Black Hammer: Secret Origins, Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart
21 Jun 2021 - Nic Ho Chee
I'm a big fan of Jeff Lemire's Descender so it was a no-brainer to try out his very off-beat take on Golden Age superheroes in transition. This is a strange mix of old-school, foot-slogger costumed crime fighters with their bombastic and often simplistic lens through which they view good and evil, and a complex story of family warped by supernatural circumstance.
A group of heroes save their city from the Anti-God, a Lloigor like being, bent on the destruction of all life. At the point of success, the team is transported and trapped on what appears to be a farm and the small mid-western town it abuts, by a deadly invisible barrier. The force field disintegrates the eponymous Black Hammer during their arrival and first investigation, with the story picking up ten years after the defeat of the Anti-God, and the loss of Black Hammer.
Still trapped, some of the heroes are attempting to integrate into the town, which we learn is populated by people who lead normal lives, unhindered by the barrier. The team's resident alien robot, Talky-Walky, creates yet another probe to try and find a way past the force field to make contact with the outside world, setting in progress the events for the coming volumes.
I originally picked this up in a Humble Bundle some years ago, and off the back of the collection, I added the floppies to my old Pull List and haven't really looked back since. The world of Black Hammer is a rich loam, full of surprisingly realistic characters, and not a pouch filled bandolier in sight.