‘Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins’ – Trade Paperback Review

I reviewed the first issue of this comic in July of last year. Then, due to various circumstances, I never had a chance to continue the story. I very much wanted to, though, which is why I was excited for the chance to review this first volume, collecting the first six issues of the comic together. Though it wasn’t perfect, I saw a lot of potential in the first issue, and I’m happy to report that subsequent issues have lived up to that potential admirably.

10 years ago, a group of superheroes became stranded in a small farm town, far from their home of Spiral City. Unable to leave, they’re forced to blend in and make lives for themselves, while secretly trying to find a way home and wondering if their old lives are still waiting for them.

The first issue introduces us to the basic setting and circumstances. It briefly establishes each main character, but doesn’t have time to go into detail about any of them. Each subsequent issue, however, focuses on a single member of the super team, showing us both their backstory and their current lives. Discovering their origins is part of the fun of this journey, so I won’t go into too much detail, but they include send-ups/homages to several heroes you’ll likely recognize—though perhaps not the ones you might expect.

There’s one more hero, though, whom we have yet to meet: the titular Black Hammer, who is no longer with the group, for reasons that have yet to be revealed. We do, however, get to meet his daughter, Lucy Weber, who’s still back in Spiral City, trying against all odds to figure out what happened to the team and what was behind their sudden, mysterious disappearance.

In these first six issues, we get only the faintest of hints as to what the solution to that mystery might actually be. Mostly, we just follow the adventures—both the heroic and the mundane—of our core cast. It’s their characters and the relationships between them that make this comic worth reading in the end. We get aliens, robots, witches, inter-dimensional astronauts, and more. More importantly, though, each of them is someone we care about and want to continue following. That’s what makes this comic an excellent read and well worth checking out.

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