Black Hammer #1
Release Date: July 20, 2016 (Out Now)
$3.99 MSRP for each issue
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Dean Ormston
Color Art by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Todd Klein
Covers by Dean Ormston with Dave Stewart
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Reviewed by Dante Hicks
New York Times best selling author Jeff Lemire crafts a story about a strange group of people living on a farm with a secret. They are in self imposed hiding and are constantly in fear of being found out. This is their story.
Oh my goodness that was creepy, yet cool as hell! Dean Ormston's art is a mix of creepy yet beautiful. Jeff Lemire's writing is amazing. The cast of characters (Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Barbalien/ Mark Markz, Talky Walky, Colonel Weird, and Madame Dragonfly) are each characters that have flaws and struggles they deal with. The first issue shows us how they are coping with being in hiding and the struggles they face trying to hide who they truly are from the townspeople. Gail looks like a 9 year old child but she can fly and she smokes cigarettes, Talky Walky is trying to build a probe to search for answers, Abraham Slam is basically running a farm single handedly with arthritis and trying to keep everyone else from getting found out, Barbalien is a shape shifting alien similar to "Martian Manhunter/ J'onn J'onnz", Colonel Weird is an adventurer who travels through "The Para-Zone". He is a old man and has memory problems. Then we have Madam Dragonfly, who has this creepy presence and talks to crows.
We get hints of what happened to cause them to go in to hiding, but not a full explanation yet. This is the first issue after all. But man, this first issue is amazing and a great starting point for what looks like an amazing series. If you are a fan of Hellboy or B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) comics or the Hellboy films, this is right up your alley. I had the pleasure of reading this book and loved it. It was well plotted and thought out. The art (both line work and colors) was amazing. If being a comic reader for 32 years is any indication of what I know, this is going to be the sleeper hit of the summer. If anyone in Hollywood (who are always on the look out for the next intellectual property to adapt to film) knows what's good out of the sea of comics out there, they better jump on this quick.
I have to give this 5 out 5 stars. This was an incredible first issue and gives me hope that the rest of the series will be better if not, I'd be happy with it being just as good as the first issue. Go call, email, send smoke signals, telepathically contact your nearest comic shop and have them hold you a copy of this fun read. Don't be that guy that says "Man! I wish I picked it up when it came out." Go pick up the first issue. If you loved it as much as I did get the rest of the series. If it's not to your liking, well then no harm, no foul. All you spent was the cost of the first issue. I know I'm going to be adding this to my stack of comics I pick up and I hope you do the same.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars