REVIEW: ‘Black Hammer: Reborn,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Black Hammer Reborn #1 - But Why Tho

Black Hammer: Reborn #1 is a continuation of Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer franchise from Dark Horse Comics. It’s illustrated by Caitlin Yarsky with colors by Dave Stewart and letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot. It’s been a long, long time since Lucy has wielded her father’s Black Hammer. And she’s surely never going to do so again, even when Spiral City is in danger, even when her best friend is begging her to, even when her life is in utter shambles.

I’ve never read any Black Hammer comics before, and Black Hammer: Reborn #1 is a perfect starting place. The comic gives you all the background into the main character and the world that you need to feel caught up without feeling like you missed too much, and while encouraging you to go back and read the first phase of the franchise for yourself. It’s one of the strongest “previously on” sequences I’ve read. It has me emotionally invested in Lucy and the Black Hammer by giving some of the most tragic details of her past while leaving me completely open to experiencing those tragedies for myself.

Then, through the whole issue, as we catch up with Lucy 20 years on, you can’t help but empathize with her. As a character, as a mother, as a wife, and as a former superhero, she’s utterly compelling and multi-dimensional in a way few comics have made me feel about a character so quickly. By the end, I had absolute chills over her plight and feel confident I’ll be emotionally wrecked by the time the series concludes. The plot only just begins to unfold and reveal itself in Black Hammer: Reborn #1, but it offers just enough to hook me in with its oddity and emotion.

Visually, I love the contrast the book shows between the lethargy of mundane life and the vim of superheroics. Everyone is hunched over, sad-looking, and colored in unappealing earth tones during the panels depicting regular life. You can tell everyone is miserable, stressed, and unwanting for that life. But when flashbacks of Black Hammer come along, the panels are full of life. The colors pop, the people look invigorated. But there’s also a clear taint to those scenes every few of them, indicating trauma and resentment are just below the surface when Lucy reflects on those years. The word bubbles are laid out just right, and there is one particularly impressive SFX that completely changes the entire attitude of the issue in one panel. It’s altogether absolutely enrapturing and I cannot wait for more.

Black Hammer: Reborn #1 is a perfect introduction to the franchise for a new reader as it captures all of the emotional momentum necessary to both bring you into its characters and world and send you off into a new series and adventure.

Black Hammer: Reborn #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Black Hammer: Reborn #1
5

TL;DR

Black Hammer: Reborn #1 is a perfect introduction to the franchise for a new reader as it captures all of the emotional momentum necessary to both bring you into its characters and world and send you off into a new series and adventure.