Lucy Weber Slams Her Way Out Of Hell In Black Hammer: Age Of Doom #2

by James Ferguson

Lucy Weber thought she had it bad when she found herself stuck in limbo called the Ante Room. Technically, this was the second limbo she’d been in if you count Black Hammer Farm. Then she ends up in Hell itself. Lucy is new to the super hero game, but she’s not going to let anyone, including the Devil himself stop her from finding out what happened to her father.

While in Hell, Lucy meets a dead hero named Jack Sabbath. He’s very reminiscent of Dead Man, with his lithe body floating eerily in the air. His skin is taut on his skinny frame making him look like a skeleton. Characters like these round out the Black Hammer universe. They’re not derivative of other heroes we know and love. Instead, it serves as more of an homage with a unique spin on it so you never feel like it’s just a blatant rip off of someone else.
Artist Dean Ormston’s Hell is a terrifying place. I mean, that should go without saying as it’s one of the main words you’d have to use to describe the place, however you really get the sense of dread with his pencils. This is definite fire and brimstone Hell made of rocky ledges and agony. Nothing will ever grow here except for misery. You get the immediate sense that this is a dark place that no one has ever escaped from, which makes Lucy’s presence all the more intriguing, because you know she’s going to fight her way out of there.

Although the scenery is rather dreary, colorist Dave Stewart gives it an ungodly energy. The fires burn bright and stretch out as far as the eye can see. This contrasts well with the dark and dingy rocks and spires jutting out here and there. Of course, the other shade to stand out is red, both the color of blood and of Satan. This makes for a rather menacing villain.
Hordes of demons descend on Lucy and she uses her father’s hammer well, swinging it left and right to cut these monsters down. These creatures are decimated by the hammer. Blood and guts are flying every which way as her enemies’ bodies start to pile up. Lucy rises above it all with confidence, looking up a Satan towering over her and saying “I can do this all day.” How awesome is that?

Meanwhile, back on Black Hammer Farm, Gail and Barbie head into town to try to verify some of Lucy’s claims. Before she vanished into limbo, Lucy said she knew what was going on and potentially how to get out of here. This leads to some humorous moments between these two as they act like an uncle with his niece, even though Gail is much older, just trapped in a child’s body.
The two get some time to catch up and lean on one another. Writer Jeff Lemire packs a ton of character development into just a handful of pages, rounding out both Gail and Barbie to the point where you really understand where they’re coming from and the situation they’re in. Gail’s story in particular is heartbreaking as she had put heroics behind her and was living a good life with her boyfriend. Now she’s a child and may never see her lover again. We get these brief glimpses into what really makes them tick and it’s really special.

Black Hammer: Age of Doom has the look and feel of a Vertigo title in its hey-day. It’s like looking at Neil Gaiman’s Sandman through the lens of super heroes. The final pages of this issue most definitely have that flair. It enhances the scope, not only of Lucy’s journey, but that of the entire cast as the mystery of what exactly happened to them continues to unfurl.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #2 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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