A Deep Conversation Between Two Old Friends Steals The Show In Quantum Age #6

by James Ferguson

After numerous trials and tribulations, the Quantum League has been reformed, although it’s a shell of its former self. They have to take out Gravitus, their former teammate and current dictator of Earth. Will this be enough to stop a man with the power of a black hole?

The wonder of Quantum Age, and by extension, Black Hammer as a whole, is that it is entirely unpredictable. Sure, it is packed with homages to classic super hero comics, but the story is wholly original. Writer Jeff Lemire pulls you into the lives of these characters so you are completely invested in what they’re doing and where they might be going.
Quantum Age #6 has a fair amount of action and more than a little misdirection. This adds to the unpredictable nature of the book. While it plays with tropes of the genre, it doesn’t necessarily play by its rules. It helps that we’re dealing with characters that can manipulate time and space too.

There are two main sections of this issue. One deals with the current Quantum League as they plan their attack and the other focuses on Colonel Weird and Madame Dragonfly. They complement each other well as the former group is fighting for their lives and those of the entire galaxy while the latter are looking back on similar adventures that occurred decades ago.
The Colonel and the Madame are mainly just standing and speaking to each other and yet it’s some of the most compelling pages of the comic. They’re going through their regrets, of which they have many. Here is an opportunity for them to make up for all the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Instead of hiding away in exile, they can do some real good.

There are so many great details in this conversation too. Madame Dragonfly has a plant creature named Bernie, a reference to Bernie Wrightson, the co-creator of Swamp Thing. Letterer Nate Piekos uses a light grey font for Weird’s speech, making it seem like anything he says could be the last words he speaks.
Artist Wilfredo Torres shows the age of both of these characters. You can see the weight of their past bringing them down. Although they’re capable of doing such amazing things, it doesn’t help them with their thoughts of guilt and regret. It’s funny how this conversation can overshadow the action-packed sequence with the younger heroes. It’s just that interesting.

Madame Dragonfly was masquerading as the colorful and pleasant Madame Butterfly. Colorist Dave Stewart creates a nice contrast between these two looks. As the Butterfly, she’s pale with rainbow wings while the Dragonfly is nothing but darkness. Despite the gloomy appearance, this is where she’s most comfortable. This is who she is and Weird helps her embrace that once again.
While Quantum Age has the benefit of all the time that’s gone into the Black Hammer series to date, it also stands on its own as an incredible comic. It’s not easy to serve both returning readers and new ones, but this book pulls it off in spades. This is top notch storytelling that continues to push the boundaries of super hero comics.
Quantum Age #6 from Dark Horse Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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