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‘Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise’ – Advance Comic Book Review

There is no role small enough in the Black Hammer universe that doesn’t deserve to be dug into. Afterall, Black Hammer is all about stories, and everyone, no matter how seemingly inconsequential or powerful, has a story. What felt like a throwaway punchline character, Cthu-Lou, fit snugly into the Golden Age-era tropes of the 1950s superhero genre that the Black Hammer universe plays in. Now, that trope has been turned on its head, and we are introduced to Cthu-Lou’s teenage daughter, Cthu-Louise.

This shift from Golden Age to modern-era tropes perfectly fits the satirical edge of the rest of the Black Hammer universe. And, like a lot of the Black Hammer world, many of our superheroes feel like outcasts, unable to fit in and find a family unit. Ultimately, every character’s journey has been to find love and acceptance. Cthu-Louise is no exception. In fact, it’s the most straightforward, distilled exploration of these themes I’ve seen yet.

Like many coming-of-age stories, Cthu-Louise is hated and made fun of by all of her classmates, but, in this specific case, it’s because she’s a monster with a squid-like head. That’s not who she really is. In fact, the real monster is her dad who, yes, has a head like hers, but a heart smaller than that of the other green-skinned monster, the Grinch. Will Cthu-Louise give into her namesake, or will she overcome her tormentors and find love and acceptance?

This is a charming side story in a rather complex and introspective universe of characters, and I think it was needed to really help define for people what’s going on with all of these amazing, deeply flawed characters that Lemire and Dean Ormston have created.

In this issue, Emi Lenox lends her talent as artist and Dave Stewart his magical coloring skills. Like all of the Back Hammer world, this book is absolutely worth reading.

Creative Team: Jeff Lemire (writer), Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston (creators), Emi Lenox (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Ethan Kimberling (designer), Daniel Chabon (editor), Brett Israel (assistant editor)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor



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