REVIEW: ‘Rain Like Hammers,’ Issue #1

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Rain Like Hammers #1

Rain Like Hammers #1 is published by Image Comics,  with writing and art by Brandon Graham. After spending a long time, and a lot of effort, Eugene has made the move from his old city to a new one. But now that he’s here, Eugene is having a hard time adapting to his new home. He’s spending most of his time sitting alone in his room watching broadcasts, and not really enjoying it either.

One of the most prominent reasons people create art is to explore, analyze, and share the human experience. To create a representation of feelings and experiences the creator and/or others may have had as a means to share these experiences. It can be a powerful moment of emotional unity when a story lands its themes in a way that truly clicks with the reader. Some moments translate to the page better than others. And it’s this struggle in translation that hampers Rain Like Hammers #1 narrative the most.

On the face of it, Eugene’s experiences in this story are nearly as universal as you can get. After all, the majority of people have, at some point gone through a huge shift in their life that they struggled to adapt to. Whether it is a change in living location, like our protagonist, or even just a new job we feel isolated at, being the odd person out is an experience we’ve all had. And writer Graham certainly delivers the isolation Eugene goes through quite well.

The problem with Rain Like Hammers #1 delivery of this theme of isolation is that it isn’t all that interesting. Which, to be fair, is a big part of the reason such moments are such struggles. The repetition of going to work, going home, watching tv, and repeating in endless repetition can feel soul-crushing. And following along with it in comic book form isn’t that much more interesting. Some of the sequences even feel particularly designed to drive this point home. Such as when Eugene’s favorite show comes on.

When the tv drama The Verge of the Edge starts, the book takes the reader through the episode over the course of the next five pages. It is not good television. While I assume this is intentional, as a way to show the place Eugene has fallen into that this show is his hype moment of the week, it is still rough to get through.

The art used to relay the events of Rain Like Hammers #1 further adds to the blasé feeling of the book. Plain largely empty backgrounds and flat colors quickly cause the panels to run together, keeping any particular place or scene from being visually memorable.

When all is said and done Rain Like Hammers #1 delivers a relatable, but hard to enjoy the story. While the character’s situation is extremely understandable, the lack of interesting events or character growth makes this slice of life story a slow slough to get through.

Rain Like Hammers #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.

‘Rain Like Hammers,’ Issue #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done Rain Like Hammers #1 delivers a relatable, but hard to enjoy the story. While the character’s situation is extremely understandable, the lack of interesting events or character growth makes this slice of life story a slow slough to get through.