Advance Review: Black Hammer Continues Without Missing A Beat In Age Of Doom #1

by James Ferguson

When we last left our lost heroes, Lucy Weber had picked up her father’s hammer and become the new Black Hammer. All was revealed to her. She knew how they all got to this bizarre farm, what’s holding them there, and more importantly, how they could escape. Just as she’s about to share these secrets with the group she disappears.
Now Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, and the others are left in shock with their only hope of freedom literally vanishing before their eyes. Meanwhile, Lucy finds herself trapped in an even stranger setting with an entirely different group of heroes, these more odd than what she’s used to.

I’m so excited that Black Hammer is back. The various mini-series that have popped up while the series was on hiatus have been enough to hold me over, but the main storyline was left off in such a huge cliffhanger that I’ve been dying to see it continued. Fortunately, Age of Doom delivers in spectacular fashion, and writer Jeff Lemire takes the story to some new and interesting places.
Let’s start with the heroes of Black Hammer Farm. They’ve been exploring their options for escape for years. Over time, they’ve effectively lost any and all hope of getting back home. Some of them have started to settle into their lives here, exploring relationships with some of the townsfolk. In short, they were becoming content. Now, here’s Lucy reigniting that hope and teasing a possible way home once and for all and then it is taken away just as quickly as they learned of its existence. It’s heartbreaking.

This hits Golden Gail the hardest and rightfully so. She’s an adult trapped in a child’s body so it’s no wonder she wants to get back to her normal life. After the initial shock settles in, Gail flies into a venomous rage that ultimately ends in tears. It’s a whirlwind of emotion and artist Dean Ormston captures every single one. You can’t help but feel sorry for her.
Throughout their time here, this group of heroes has formed a familial bond. They’ve acted as a family to the outside world for show, however in this time of great stress, they’re able to come together and help each other. They recognize what a major blow this is to morale and lean on one another to get through it. Even Madame Dragonfly comes into the house to help.

Now let’s jump back to Lucy. First off, her look as Black Hammer is awesome. She looks strong and confident hovering in the air above the other heroes. The costume has a classic feel to it and Lucy wears it well. There’s a shot about halfway through the issue with a close-up of her face. She has a suspicious look as she glances around investigating her newfound surroundings. This right here could be a poster I’d proudly hang on my wall. Ormston and colorist Dave Stewart captured such a shadowy pulp feeling here. It’s great stuff.
Lucy quickly takes to her new role but finds herself in an odd place with even odder people. The array of folks that shuffle in after her is a parade of the strangest freaks and weirdos this side of a Mike Mignola comic. All of them look super interesting and I can’t wait to learn more about them. Their appearance alone is enough to grab my attention and if they’re anything like the incredible characters we’ve seen in Black Hammer up until this point, we’re surely in for a treat.

Despite a months long hiatus, Black Hammer continues without missing a beat with Age of Doom. It has the same energy and life that it’s always had with intriguing characters, amazing artwork, and a stellar story. This is easily one of the best super hero comics on the stands today.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1 is scheduled for release on April 18th, 2018 at your local comic shop or digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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