We may not get as much insight into our heroes’ past lives this time, but the brief look we do get at Barbalien’s time in the Spiral City Police Department does reflect the general tone of this issue. Delivering plenty of emotion, the creative team gives us a product that is both compelling and thought provoking as both Barbie and Gail feel alone. Though this takes up the bulk of this latest instalment, we also get further insight into Lucy’s investigation of the town surrounding the Black Hammer farm, with Abraham also getting a visit regarding the sheriff’s disappearance.
The world that Jeff Lemire has built in Black Hammer is nothing short of astonishing, as despite there being some obvious influences, it remains unique and of itself. As for the narrative, the writer has certainly given us a much more intriguing product as of late, with Lucy’s inquisitive nature and the sudden deaths of both Talky-Walky and Sheriff Trueheart resulting in a more driven structure. That said, it is the emotional turmoil of both Gail and Barbie that captivate most, with the unique bond the two heroes share resulting in a rather touching conclusion to this latest chapter.
Dean Ormston continues to handle the visual side of this book, with the quirky style and surreal tone of his illustrations complementing Lemire‘s script perfectly. The detail of Ormston‘s pencils also impress, with the layouts flowing smoothly, allowing for a dramatic overtone to proceedings. Where the artist excels most, however, is in capturing the emotional depth of our characters, with the subtle expressions proving to be extremely powerful. Add to this the bold, vibrant colours of Dave Stewart and we’re left with a product that has tremendous depth and atmosphere.
Black Hammer #11 is an outstanding entry in this superhero saga, with the emotional depth of Barbie and Gail’s developments leading to some compelling moments. Add to this the mysterious nature of Lucy’s investigation into the town and the enquiries into the sheriff’s disappearance, and this issue gives us plenty of reasons to tune in next month.
(9 / 10)