Black Hammer Vol. 2 – The Event | Review


Published on Jan 19, 2018


It is often said that the concept of the superhero is now dated and it is impossible to use it with a new, unusual perspective. However, if there is an author capable of narrating stories of magistrates in tights in a peculiar manner, and innovative, that is Jeff Lemire, sitting in the light in recent years thanks to the versatility and the anti-conventionality of his inspiration.

The shows Black Hammer, series Dark Horse, conceived at the time of his masterpiece Essex County Trilogy. We can define it supereroica and, in fact, superheroes play an important role in the plot. But it's not the usual head dedicated to adventurers in costume. In Black Hammer, Lemire has in fact tried to merge two of its most important creative ideas and inspiration: the life of quiet, monotonous and banal, of the province and the vicissitudes of imaginative and visionary heroes, subjecting them to a sophisticated operation of deconstruction.

The protagonists of the series are Golden Gail, Madame Dragonfly, Abraham Slam, Barbalien, Talky Walky, and the Colonel Weird. A time were the greatest superheroes of Spiral City and each of them refers to a character from Marvel or DC from the Golden Age. They fought crime and tried to make the world a better place, but a battle with a creature called the Anti-God has them confined in a village of the province that, for some mysterious reason, can't leave.

The years have passed and they are resigned to live a normal life. What, however, is not easy, because forced to conceal their true nature. Also, not all of them, starting with the rebellious Golden Gail, accept the situation. Lemire lays out a story-line based on the contrast between everyday reality and the imagination, symbolized by the universe of superheroes, with good results. The psychologies of the characters are in-depth and the appearance introspective is the most intriguing of the Black Hammer. The heroes of Lemire is not accepted, they are individuals out of their world and their time, isolated and ‘different’, perhaps more of the mutants of Marvel.

There are, however, the mysteries. In this second volume, in fact, the heroes will begin to ask questions about the nature of the place in which they are located. They live in another time, in a parallel dimension, in the afterlife or a dream? For now there are no answers, but it can be assumed that they are the victims of a terrible plot concocted by the Anti-God.
Lemire plays with the clichés of comics of the Golden and Silver-Age inspired authors such as Kirby, making curious tributes to the Captain Marvel of the Fawcett and by the inspiration from the science-fiction classic, or the horror of Lovecraft.

Black Hammer is basically a comic-book influenced by the pop culture of the last fifty years. There is a sense of anguish and unrest to David Lynch, evident in the context of the provincial-style Twin Peaks which is a part of the story-line. Lemire, in addition, it addresses as well the issue of homophobia typical of certain rural contexts and bigots.

The designs are by Dean Ormston, penciler, well known to the Vertigo fan, which in the case of the Black Hammer has a stretch less convoluted and more plastic than usual. Builds the tables in a creative way, alternating shots of the case and the other to the whole page, and you grant times styles ditkiani and psychedelic, in line with the type of story told. An episode is, instead, illustrated by David Rubìn, less exciting Ormston, but effective. The intense colours and warm of the great Dave Stewart, also have the merit of enhancing the look of the overall volume.

Lemire, but effective. The intense colours and warm of the great Dave Stewart, also have the merit of enhancing the look of the overall volume. In short, if you're a fan of Lemire and love superheroes, not being able to lose the Black Hammer, to be numbered as one of the best ideas in comics in recent times. For you to try.

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