Black Hammer from Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston looks like many superhero comics, and in a lot of ways, it is. The colorful heroes and villains, fanciful speeches, and outlandish costumes are just a few of the hints that Black Hammer is much like many of the superhero comic books most are familiar with. However a person does not have to read the story long to see there is much more going on. The book deals with deeper issues and pays homage to superhero stories of the past while deconstructing the genre as a whole. It is a great read that any comic book fan would enjoy. It definitely is not a typical comic, but there are plenty of reasons to check out Black Hammer: Age of Doom.
There is a premium placed on storytelling
Many comic books can get by on name recognition alone. They have a storied history, are familiar to casual fans based on a popular movie franchise, and/or have regular events that can sometimes receive mainstream publicity. Due to these many advantages, sometimes the storytelling takes a backseat. There always seems to be something around the corner that can make up for a bad run.
Black Hammer does not have any of these advantages. It is not only important for the story and art to make a strong impression, it is necessary to do so consistently. Thankfully, Lemire and Ormston have a strong handle on the characters they have created and have crafted an excellent world to go along with its quirky characters. The mystery of Age of Doom will engage readers immediately. There is great dialogue between the many characters and Ormston’s art always manages to perfectly convey each moment.
These aren’t your parents’ comic books (except when they kinda are)
Age of Doom does not ignore the Golden and Silver Age comics that it sometimes seems to lampoon. It actually adds to them by putting a modern spin on things. For those who are into comic books because of the epic battles, amazing powers, and wonderful costumes, you will still get that. Lemire and Ormston are not asking fans to give up on the comics they grew up with. Instead, they are offering a new take on them.
Age of Doom is filled with the monumental battles that many are familiar with while adding startling revelations and character motivations that would not normally be seen in a mainstream comic. These are characters that we can look up to and relate with at the same time. Age of Doom allows the reader to try something different that is still very familiar.
It is an escape from the real world
At the end of the day, everyone reads comic books for the same reason. Sure, we all have our favorite characters, artists, and writers. There are the books we grew up with, the ones we are just getting into, and the ones that catch our eye. But everyone who reads comic books regularly does so for the same reason: they are an escape from the real world. Age of Doom may not be a traditional superhero book, but it lets us get away from the real world just like any other one. And that is the best reason of all to read it.
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