Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Wilfredo Torres
Colored by Dave Stewart
Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer-verse keeps getting richer with each new title Dark Horse releases. This week we have more pieces of the Quantum Age’s puzzle coming together. Heartbreaking backstory and a sci-fi space battle unfold in this thoroughly entertaining comic.
Fans of the main Black Hammer or Lemire will enjoy the complex emotions and elegant storytelling found in this title. The sad tale of alien hate encompasses the overarching plot and accomplishes to tug on the ol’ emotions while at the same time it reflects our current times unfortunately. After the intro flashback with Barbali-teen and his parents eluding police state goons, we jump to the present as he is aboard a ship with a crippled Modular Lass and some kind of creature named Erb. They recruit him to their cause, a cause which at this point is straight up rebellion. They are a rag tag bunch to be sure, but the oppressive President of Earth has to be stopped in their opinion, and they’re beings with superpowers so they feel the need to take on the evil leader. Of course one person’s rebellion is another person’s terrorism, yet by the end of the issue there is a huge reveal (kind of two reveals actually – two in one if you will) as to the identity of the President. I will not ruin that here.
Along the way we learn more about the martian boy, Barbali-teen, his tragic tale of fleeing his home and eventually losing family is all too “ripped from today’s headlines”, but it works as a space opera comic book as much as a comment on current events. There are many delightfully written lines of dialog, art that is simple and effective and a total experience that makes this issue just a joy to read, even with pain and sadness mixed in with good old fashion spaceships. Highly recommended!