Subway Shorts – Black Hammer: Age of Doom 4

The answers to what happened to the heroes of Spiral City begin to get revealed, but it leads to so many more questions!

Black Hammer: Age of Doom 4
Written by Jeff Lemire
Pencils and Inks by Dean Ormston
Colors by Dave Stewart 

Lemire’s epic tale about a group of heroes marooned on a farm, unable to return to their former lives, has been one of my favorite books every month. The writer quickly drew readers in with the mystery of how Abraham Slam and his ragtag crew got lost, and almost immediately shifted focus to building up their histories. But the hows and the whys have always been there, especially with the addition of the new Black Hammer, the daughter of the original hero, who died trying to escape not long after they arrived at the farm.

The character work has been amazing, as each member of the cast has been given a spotlight at some point, with Abe and Barbalien trying to build lives on the farm and pursuing romantic entanglements. The heroes may not like each other very much, but they’ve learned to work as a family to play into the weird world where they’ve been stranded. The moment Barby and Abe have this issue, where they start to enjoy things going right in their love lives, is a wonderful scene. When the pair begins to question why it’s all happening, it adds to the confusion just enough to make what comes next even more unsettling.

After traveling through the dream realm last issue – with an homage to Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN universe – new Black Hammer Lucy Weber has learned the cause of the heroes’ banishment. And Golden Gail, the elder hero trapped in the body of a child, got some clues this issue, leading her to a confrontation with Madam Dragonfly, the mystic recluse. No one was prepared for the answers they received.

Dragonfly and Col. Weird had the other heroes in stasis pods… in a spaceship…? I definitely didn’t see that one coming. As if I wasn’t already hooked on what Lemire was doing with BLACK HAMMER, this issue guarantees I’ll be around for the long haul.