Title: Black Hammer.
Story-arc: Age of Doom (Part 1).
Writer(s): Jeff Lemire.
Illustrator(s): Dean Ormston.
Colourist(s): Dave Stewart.
Letterer(s): Todd Klein.
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics.
Release Date: January 15th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on Black Hammer:
Black Hammer (Vol. 1): Secret Origins.
Black Hammer (Vol. 2): The Event.
The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga continues its foray into the world heroes with its insightful exploration of humanity within these godlike individuals. In this third volume, Jeff Lemire begins to draw the curtain on the mysterious circumstances that encapsulate the reality of our heroes and looks to further expand this universe by tying in more of his quirky characters. As if things could not get any weirder, the story he turns over to fans of this franchise will clearly establish his run within a grander scheme that is far more ambitious than anyone could have imagined. While there are already spin-offs, set in this universe, released so far in this series, this third volume is a two-part mystery that will unload a stockpile of questions and answers that no hero would want to take in arms.
What is Black Hammer: Age of Doom (Part 1) about? The story continues where it left off in Black Hammer: The Event with Lucy Weber discovering the truth and ready to unveil it to everyone stuck on the farm. As she is about to stutter the first words of the ultimate discovery, she suddenly vanishes and leaves the awestruck heroes with an overwhelming feeling of despair, wondering what had just happened and what they were supposed to do. Convinced that it is not the moment to lose hope, on the verge of finding out the truth, they conjure a little bit of inquisitiveness to give one final collective effort to uncover the truth behind their faith as heroes stuck on a farm isolated from the world. Collecting Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1-5, this is the beginning of many revelations.
Fans of Jeff Lemire’s ongoing superhero universe will agree that Black Hammer: Age of Doom (Part 1) is a turning point in the series’ narrative as the characters and the readers face the truth behind everything that has been going on to our heroes. With the past volumes building up the emotional development of each of the characters and their unfortunate faith to be stuck together on a farm without any means to escape it, this story arc looks to destroy the status quo in a stunning fashion and allow the story to explore new uncharted territory where the stakes are even deadlier than ever imagined. What I loved most about the story’s angle is how it questions the reality in which they live and how our heroes need to decide between selfish interests and humanity’s well-being. With a rewarding payoff, it is now only with great anticipation that fans will have to wait for part two as the cliff-hanger ending did nothing more than torture the reader as to what will happen next.
When it comes to consistency, this series has been spectacular since the very beginning. Dean Ormston deserves a standing ovation for the sheer willpower and passion that he puts into delivering issue after issue despite the severe complications that he faces. In fact, he underwent a brain injury that left his right hand physically impaired. With the help of Peter Gross and the rough breakdowns he did, Dean Ormston was able to pencil his work and see it completed even if it took him twice the time to do so. Although on a personal level, I am not a die-hard fan of the art style, I did grow to associate it with this universe and would have a hard time accepting any new artwork. The character designs and overall setting details are still rough to my eyes with its relative simplicity and rugged penciling but I cannot say that it isn’t, however, a style that doesn’t work since the story continues to go strong with every installment.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom (Part 1) is a solid story arc that unleashes a torrent on our heroes and readers as the twist demystifies the world in which we revel in.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!