Indie Comics Review: BLACK HAMMER: VISIONS #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Scott Kolins
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Letters: Nate Piekos
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Black Hammer: Visions #2: DC superstar Geoff Johns joins the Hammerverse with this creepy tale about a young boy who flees a kidnapper only to find himself trapped in the Cabin of Horrors and face-to-face with the mysterious Madame Dragonfly.
In Black Hammer: Visions #2, Geoff Johns steps in to write a Madame Dragonfly issue. This series is providing a chance for other writers to play in Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer Universe. In this case, it’s one of the major architects of the modern DC Universe. So, Johns should feel right at home in another superhero universe.
But Madame Dragonfly isn’t primarily a superheroine. She’s based around the old horror title hosts like the EC’s Crypt Keeper or DC’s Cain and Abel. These characters would welcome readers to creepy abodes like the Crypt of Terror or the House of Mystery and present the reader with frightening stories.
I like that Johns keeps his story in line with this tradition, having Madame Dragonfly welcome the readers to the Cabin of Horrors and introducing them to the story. Interestingly, although the story takes place in her Cabin of Horrors, Dragonfly keeps keeps to her role as hostess, not entering the story herself until the conclusion.
It seems that Johns can’t help doing a bit of world-building, even if he’s playing in somebody else’s sandbox. The story turns out to be the origin story of a new character, Kid Dragonfly. And his new mentor tells us that when he finishes his training, he will transform his family’s farm into his own Farm of Horrors.
Given his work on DC’s Blue Beetle, Scott Kolins was a fitting choice of artist to draw another insect-themed character. Kolins proves to be equally adept at drawing horror as he is at superhero comics. And Bill Cabtree’s colours do an admirable job of capturing setting a dark and forbidding mood for this horror story.
The only real complaint about this is that this tale is all too brief. It would serve as a great tease for an ongoing horror anthology book. Luckily, Lemire has announced that we will be seeing a Madame Dragonfly title in the near future. So perhaps, this can serve as a teaser for that project.
Black Hammer: Visions proves that Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer universe is rife with potential for great stories. There are plenty of untold adventures, making it easy for other writers to come in and tell their own story and flesh out the Black Hammer Universe a bit. I am eager to see what the other writers in this series will come up with.