Dark Horse Comics 2017
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated & Lettered by David Rubin
Flats by Kike J. Diaz
Global Planet reporter Lucy Weber is determined to find out what happened to her father: The Black Hammer! All answers seem to lie in Spiral City’s infamous asylum, where it’s most dangerous super-villains reside. As she searches for the truth, Lucy uncovers the dark origins of Black Hammer’s greatest foes….Could they be connected to the mysterious disappearance of Spiral City’s greatest heroes?
So we open up with the origin of one Cthu-Lou! I gotta tell ya aside from old days version of underground comix art this was a pure hoot! From the old lady who’s sink needs fixin to the not so yappy little dog to how Lou Kaminski was transormed the opening was one of those off the wall kind of are you serious? Kind of moments that really stands out, not just because it’s kind of ridiculous but because its so gosh darn entertaining.
Shoot forward however many years later it is and Lucy is coming to pay a visit. Once again we get to see Lou’s wie as bossy as ever letting Lucy in. She’s right one that Elaine Kmaniski and there’s absolutely no getting around that and I don’t mean that nicely. I have to say Jeff’s dialogue in this issue cannot be beat. The nuances of what’s being said, what to pick up on and letting it all wash over you is why this and Black Hammer are just so good.
The way that this book is structured is extremely well done, but then Jeff knows his stuff so that’s not really a surprise. Lucy’s journey is taking us through all this and really where she goes we go right? That’s a natural ebb & flow as by focusing on her we see what she sees and know what she knows so all these revelations and twists that she encounters we see those for the first so it’s a great tactic to use here. I have to tell you the whole interview this issue was full of moments that surprised me and I enjoyed that immensely.
David’s work here leaves me baffled it looks so amateurish and then there moments like seeing Cthu-Lou sitting at a table and your just have to say wow. Or even Louise who is a marvel. But normal folks not so much as the faces just are all over the place and quite hit normal in they they are structured. I want people to look like people and not some underground comix book style from the 1980’s. The kind of care put into Lou or Sherlock and his Legion I wish we saw in Lucy. She looks like one of those surrealist paintings where every time you see here she’s a different person with the same ball of hair on the back of her head. For me personally I don’t appreciate the kind of work he does it’s not something I enjoy.
So having learned of another clue to follow Lucy decides to head back to the Hall of Hammer to regroup and figure out her next move. I think have of the interesting parts don’t come during her interviews which so have been illuminating for sure but seeing the items in the Hall, trophies, old costumes and her notes and such those little touches give the story a bit more life and explain more about why she’s doing this. That background stuff that is being used so well and fuelling her desire to find her father that is an emotional hook that readers can get behind rather easily. It makes Lucy seem so real and makes us all wonder at what point does she become a superhero herself?
The way this issue closes out is right on track with what we would hope it would be. Jeff doesn’t disappoint us here at all. I’m in for the long haul basically because the writing is that good, interesting and has that depth of character that keeps you wanting to be involved.