The first volume of Black Hammer was great. This one is even better. The more I read, the more I want to read, and the more engrossed I become in the world that writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dean Ormston have created. It’s a mystery that unfolds page by page, issue by issue, full of incredible characters and brilliant twists. I can’t recommend this comic enough.
If you’ll recall from the first volume, a team of superheroes, after facing a very powerful enemy, suddenly found themselves transported to (and trapped in) an idyllic small town that is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. That was 10 years ago—not that time actually seems to pass in this world, totally removed from the one they once knew.
At the end of the previous volume, though, the town got a new visitor: Lucy Weber, intrepid reporter from the heroes’ former home of Spiral City, and daughter of their fallen comrade, the titular Black Hammer.
Now, as this volume begins, Lucy is determined to unlock the secrets of this small town prison and ultimately find a way to escape. It won’t be easy, though. It seems certain forces are conspiring against her, and every time she seems to be getting close to an answer, she’s blocked.
As in Volume 1, each issue focuses on a different character, interspersing flashbacks of their old lives as superheroes with depictions of their lives now. Previously, we saw their origins. Now, as the story continues to unfold, we get to see the events that led up to that final, epic battle which ended in their being transported to this town. We also finally get to meet the famous Black Hammer and see how he fits into this intricate tale. He may just be the missing piece of the puzzle that allows everything else to make sense.
Perhaps my description seems a bit vague, but I really think the story works better if you uncover it for yourself, a piece at a time. Suffice it to say, there’s plenty here to keep you hooked. There’s space travel, evil robots, ancient magic, undead ghouls, and, of course, a variety of superheroes and supervillains in epic battles.
Each of the characters has his or her own rich backstory, all coming together to create an intricately crafted, incredibly detailed world. The comic then reveals that world to us slowly, a piece at a time. We see snippets of adventures already in progress and are introduced briefly to characters who clearly have a much deeper history with our team of heroes. We’re always given just enough to leave us wanting more. These snippets also serve as the building blocks for the mystery of how they all came to be in their current situation and bring us ever closer to an answer to the looming question of why.
It’s a long journey to that answer, and the road is filled with twists, turns, and obstacles, but in the end, it’s a journey well worth taking. I can’t want to see what’s next.