Published on September 20th, 2017 | by Dana Folkard
BLACK HAMMER #13 REVIEW
Summary: Unexpected plot development.
A lot is revealed!
The mystery surrounding the multiversal crisis is beginning to unfold, as the events from the past are being revealed. The team assembles one last time to take down the Anti-God, the ultimate evil that threatens the existence of life! Whilst, back on Black Hammer farm, something big is about to happen, a single moment that will change the course of the future permanently.
Black Hammer #13 dives straight into action, as we see various flashbacks to Spiral City, where each of the heroes suddenly vanish from Earth. One-by-one they are zapped away to New World, where Starlok and Black Hammer tell them the devastating news that a great evil has arisen. This is a heavy burden to bear, as they are all that’s left between utter annihilation and the destruction of life itself. This is the moment that we see them assemble one last time, signifying the beginning of the end! These flashbacks are set alongside events unfolding in the present, back in Rockwood. Abe is being questioned by the police, over the mysterious disappearance of Sheriff Trueheart. We also see his relationship begin to fall apart with Tammy, as she tries to grapple with the sudden loss of her ex-husband, casting a suspicious eye towards Abe. Lucy is looking for Madame Dragonfly, as she wishes to question the one person who has eluded her so far. After finding no help from Gail, Lucy wanders off to go looking for Madame Dragonfly on her own, and in her reflective state, finds herself far from Black Hammer farm. She is suddenly struck with a crazy idea, one that will alter their lives and the course of the future!
Wow! What a revealing and exciting issue of Black Hammer. We learn so much and we see some interesting things unfold. I love how Jeff Lemire has slowly been building the tension over the past few issues, with it finally culminating to reveal a very dramatic plot development. At this point we can begin to piece together parts of the puzzle, with it all starting to form a pretty tight and engaging tale. There is a lot going on in this issue, as Lemire explores the events leading up to the single moment that sent them all into exile, whilst also progressing with the story unfolding in Rockwood. These stories are two sides of the same coin, revealing a lot to the reader, whilst also being a dramatic contrast from one another. The overall tone is one of unease and apprehension, especially as we know that the flashbacks can only end a certain way, with their exile and the tragic death of Black Hammer. Also, the uncanny and spooky nature of Rockwood and Black Hammer farm is always one that I absolutely love, as it feels like we are venturing into some kind of horror story, straight from a Stephen King novel.
Dean Ormston is back to illustrate this chapter of Black Hammer, bringing this wonderfully dark and gritty world to life. Emotions are flying in this issue, and Ormston perfectly captures the pain and anguish that these heroes are experiencing. It’s incredibly compelling to see the level of fear that is reflected in their faces, making it very easy to feel the full gravity of their hopeless situation. The use of heavy shadows and silhouettes gives everything a sinister edge, reflecting the overall menacing tone of the story. The colouring, by Dave Stewart works with Ormston’s art wonderfully, in delivering an engaging visual narrative. I really enjoy how Stewart uses dull and muted tones when in Rockwood, framing everything in a dark and ominous glow. This colouring contrasts dramatically to the flashbacks scenes, where we see the use of a much more vibrant colour palette, that is graphic and striking.
I don’t mean to wax-poetic, but this is an engaging and compelling issue, and I really do love this series. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy ASAP!
I’m giving this issue 5 out of 5 stars!
CREATIVE TEAM: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PUBLICATION DATE: September 20, 2017
REVIEWER: Dana Folkard