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‘Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil:’ Advance Trade Paperback Review

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil takes place in one of my favorite comic book universes right now, that of Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer. It also happens to deal with two of my favorite characters from the world: Lucy Weber (the daughter of Black Hammer) and Golden Gail. The main character of the story is Lucy Weber as she uses her journalistic training and unending gumption to track down any answer she can find involving the disappearance of her father and the rest of the heroes after their fight against Anti-God. Doctor Star, another hero (who is currently heading his own Black Hammer spinoff series) gives Lucy the push she needs to begin her hero’s journey. Of all of the characters in the Black Hammer world, she is, by far, the most motivated and strong willed.

Her journey in this book is to find Sherlock Frankenstein, the greatest villain the heroes had ever faced, hoping that he’ll provide some answers. It unfolds very much like Citizen Kane, as Lucy uncovers Frankenstein’s past, what he was doing on the day the heroes disappeared, and why was he doing it. Frankenstein has a Rosebud to be certain.

Now to Golden Gail, an aging woman trapped in a little girl’s body. She received her powers as a young girl, but without her powers, she continues to age. When she turns her powers on and off, she goes from being an older woman to being a young girl. When she, along with the other heroes, were sent to the farm, she became permanently trapped in the young girl form. It’s heartbreaking. She plays a minuscule part in Sherlock Frankenstein, but her revelation amplifies everything about the character.

Of course, with David Rubín on art duties, every element of this book is elevated. Through slightly exaggerated expressions and attention to details that other artists wouldn’t give any weight to, the story comes to life in truly unexpected ways. The anger, the sadness, the fragility of these portrayals connects us to these characters not just as heroes, but as humans. Rubín’s use of colors heightens the emotional weight of the scenes. The man shows us stories that words can only begin to tell.

While, yes, dealing with characters from a larger universe, Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil is an effective story unto itself. The way Lemire weaves Lucy and Frankenstein’s stories together of loss and hope, allowing the characters to influence and affect each other, gives the reader a truly satisfying emotional arc and is also a necessary piece to the greater world of Black Hammer.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (story), David Rubin (art, letters, colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters), Daniel Chabon (editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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