Sledgehammer 44 #1
Review by Rob “Rob Base” Greenwood
Mike Mignola’s newest book entitled Sledgehammer 44 is something that can only be spoke about in high praise. He has without even trying created another Iconic hero in the simplest of ways.
The secret formula for this is, take one part WW2 mix in Concrete (Dark Horse) and the ever loving Blue Eye Thing (Marvel) and sprinkle a little bit of Steam Punk and you have the makings of a fun and awesome adventure.
The story is set in 1944, a patrol of American soldiers are waiting to attack some Nazi stronghold. They have no idea who or what they are waiting for, but all they are told to do is provide back up.
A moment in time can become endless in war but shortly after seemingly out of nowhere, crashing in like a Sherman tank in true heroic style is Sledgehammer 44.
Is he Human or Machine? Or maybe a powder keg of both! No one really knows but one thing that is completely clear is this book needs to be in your collection ASAP.
We are supposed to give ratings but 5/5 is meaningless with this miniseries. It is in a league of its own and should be a fast and fun ride. With this first issue alone I was instantly reminded why we love and collect Comic books.
Mike can truly do no wrong and you can see his love in this title. I will say that the art is a little bit different. The soldiers are drawn a bit like Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau. Yet the story is a classic American right hook to the jaw.
By Chuck Suffel
Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi (@artofmmignola) Artist: Tonci Zonjic (@tozozozo) Colorist: Dave Stewart (@Dragonmnky) Cover Artist: Dave Johnson (@Devilpig666)
From the Dark Horse site:
“When a tribe of phantom Indians start scalping policemen, Hellboy‘s crime-fighting hero Lobster Johnson and his allies arrive to take on these foes and their gangster cronies!”
You heard it right comic book fans, Lobster Johnson is back! For the uninitiated Lobster Johnson is a vigilante crime fighter who operated in New York in the 1930’s. He fought both criminal and paranormal threats with a small band of allies from his secret base in the city’s sewers. We first meet him in the pages of Hellboy years after his death when he appears as a ghost (spirit?) to come to the aid of Hellboy and Roger.
Now granted it’s only a five issue mini but when it comes to “The Lobster” I’ll take what I can get. And what we get is pretty great, taking place in February of 1932 this prohibition/depression era book hits all the right notes. Tonic Zonjic’s art is dead on, the clothes, cars and buildings look great. There’s at least one classic movie actor cameo (which I can’t believe was unintentional). Dave Stewart’s colors show the muted, drab qualities of the depression with out being depressing (couldn’t help it, sorry) while still having life and moments of true beauty. I truly hope Mike Mignola and John Arcudi had as much fun writing the dialogue as I had reading it, they use some of the lingo of the day without getting bogged down by it.
Speaking of the writing, I’d like to talk a bit about the story but it’s really difficult with out getting all spoilery. As I said it’s 1932, the city is New York City and something just ain’t right. Indian ghosts running the streets? Scalping police officers? Be prepared for; ghosts, mobsters, hitmen, reporters, thugs, oh and a great cliffhanger ending that had me trying to turn to a next page that wasn’t there! I call this story an Occult Hard-Boiled Horror Mystery Thriller. In other words another great offering from Mignola and the Hellboy crew!
Follow Chuck on Twitter @Chuck_Suffel
PUBLISHING SCHEDULE REVEALED FOR YEARLONG VARIANT-COVER PROGRAM, LAUNCHING IN JANUARY
Following up on an announcement made at this year’s New York Comic Con, Dark Horse unveils the schedule for Mike Mignola’s 2012 Year of Monsters program.
The program kicks off in January with a highly anticipated Lobster Johnson miniseries, The Burning Hand. Following up on the critically acclaimed 2007 series The Iron Prometheus, this new story pits the 1930s vigilante against one of the more terrible villains of the twentiethcentury.
These special variant covers will be available to any retailer who orders five or more copies of the standard cover. These are sure to be sought-after items with a broad appeal to fans of Mike Mignola’s work, as well as monster fetishists of all types!
“Mike Mignola got into the comics business with the simple goal of drawing monsters for a living,” said Dark Horse managing editor Scott Allie. “Mike celebrates 2012 by pitting his greatest characters against his favorite monsters on these special covers, unrelated to the stories inside.”
The schedule for the first half of the year can be found below. Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1 arrives in stores on January 11, 2012.