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‘Black Hammer: Reborn #4’ – Advance Comic Book Review

Issue 4 of Black Hammer: Reborn asks a wickedly unexpected question and gives a terribly tragic answer.

Readers of Black Hammer have watched Lucy Weber become the hero her father was – the Black Hammer – and we have been with her through that journey. With Black Hammer: Reborn, it’s been years since she’s held the hammer and wielded the powers. The certain event has only been hinted at until now, but in this issue, Colonel Weird (a once astronaut who entered into what is known as the Para-zone and came out crazed as he experienced all of time at once) has taken her back and shown us the terrifying events that led to her hanging up the costume. In the meantime, she started a family, an imperfect family.

Over the last few issues, she’s not wanted to put on the costume, afraid of what she did, but also, she has a family. She isn’t that person anymore. Colonel Weird has a solution to that dilemma: taking her back, and forward, in some unexpected ways. This series has some loose connectivity with the Colonel Weird Cosmagog series.

The idea of “what a hero is” has been asked a lot. It’s been broken down and disseminated. Every major comic book publishing house seems to have a different answer to this. Marvel lets their characters deal with everyday life and relationships. DC characters are often above it all, lacking personal lives and relationships. Jeff Lemire has been volleying the question of heroism around since the beginning of Black Hammer. Through the lens of Reborn, I look at the initial series of Black Hammer and I see it as what happens when you take away the city the heroes have to save. Are they still heroes? Well, the question asked in this and the seeming answer really did catch me off guard. I may not stop thinking about this for a while.

Aside from the ideas presented in this issue, Yarsky’s artwork and the panel work are really wonderful. How panels are laid out can really give to or take away from the emotional story arc happening, and, here, I’m drawn in, especially those last few pages; it feels like such a simple visual back and forth, but it’s really freaking powerful with the elements given to us in every panel. These creators have been given the opportunity to shine in the Black Hammer universe, and they are taking full advantage of it.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Caitlin Yarsky (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letterer), Daniel Chabon (editor), Chuck Howitt and Konner Knudsen (assistant editor), Ethan Kemberling (design), Josie Christensen (digital art technician), Mike Richardson (publisher)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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