‘Black Hammer: Visions #5’ - Comic Book Review

Skulldigger is Black Hammer’s (Jeff Lemire) take on a sort of Punisher/Batman character. Instead of simply a skull on his chest, you can see the outline of his skeleton on his helmet and chest. (Yes, he has a helmet. Take notes, Punisher.)

Visions has been Lemire’s way of letting other artists run rampant with his characters, and, so far, every issues has been pretty stellar, including this one. Kelly Thompson, who is currently writing Black Widow for Marvel and was doing a Kate Bishop series just before, has the reigns here, and she approaches it with a panache for witty banter by introducing a female burglar named Bijou. If you’ve been reading any comic that features Batman and Catwoman, you’re immediately on board with this relationship. Bijou softens Skulldigger ever so slightly, as he is outwitted by her in a series of thefts.

This is fun and flirty. Leonardo Romero knows where to draw our focus to accentuate those elements, allowing the emotional thread between the two to really breathe. The colors here are also a lot of fun. While it has a larger color palette, the use of light and shadows definitely has that Batman: The Animated Series vibe at times. This is one of the strengths of the Black Hammer world: Creators can embrace and subvert the stories they love, and they can pay homage to and tinker with tropes that mean a lot to them. Black Hammer is a sandbox.

And special shout-out to Nate Piekos, his lettering is consistently strong and, in this issue, so much fun and incorporated brilliantly: FLASH. This entire issue is so incredibly playful, capturing the character of Bijou with perfection. But it’s not all fun and games…

What causes Skulldigger to remember this story is really quite beautiful, a moment I don’t want to give away, but it does speak to how people can leave their mark. Skull isn’t one for showing emotions, but that mark is one he’ll carry around with him, as do the marks each and every one of us carry around with us.

The world of Black Hammer - first and foremost - continues to delve into the humanity of its vast and ever-expanding world of characters. I’m here for every issue.

Creative Team: Kelly Thompson (script), Leonardo Romero (art), Jordie Bellaire (colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt and Konner Knudsen (assistant editors), Ethan Kimberling (design), Josie Christensen (digital art technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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