Indie Comics Review: BLACK HAMMER REBORN #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky
Colours: Dave Stewart
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Black Hammer Reborn #2: Lucy Weber, formerly the powerful hero Black Hammer, is struggling to keep her daughter from following the same path of heroism–a battle she’s seems destined to lose as the family is confronted with spatial warps, shark monsters, and familiar faces from the past that threaten to bring more violence into their lives than they ever wanted.
Last issue hinted that something traumatic happened in the past that caused Lucy Weber to put away her hammer and retire from the superhero life. Black Hammer Reborn #2 features flashbacks to Lucy’s heroic career, but doesn’t reveal that event. However, the flashbacks hint at a developing story, which I am guessing will lead up to that revelation.
Black Hammer Reborn #2 also guest-stars Skulldigger, who appears both in the present day sequences as well as the flashbacks. His appearance in both time periods implies that he is a central character in Lucy’s life – but as an enemy or ally? In the flashback, he and Lucy come to blows, but in the present, he saves the life of Lucy’s daughter.
Also, retired superhero Doctor Andromeda makes an appearance. But he comes to Skulldigger’s aid instead of Lucy’s. Does this mean that Skulldigger’s motives are more benign than Lucy assumes or has Andromeda turned evil? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle? I have to admit that I’m intrigued by the questions this encounter raises.
I was also struck by the exchange between Lucy and her teenage daughter, Rose. During their talk, Lucy sees Rose in the Black Hammer costume. This seems to be hinting that Rose is destined to be the next Black Hammer. This makes sense, as we know that Black Hammer is a hereditary role. Lucy inherited it from her father, and her descendants will carry on the role in the future (as seen in The Quantum Age). This raises the possibility that this series might be leading up to Lucy passing the torch (or hammer) to her daughter. We don’t really know for sure that Lucy will continue to be the main protagonist of the series or if Rose will come to the forefront.
Their talk also reveals that Rose, and presumably the rest of Lucy’s family, is fully aware of Lucy’s past as Black Hammer. I had been wondering about this, as the first issue didn’t make it clear whether Lucy’s past was a secret from her family or not. If the book does lead to Lucy taking the hammer back up, then at least she won’t need to hide a secret second life from her family.
I have no problems with this series so far. I am a bit worried by Doctor Andromeda’s plea to Lucy, “I want you to remember me as I was, Lucy–not how I will be”. This sounds ominous, but I trust that Lemire knows what he’s doing. If Andromeda is going to do something questionable, I expect that Lemire will give adequate justification for him making that decision.
Black Hammer Reborn #2 is another fantastic issue in Jeff Lemire’s continuation of his Black Hammer saga. Some readers may be a bit put off in that this title doesn’t contain most of the familiar characters from the previous two volumes of Black Hammer. But I urge you to have faith in Lemire’s storytelling skills. In all the various Black Hammer projects, he hasn’t let us down yet.