Black HammerbyJeff Lemire und Dean Ormston
Translation: Katrin Aust
A group of superheroes from the metropolis are living incognito on a farm somewhere in the American Midwest. It quickly becomes clear that these once radiant defenders of justice are dragging a whole lot of personal baggage around with them – and that dark secrets are lurking behind the seemingly idyllic small-town setting. In Black Hammer, Jeff Lemire skilfully and entertainingly combines elements from highly realistic independent comics with aspects of superhero adventures. Equally, Dean Ormston’s drawings combine the superhero aesthetic of the Golden Age with the nuanced style of characters in auteur comics. Dave Stewart’s finely graded colouring completes the picture. As is often the case with Lemire, the superpowers here are simply metaphors for the individual strengths and weaknesses of his very human characters. The battles of the past only appear as memories. The real focus is on the dynamics of this group brought together by fate, on personal conflicts and on the heroes’ quest to solve the riddle of why they are where they are. And as serious as the captivating dialogue is overall, its regular forays into irony and humour are superb.