Last month finally saw the release of Black Hammer, and to say it was worth the wait is a massive understatement. What we get from this second issue is a rather interesting look at how Gail has come to find herself trapped in the body of a ten year old, with “The Curse of Zafram” being an enjoyable read from start to finish. Not only does the creative team do an excellent job of setting the background for this character, with there being a different tone for both past and present, but they also manage to build atmosphere and emotion. They also expand on other members of this motley crew, with some of these side interactions leaving potential for further development in the future.
Jeff Lemire has done a wonderful job of introducing us to this world and the extraordinary characters at the centre of it, with his storytelling skills being at their finest over these first two issues. Whether it’s the unique nature of these characters or the mysterious background of their former superhero lives, the writer leaves us with plenty to speculate over, whilst at the same time revealing enough to add both depth and emotion. What stands out most about this issue, however, is the way Lemire takes the feisty, stubborn characteristics of Gail and gives purpose to them, showing us that eternal youth isn’t always beneficial. The letters of Todd Klein also continues to compliment the tone of the book, with the unique font for certain characters allowing them to stand out.
The visual side of this book are in the hands of Dean Ormston, with the work he’s been delivering over these first two issues being nothing short of sensational. Having a rather surreal texture to it, these visuals quickly draw the reader in, with the detail being extraordinary. The depth and emotion that he places in his layouts also prove to be rather impressive, with the dramatic overtones allowing for a cinematic feel to proceedings. Though all this is more than enough reasons to pick this book up for the art alone, it is the way Ormston differentiates between past and present that captivates most, with the former having a golden age tone. This is all aided beautifully by the colour palette of Dave Stewart, with the mixture of bold and sleek colours reflecting the different time periods perfectly.
Black Hammer #2 is an amazing continuation to this series, with the look into Gail’s past being enthralling to say the least. Whilst doing this, the creative team also manage to expand on a couple of other characters, whilst teasing possible directions this series can go in.
(9.5 / 10)