Comic Rewind: Black Hammer Vol. 1

Six heroes are suddenly teleported onto some farmland and can’t leave.  Find out more in Black Hammer Vol. 1.

The heroes are made up of Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, Barbalien and Talky Walky.  They have been stranded for 10 years in this small town in the middle of nowhere living on a farm.

Each hero is miserable, but they are trying to make the most of it until they find a way to leave.  Talky Walky has been sending out probes to find out what is outside their area.  However, when it is launched it suddenly disappears.

Every issue of the volume follows a different hero and explains some of their origin and their life on the farm.  Many of the heroes are parodies of other heroes.  For example Barbalien is Martian Manhunter and Slam is Captain America.

One may think the opportunity to relax and not have to fight crime would be a welcome relief, but each hero is deeply troubled.

Gail is stuck in the body of a little girl even though she is a middle-aged woman.  Barbalien is gay and seems to be in love with his pastor, but is too scared to tell him how he feels.

The heroes are always saying they are stuck, but we don’t ever get to see how they know that.  Also what happens if they leave?

Black Hammer Vol. 1 was written by Jeff Lemire.  Art provided by Dean Ormston and colors by Dave Stewart.  Dark Horse Comics published the volume in 2017.

There are things I really liked about this comics and things I hated.  What I liked was the sitcom aspects of the story.

Abraham has his girlfriend over for the first time and tells everyone to be on their best behavior or they can wait in the barn.  Some heroes try to help, but others only hurt the situation.  It was straight out of an episode of Bewitched.

I loved how flawed and multilayered the characters were.  I was able to connect with them and feel bad for them.

What I hated was I have no idea what was going on.  I don’t know why they are there or how they got there.  The origin stories are all the heroes are very vague.  I understand their past is not what is important, but I want to know a little more about who they are.

At the very end of the volume we get a tiny clue a character knows a little more about the situation then they are letting on.  However, that could be a misdirect and it could be about something else.

I don’t mind a story not giving me the answers right away.  Lost was one of my favorite shows, but I need a little something.  Lemire did a really good job of building up the characters, but not a great job of building a story.

Hopefully the second volume will focus more on why they are at the farm.  I think way too little time was used on story building.  The entire volume was only holding my attention by a thread.

I am still on the fence if I will read the second volume because this one was a let down.  Like I said before great in some aspects and bad in others.


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