Sometimes, it takes a fresh perspective to start knocking on new doors, and other times, it helps to step away from a problem for awhile and come back to it. Our vanished superhero team, stuck in the small town of Rockwood, hasn’t done much of the latter. They’ve been living and thinking in the mire of their situation for some time now. For each, it has had a different effect. Now, the daughter of the character who owes the book its title, Black Hammer, has found her way to Rockwood in search of him. She not only represents that fresh perspective, but a journalistic one, as well. She begins digging, and with answers come more questions, some seemingly small, and some very big.
I call our superhero captives a “team,” but really they are an anti-team being forced to hide as regular people. Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston have created a deconstructionist take on the Golden Age superhero. And they are winning. Everything.
One thing they’ve done that a lot of team books do not do is that they have focused – by and large – on one, sometimes two, characters per issue. A lot of superhero team books try to balance out every character in every issue, and it becomes a mosh pit in which you never understand the dynamics, because you never quite get a grip on the characters. This character hasn’t talked in a while; let’s give them something to say. By focusing down on each character in the way they have has had payoffs in the short term and long term. It’s allowed the reader to become emotionally invested in the individuals, and now that we care about these characters, we care about them when they come together as a group. It’s patience, and it’s so refreshing to see a writer show this.
Now, as questions are being sought, there will always be someone that doesn’t want those questions answered. This issue throws a real curve ball in the best possible way, because it makes absolute sense, but really throws you for a loop. Things are starting to rev up in Black Hammer. Don’t fall too far behind!