REVIEW: Black Hammer #11

Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormston
Colourist: Dave Stewart
Release Date: Out Now!!!!!!

Price: $3.99

Black Hammer #11
Dark Horse

Been a while since I checked in with the folks of Black Hammer #11 but it’s good to see things are just as neurotic, mixed up and just plain crazy as they ever were.

For the uninitiated, Black Hammer #11 is an homage to every Golden and Silver Age hero you can shake a stick at but told with a warped perspective which enables Jeff Lemire and his merry band to tell the story how it might have been if they were written in modern day. Did that make sense?

To heck with it, Black Hammer #11 is a treasure trove for ageing fanboys and nostalgia geeks and anyone who likes honest to goodness, deceptively simple, storytelling. In Black Hammer #11 we have Barbalien, a red Martian living on Earth and masquerading as a police officer – did someone say Manhunter? – who has to deal homophobia on the one hand and Golden Gail, a fifty-five-year-old Mary Marvel lookalike trapped in a nine-year-old body who has a crush on him.  She calls him Barbie and if that isn’t the cutest thing this side of a kitten with a ball of string I don’t know what is – when Barbalien just wants to be her friend because he has the hots for the local priest.

Not a Golden Age plotline in sight in Black Hammer #11, I think you’ll agree. There’s sentient robots and a suspicious reporter who knows things are not right and it all takes place in the spooky town of Rockwood which is really a pocket universe or an alternate reality, or a fever dream, or maybe just a case of bad seafood, but who cares?

Normally you root for the heroes, but with storytelling this good in Black Hammer #11 you never want them to get back to Kansas no matter how many times they click their heels together and say “There’s no place like home”.

Rockwood definitely isn’t home, but it’s where we want to be right now and for the foreseeable future in Black Hammer #11 and many many more issues to come.



Reviewer: Gary Orchard
Reviews Editor: Steve Hooker

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