Dark Horse Review: BLACK HAMMER: AGE OF DOOM #12
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormston
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Todd Klein
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12: In this final episode of the Age of Doom series, all the questions are finally answered about what put our heroes on the farm, why, and where we go from here.
I only discovered Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer recently, so I was somewhat disappointed to learn that it was coming to an end. Unlike when Black Hammer relaunched as Black Hammer: Age of Doom, this time is actually the end.
Well, for the core team at least. Lemire plans on continuing with a new core series focusing on the actual character Black Hammer herself, as well as continuing with more World of Black Hammer miniseries.
With most comic series, the end of a title is rarely final. These titles often contain the seeds of a later revival and seems more like the start of a hiatus than a conclusion. But Lemire leaves little doubt that this is the last chapter for the main cast of this series.
I love that Lemire has granted the characters a happy ending, but I find it somewhat ironic that it involves them returning to the farm that they previously saw as a prison. It reminds me of the pilot episode “The Cage” of classic Star Trek, where Captain Pike fought to escape an illusory world, only to return to that world which held a better life for him than the real world.
There are some important differences to the world of the farm that make difference between prison and paradise. One is that they no longer remember their earlier lives as superheroes in Spiral City. The other that they are literally family. Abraham Slam tells Madame Dragonfly, “We are your real family. We always were.” And now they are, in every sense of the word.
Sherlock Frankenstein joins them on the farm, reuniting with Golden Gail. Gail is still a ten-year-old girl. She doesn’t realize her true age and is content to live as a little girl, playing with her friend a little boy named Sherlock.
The only character that doesn’t get appear to get a place in this family is Madame Dragonfly herself. The ending implies that she takes on the form of an actual Dragonfly, which magically contains the farm reality within it. I feel sorry for her, as she doesn’t get to partake in their paradise, but is relegated to standing guard over it. Her fate turns “happily ever after” into a bittersweet finale.
While I’m sad to see this story end, I am happy that Lemire plans to continue the franchise. Lemire has managed to create a world that hints at unexplored depths. Plus, we can see more of the Black Hammer heroes in the Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice miniseries, which is still in progress.