Friday, May 25, 2018

Book Review: Black Hammer Vol. 1: Secret Origins by J. Lemire et al.

Black Hammer Volume 1: Secret Origins script by Jeff Lemire, art by Dean Ormston, and colors by Dave Stewart

A group of six superheroes live a reclusive life on a small town farm. They pretend to be normal which is very tricky since one is a fifty-ish woman trapped in a nine-year-old body (Golden Gail), another is a cabin-dwelling witch (Madame Dragonfly), another is a half-mad astronaut (Colonel Weird), another is his robot sidekick (Talky Walky), another is a warlord of Mars (Mark Markz, known as Barbalien). The only normal one is tough guy Abraham Slam, who poses as Gail's grandfather and the farmer/patriarch of the group. Ten years earlier, they were heroes in Spiral City where they defeated Anti-God, a tough opponent whose defeat inexplicably banished them to the farm. Some of the heroes have been trying to get back; others have tried to blend in. No one is very successful.

The book is an interesting collection of familiar superheroes in an odd setting. They have issues with their past and their present, giving the characters some depth and resonance. The art style is very reminiscent of Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame), which is a plus. The only odd thing is the title, Black Hammer, which refers to a Spiral City superhero who is not on the farm. The set up (which is what most of this volume is) is intriguing and makes me want to read more.

Recommended, especially for comic book superhero fans.

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