specialists helping him fight mobsters and other, worse horrors. The Hellboy mythos permeates the story, featuring monsters and dark sorcery, but the best elements of the tale are indeed the gritty crime fighting hero vs. mob goons were the best moments of the book.
Jake Hurley, a down on his luck former police officer is the newest member of The Lobster’s crew and one of the primary characters of the story. We get the chance to see the world through his eyes and feel his isolation as he attempts to help out his new boss. There are great moments where he is nervous about fitting in with the other members of the crew that I thought offered up some excellent character development, making Jake more than just a cliche sidekick to the mysterious Lobster.
I’d love to see more tales of The Lobster and/or other B.P.R.D characters in novel format. I’ve read a few of the Hellboy stories by Christopher Golden (I recommend The Lost Army). So, if anyone at Dark Horse is reading, let’s see some more books!
Review by Matt M McElroy