Written by Jeff Lemire
Art and Cover by Wilfredo Torres
Colors by Dave Stewart
Attention: Now entering the Quantum Age…Welcome to the ever expanding Lemire-verse…the deepening mythology of the Black Hammer series published by Dark Horse and written by the impressively prolific writer Jeff Lemire. The Quantum Age #1 is the third spin-off to “spiral” out of Spiral City, but this time we’re going to the future with brand new characters not originally from the pages of the Black Hammer title proper (Sherlock Frankenstein & Doctor Star are the prior spin-offs, and they’re great!).
Set in the year 3041, though toggling back in time twenty-five years in a couple of scenes, the Quantum Age begins in a fairly ‘by the numbers’ dystopian sci-fi manner with a young kid, avoiding police state curfew monitors, trying to find out information in a back alley handshake. From these humble beginnings a mystery unfolds, blossoming richly in just a matter of pages. Put simply, the issue accomplishes a lot without feeling like it’s cramming too much information into a small amount of space.
To spell it out, the young kid is trying to find members of the “Quantum League” who have disappeared (the “league” is a riff on the Legion of Super Heroes). Some most certainly died in an action sequence I wont ruin in this review, others are in hiding from the President of Earth. I can’t help but read into the bleak nature of this Earth’s police state as commentary on our US President or even the state of our entire planet. We are in our own dystopia people!
The kid finds one individual, older, and avoiding danger, Hammer Lass (here is the tangential relationship to the main title…ancestors!), she doesn’t want to help any kid on a crusade, and she has one particularly sharp line of dialog, “It’s too late to dress up in costumes and play games. The universe is fucked.” Afterwards BOOM police catch the kid, and when we think he might be done, the final couple of panels introduce what’s left of the League and delivers a nifty cliffhanger. Enough so that I am fully onboard.
The art of Wilfredo Torres fits nicely in with the Black Hammer art of series co-creator Dean Ormston. Torres’ lines are less nuanced than Ormston’s, but create a similar world. From what issue #1 delivers, I think I can say that this is another wonderful addition to the expanding Lemire-verse.
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