Indie Comics Review: BLACK HAMMER REBORN #10
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Caitlyn Yarsky
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Black Hammer Reborn #10: Lucy Weber has been searching for her father for years, and when he finally appears at her door, he turns out to be from an evil dimension–will she take his Faustian offer to be a family again or face off to prove there can only be one Black Hammer?!
At the end of the last issue, the alternate universe version of the original Black Hammer made Lucy an offer – he would reunite her with her family, but in exchange, Lucy had to join forces with him. Now, in Black Hammer Reborn #10, we find that Lucy finds herself unable to turn down this chance to recover her family. However, it doesn’t take her long to realize she’s made the wrong decision.
The pair go to Lucy’s mother. However, Lorraine does not give her husband’s doppelganger the warm reaction he expects. She declares, “You are nothing like my Joe… Your eyes are dead”, and she implores her daughter to accept that her family is dead and that this ersatz Black Hammer can reunite her with them.
Then Joe tells her “She isn’t the one… There will be others. We just need to keep looking”. This is when Lucy realizes that he sees people as replaceable objects. If one dies or doesn’t meet with his approval, he can just find another version in another parallel universe. And I’m sure Lucy realizes that he doesn’t intend on finding Lucy’s actual husband and children, but rather another version of them from another universe.
Even worse, it appears that Lucy isn’t the first Lucy Weber that this version of Joe has attempted to win over, but none of the other Lucys accepted his offer either. I like that her incorruptibility seems to be a constant throughout the multiverse. The only reason she considered this evil Joe Weber’s offer was her concern for her family.
Speaking of which, it appears that Lorraine was wrong about their being dead. Well, we knew her son was still alive from the Inspector Insector backup story in previous issues. That story ended with the Inspector and the younger Joe Weber jumping into a portal. Now in Black Hammer Reborn #10, we see them emerge from the other side.
They find themselves on a country road, but a pickup truck quickly arrives with Joe’s sister and father. While this is something of a surprising reunion, the real surprise is the other person in the truck: Abraham Slam. Apparently, when Joe was transported to Limbo-Land by Colonel Weird, the rest of his family was sent to the Black Hammer farm.
This raises a number of questions. Did Weird intentionally send them to the farm? If so, for what reason? Why did Joe end up in Limbo-Land? Now that reality has intruded in the lives of the heroes on the farm, will this end their lives there and return them to Spiral City?
With the barrier between universes collapsing and the hints that Anti-God might soon return, it’s almost certain that Lemire’s planning something big for the final two issues.
I deliberately qualified that last sentence with the word “almost”. It’s quite possible that rather than giving this story a definitive conclusion, Lemire will give us an ending that sets his upcoming Black Hammer: The End series. Thus, the truly major events hinted at in this series might not be realized until that series materializes. We don’t know when that is exactly. Later this year? Next year?
However, I have faith that whether this series will conclusively finish off this story or is set up for the next, Lemire will give this series a satisfactory ending of some kind. I’m sure that it will be worth however long we have to wait for it, whether it is a continuation of this series or a whole new story.
The previous issues have been building up to a major event of cosmic proportions. And as we are heading into the final issues of the Black Hammer Reborn, we will see if Lemire’s Second Cataclysm will live up to the build-up it’s received. I fully expect that it will, as Lemire hasn’t disappointed me yet.