‘Black Hammer / Justice League: Hammer of Justice #1’ - Advance Comic Book Review

Jeff Lemire has been spinning the meta storylines of Black Hammer for a couple of years now.  They spin this way and that, presenting alternate histories (Black Hammer ’45), science fiction tales (Doctor Star and The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows and The Quantum Age), horror (Cthu-Louise), and tales of villains (Sherlock Frankenstein). All of these stories revolve around the central story of a group of Golden Age superheroes who mysteriously transported to a barn where they are forced to hide their super-powered selves to fit in. Along came a new Black Hammer, Black Hammer’s daughter, and those heroes were taken on a spin around a sort of storytelling multi-verse. (That paragraph was for all of the DC readers that may have popped over for the Justice League element. For everyone else, if you don’t know who the Justice League is, then what are you doing?)

Taking on the tone of a fairy tale story book, going so far as starting with “Once Upon a Time,” Lemire does a fine job of reintroducing the characters for new blood. The “Once Upon a Time” on any other story would feel obnoxious; here, since so much of the Black Hammer world is about what stories are, it makes perfect sense.

Lemire also introduces a curious, new (possible) villain, and about halfway through the story, that villain makes a move that throws everything into presumable chaos. The tone of this five-issue series feels a bit like a lark thus far, but, generally, anything Lemire writes, he writes for a reason. Considering the Black Hammer universe is so unexpectedly rich and complex on both a human and a metaphysical level, I’m expecting something really cool.

The one constant enigma in all of this is Colonel Weird - a hero for sure - someone who seems to see the beginnings, middles, and ends of everything (though not necessarily in that order) - but because of his fried and overwhelmed mind, he never quite knows what to do with it all. Also, everyone seems to keep making the mistake of not taking him seriously.

Anyway, this is a good start, and I look forward to this story unfurling over the next four months.


Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Michael Walsh (artist), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters), Daniel Chabon, Michael McCalister (editors)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics and DC
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