Black Hammer: Age of Doom #9
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormston
After spending some time with the future superheroes of the Quantum Age, Jeff Lemire decided it was time to get back to the regular Black Hammer timeline.
When we last saw our heroes, they were all living in a Spiral City (and on Mars) that never had any superheroes. None of the heroes remember anything about their lives, even though they have a feeling that something is not right. Well, none except for Walky Talky.
In the previous issue, someone had contacted Lucy claiming to know more about her father. That ‘someone’ turned out to be non-other than Walky. He told Lucy everything he knew, but Lucy isn’t that keen on believing him. And why would she believe a walking talking robot, something that’s never been seen in the (current) world? He urges her to find her father’s hammer, as it triggered her memories the last time something similar happened. This doesn’t really convince Lucy and she hastily leaves Walky’s place. But it’s obvious that the information didn’t fall on deaf ears.
In the meantime, while Lucy and Walky are trying to figure things out, Mark Markz is having problems with the council members from his village and Abe is living a mundane life of a museum guard. Gail and Madame Dragonfly are still MIA, while Colonel Weird’s story has an unexpected turn.
Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer Universe has seen some considerable growth in the last year or so and the consistently high level of quality has been amazing. The new Age of Doom arc is no different, as it offers a fun and interesting take on yet another comic book trope – the cosmic retcon. The events from issue #7 are sure to play a role in the outcome of this arc, and the ending of Quantum Age might affect it as well. We just have to wait and see how, exactly.
There are some really great character moments in the book. Abe’s fall into disgrace is heartbreaking, while Mark’s vendetta is truly satisfying. Lucy’s search for answers is also a highlight of the issue, as well as its inevitable endpoint. Too bad we didn’t get anything with (or – about) Gail, but I’m sure we’ll see her soon.
The weirdly stylised artwork by Dean Ormston has always been a great fit for Lemire’s equally weird universe. The faces are always a bit wacky, but they grow on you. Ormston and colorist Dave Stewart do a good job at displaying the bleakness of a superhero-less Spiral City (and Mars).
Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer projects continue to be a fantastic read and a beacon of hope for Dark Horse. His pastiche characters, coupled with the meta-commentary on comic books and the weird art make up this wonderful ever-growing universe. And the recently launched Black Hammer ’45 and the newly announced Batman/Justice League crossover are sure to push it in some new and interesting directions.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #9
Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer projects continue to be a fantastic read and a beacon of hope for Dark Horse.