What I love about Jeff Lemire’s world of Black Hammer is that he isn’t precious with it and lets other creators play in his sandbox. That’s ultimately what Black Hammer: Visions is. How much say Lemire has over which stories are being told, or whether that lies on editor Daniel Chabon’s shoulders, or a combination of the two, I don’t know. This could also be their opportunity to grab some of their favorite voices to map out one issue’s stories. Any way you shake it, it doesn’t matter. So far, it’s great!
This second issue is passed on to Geoff Johns as writer and Scott Kolins as artist. It’s a tale about Madame Dragonfly and her cabin on the same property of the barn at which the heroes of Black Hammer spent a few years. Madame Dragonfly’s story is told in the format of an old horror anthology comic like Vault of Terror with Dragonfly introducing us to all of the spooky things we’re going to see, as Nate Piekos’ lettering declares The Cabin of Horrors.
I chuckled to myself: “This should be a fun, little throwback.” I didn’t think it would give me actual chills. I’m not going to reveal what happens, because I didn’t know going into it. I will say, there’s one chilling image of a deranged character salivating at the mouth that made me draw my head back repulsed. Nicely done, Scott Kolins! And another which shows what happens to that same character that made me say, “Ack!” Again, Scott Kolins FTW! Also, the wrap-up is so wickedly haunting, both as an idea and a visual treat, but it’s not just these singular moments. This entire issue has a vibe, an energy about it that’s genuinely haunting. You get that feeling pretty early on deep inside, and it just sits with you until the final hypnotic page.
I go into Black Hammer expecting solid work, but I’m still always surprised to find that I’m so in love, in this case once again, with Black Hammer: Visions.
Creative Team: Geoff Johns (script), Scott Kolins (art), Nate Piekos (letters), Bill Crabtree (color art), Daniel Chabon (editor), Ethan Kimberling (design), Josie Christensen (digital art technician), Mike Richardson (publisher)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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