‘Black Hammer: Age of Doom #10’ - Advance Comic Book Review

Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s meta tale of superheroes without a story has sprawled every which way since its first issue about two years ago. I say “without a story” not because things haven’t happened - so much has happened - but because for much of the series our heroes have been without anything to save. Their story was stripped away from them, and they’ve been forced to live out different stories. What happens when you take away a superhero’s main reason for existing?

What happens when you have the thing that defines you stolen from you? Black Hammer is almost like the mid-life crisis of superhero stories, or maybe the superhero equivalent of aging, when you start to experience the things that used to come so easily not doing so anymore.

First trapped in a barn having to hide who they are and now being ping-ponged throughout different realities (or what the series even calls stories), this meta look into who superheroes are and what they mean to us is riveting, bittersweet, and emotionally captivating.

For the last several issues, our team has been scattered across existence, taking on different lives, in a world that knows nothing about superheroes and villains. It’s the closest to our world that we’ve seen. But now, the team gathers led by the new Black Hammer. If the other characters are going through their mid-life crisis, she is the young go-getter that has to keep slapping them back on track; in this issue, that becomes very literal.

Only, things are never that easy in the Black Hammer world, and the end of this issue zigs when you thought a clean, straightforward through line of story was about to be presented. And while Anti-God looms on the horizon - their ever-present ultimate supervillain that sent them spiraling on this journey in the first place - something tells me that that is simply a McGuffin for a greater story element that will soon be revealed.

We are currently living in the golden era of creator-owned titles. There are so many! There are writers and artists, comic book creators in general that people love to follow, and places like Dark Horse gives those creators the opportunity to concoct their most delicious ideas. Black Hammer has definitely been a full-course meal, offering up side dishes in the forms of some amazing limited series. And now, Age of Doom has been nominated for an Eisner. If you feel like you’re reading too many comics, you aren’t. You have room for one more.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormstom (creators), Rich Tommaso (artist, letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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