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‘Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1’ – Comic Book Review

Welcome back. If you missed it, Black Hammer was one of the great surprises of 2017. Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormstrom, Dave Stewart, Todd Klein, Daniel Chabon, and others all joined forces to bring their love of Golden Age comics to us and then beat those tropes into a bloody pulp with a wrench of emotional despondency. It was brilliant. Aging Golden Age heroes of Spiral City, after saving the world from a cosmic evil, found themselves trapped on a farm like some Philip K. Dickian reality show as psychoanalytical mind-f*** to live out their lives. In this new world where superheroes don’t exist, some took to it, some did not. When Black Hammer tried to escape, he was killed by unknown forces. Ten years later . . . hope came anew when the daughter of the great Black Hammer, Lucy Weber, found her way to these despondent heroes. She began to uncover strange mysteries about the town all while Col. Weird, who has access to the Para-zone, seemed to know a lot more than he was letting on. In the final moments leading up to the story break, Lucy Weber picked up her father’s hammer and became the new Black Hammer.

What happens next has to be the most infuriating thing that could possibly happen to this group of trapped heroes, and on a cosmic level, it’s almost funny. The timing of the event that occurs happens almost like a punchline, and to feel like a punchline is the aggravating part. Even Col. Weird is thrown for a loop; whatever he thought was going to happen doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anymore.

And as infuriating as it is for the reader to almost get answers, the questions that arise from the events that transpire in this first issue are mind-boggling. Even if you thought you had an idea of where this was going, you have no idea.

Dean Ormston is allowed to let his freak flag fly in this issue, as the universe – or as one of the newly introduced characters (A bartender in hell?) referred to as “all of existence” – is expanded upon, giving us a look at “all the weird ones.” This new turn of events and these new characters fit beautifully into the heart of this journey, embracing themes of unorthodox families and the struggle of being accepted for who you are.

The comic book industry is in an exciting place, where creators are given the freedom and the means to explore stories and worlds in really exciting ways. Black Hammer is one of those worlds and one of those stories. If you aren’t reading it, you aren’t experiencing the best the comic industry has to offer.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer, creator), Dean Ormstrom (artist, creator), Dave Stewart (colors), Todd Klein (letters), Daniel Chabon (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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