Black Hammer Volume 1 written by Jeff Lemire, art by Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart on color

Black Hammer is an ancient, classic spell, renewed. Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Dave Stewart have dusted off all of their favorite ingredients: superheroes, monsters, and heartbreak, for immolation in their cauldron to see what still can dance and crackle in the smoke. 

And crackle they do; In Black Hammer, pulp heroes, muck monsters, and other four colored fantasies face not the next great foe, but their exodus from super-heroics to spend their remaining days retired on a farm.  Our heroes, the former champions of Spiral City, all exude a familiarity echoed from archetypes of comic characters. These references are not included as mere surface dressing but are instead a quicksand that envelops you in emotional honesty. Jeff Lemire’s years of delivering passionately raw independent work like Essex County and The Underwater Welder shines through his writing in Black Hammer. This indie comics sensibility combined with the expressively evocative comic book-y goodness delivered by Ormston and Stewart makes Black Hammer all the more fitting for Vault of Midnight’s choice as book of the month. 

In spite of all of these mature themes present, there is no cynicism here; Black Hammer still sings the enchanting song of the superhero. Black Hammer delivers an enriching experience that renews faith in cape comics through an independent lens even when said capes are left hanging out to dry.

— Justin Micallef
Comic Book Critic/Team Vault of Midnight