Like all of the Black Hammer side stories, this, too, is about finding redemption after a lifetime of mistakes, but the mistakes of the now-central character to Quantum Age, Colonel Weird, are all the more riveting because, if you have been following along in Black Hammer, you know what he’s done, but you don’t yet know how it all turns out! The puzzle box of the Black Hammer universe has become one of the richest universes in comic books. Every issue has been timed to release in such a way that it strengthens the impact of the other stories.
That all is in a large part because, while these books deal with superheroes, Lemire doesn’t care about that element as much as he cares about what happens when a character with extraordinary powers makes a monumental mistake or makes a terrible interpersonal mistake, because they are dealing with monumental powers instead. There’s a ripple effect that one can see when you regard this series in reverse, and after reading this book, more so than Garth Ennis’ The Boys or even Watchmen, I don’t think humans have it in them to be superheroes. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, and maybe by the end of this, Lemire will change my mind.
I guess even if we don’t deserve or can’t handle that much power, it’s worth trying our best with it. Seeing how, in all of these stories, we’re dealing with family units, on that level we have the power to hurt, destroy, or uplift just like any superhero, and, well, you don’t need have extraordinary powers to either deeply injure or absolutely inspire someone that needs you. Maybe in that sense, we’re all superheroes and supervillains, and we need to start thinking like it. Maybe that’s the takeaway. I’m sure as the series comes to a conclusion, the themes will come into focus.
Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and everyone involved have created a sincere work of art that’s heartbreaking, enlivening, and ultimately one of the most exciting creations in any medium.
Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston (creators), Wilfredo Torres (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters), Ethan Kimberling (designer), Daniel Chabon (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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