The heroes of Spiral City’s Golden Age are trapped on a farm, completely cut off from their former life. Abraham Slam is adapting, and Martian hero Barbalien is trying to fit in, but the townsfolk aren’t always inviting. Golden Gail, Madame Dragonfly, and Col. Weird have all isolated themselves, trying to forget their past and present. It seems that only the robotic sidekick Talky-Walky is determined to follow in the footsteps of Black Hammer and escape the farm.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the latest must-have series by Dark Horse Comics. Jeff Lemire, comic book legend, further cements his place as one of the best writers today with this outstanding series. It’s amazing how even the smallest interaction between these characters can be significant.
The mystery set by the first two issue begins to become more clear in this issue, offering up well-placed and fair clues that really gets your brain ticking. We’re always on our toes as we’re thrown in different directions, pondering what’s true and what’s a misdirection. Don’t get us wrong, this subject matter is nothing new and we’ve all read our fair share of Golden Age comic books, but this creative team has the secret formula. They’ve rejuvenated this subject to the point where it feels new and like a breathe of fresh air in a world full of Marvel and DC.
Barbalien takes center stage as we learn about his origins on Earth, it feels rather close to DC’s Martian Manhunter – but more like a new story, rather than a direct copy. The art in this book is just incredible, it manages to improve in each issue and nearly always blows our expectations out of the water.
Whether it’s something big like a meteor soaring through a city, or something on a smaller scale like snow beginning to fall, everything feels like it deserves a place in the book and just enough emphasis and detail. The tone is reinforced by the colour palette and subtle details that aren’t typical to a comic of this subject. Action and drama can co-exist in perfect harmony, never feeling mismatched or out of place.
We’re so glad that we’ll be exploring the backstories of other characters before the series is over, as each character truly carries enough weight to spend an issue with – allowing Lemire to truly dig into what made them the person/alien/robot they are today.
Black Hammer continues to impress as we get into the third issue.