Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormston, David Rubín
Colourist: Dave Stewart, David Rubín
Letterer: Todd Klein, David Rubín
Publisher: Dark Horse
A review by Josh Rose
The Black Hammer’s daughter, Lucy, has arrived on the Farm where the Heroes of Spiral City have been trapped for the last 10 years. An investigative journalist, Lucy asks the questions the heroes haven’t thought to ask and inspires them to have hope for escaping their prison. Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event dives into the mystery of the Farm, and the heroes’ moments leading up to their fight with the Anti-God.
I have to admit that I’ve been slacking off on reading Black Hammer. To the untrained eye, these characters are analogues of popular Marvel and DC characters. Golden Gail and the Golden Family: Captain Marvel (Shazam) and the Marvel Family for example. There are familiar elements for each character, but despite those they each become their own unique character. There’s some action in the flashbacks, but very little happens on the Farm aside from Lucy trying to ask the right questions. As a result, this is a character driven series. The more we learn about the characters, the more the plot progresses.
One of the great things about the art by Dean Ormston is how it looks and feels like a silver age comic. The scenes with the Anti-God and Starlok’s Lightriders appear to be directly influenced by Jack Kirby’s art. David Rubin’s art in Colonel Weird and Talky Walky’s origin story is really cool because it looks like it was one of the golden age space adventures similar to Flash Gordon.
The colours by Dave Stewart seem fairly muted. Usually those silver age stories have bright colours, but in Black Hammer Volume 2 they’re much darker. This has a lot to do with the tone and atmosphere of the book. It’s not a happy story about “better times” and the “good old days”. It’s about missing heroes who are trapped in a place they cannot escape, and they aren’t necessarily dealing with it in healthy ways.
The Verdict: Buy It!
Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event is a fantastic book with a ton of great characters. From Barbalien struggling with finding human companionship and being gay, to Abraham Slam trying to feel useful and relevant in his old age. The main focus of the story is the characters, and how they’re dealing with being trapped. So what are you waiting for? Go buy it.
Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event will be out in trade on January 2, 2018.