Title: Black Hammer.
Story-arc: The Event.
Writer(s): Jeff Lemire.
Illustrator(s): Dean Ormston & David Rubín.
Colourist(s): Dave Stewart & David Rubín.
Letterer(s): Todd Klein & David Rubín.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics.
Release Date: January 2nd 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on Black Hammer:
Black Hammer (Vol. 1): Secret Origins.
Heroes are often associated with a layer of invincibility and of brute emotional and physical strength. Little does everyone know that behind their superhero identities, there often lies a human being who suffers through the same daily issues as everyone else. Among all the fundamental needs, love remains the most quintessential one, whatever form it takes. From parents to significant others, it is often through love that you fully actualize yourself and discover your true nature. This is where writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dean Ormston draw upon their united strengths to deliver a Watchmen-esque new universe with Black Hammer. Without any surprise, their second installment continues to be a wonderful exploration of superheroes and their most humane facets.
What is Black Hammer: The Event about? The story continues where it was left off in Black Hammer: Secret Origins. With the arrival of a new visitor whose ties to a certain hero brought her to hunt down the truth behind The Event, the farm is now on the verge of embracing new changes with secrets stepping into the light. Alongside the arrival of this visitor, the newfound knowledge of the existence of Spiral City for the Golden Age heroes remains a sign of hope that there might be an exit for these heroes out of their isolated lives and forced camaraderie. Collecting issues #7-11 and #13, this series continues to further explore the origin stories of our heroes and more information on the events that led up to their grand battle and their ultimate sacrifice for humanity.
Engrossing as ever, the story takes on new challenges as it digs further into the classic superhero tropes. In Black Hammer: The Event, the various heroes introduced in Black Hammer: Secret Origins are seen through new lenses as new details surge from their past to further enlighten the reader on the circumstances that led up to the infamous event. While some heroes let go of countless burdens to chase after well-deserved happiness and others who officially decide to abandon their toxic environment where they do not feel like they belong, the story doesn’t miss any opportunity to engulf the reader and immerse them within this gloomy world filled with love and tragedy. The characterization alone allows the story to take a shape of its own as each hero’s individual dilemmas complexifies their collective plight.
Unlike the previous volume, Black Hammer: The Event sees the arrival of artist David Rubín who brings into play a different art style to what artist Dean Ormston generally delivers. Interestingly, the flashback sequences within the story are drawn with a different style that is much more comical and cartoonish with a lot of vibrant colours. Otherwise, Dean Ormston’s artistic vision continues to be as strong as it was in the first volume. This time around, the dialogue is less omnipresent and pages with little to no dialogue give room for the art to speak for itself. It’s the dusk-and-nightfall colours that allow the artwork to bring a very bleak atmosphere while its character designs continue to highlight the distressed state in which the characters are at the farm.
Black Hammer: The Event is an impeccable sequel to a franchise that continues to explore the dark and dreary world of superheroes.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!