Black Hammer (comics)

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Black Hammer
Cover of Black Hammer #1 (July, 2016). Art by Dean Ormston.
Publication information
PublisherDark Horse Comics
ScheduleMonthly
FormatOngoing
Publication dateJuly 2016 – present
Creative team
Created byJeff Lemire
Dean Ormston
Written byJeff Lemire
Artist(s)Dean Ormston
Letterer(s)Todd Klein
Colorist(s)Dave Stewart
Editor(s)Brendan Wright (#1–7)
Daniel Chabon (#1–present)
Collected editions
Black Hammer: Secret OriginsISBN 9781616557867
Black Hammer: The EventISBN 9781506701981
Black Hammer: Age of Doom – Part 1ISBN 9781506703893
Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of EvilISBN 9781506705262
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost TomorrowsISBN 9781506706597
The Quantum AgeISBN 9781506708416

Black Hammer is an American ongoing comic series created by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dean Ormston, published by Dark Horse Comics.

Plot[edit]

Ten years ago, Black Hammer and six other superheroes had saved Spiral City from the Anti-God, but in process became trapped in Rockwood, a timeless Twilight Zone-ish town. Shortly after the heroes arrive, Black Hammer dies. In the present, the six heroes live on Black Hammer farm with very little hope of ever escaping Rockwood.

Publication history[edit]

Jeff Lemire originally conceived of Black Hammer in 2007, intending to draw the story himself after the end of Essex County.[1] In 2008 he pitched the series to Dark Horse editor Diana Schutz. The pitch was accepted, but Lemire was unable to begin work until he finished The Nobody and Sweet Tooth for Vertigo, then his exclusivity contract for DC Comics prevented him from working on the series from 2010 to 2014.[2] When Lemire returned to the series in 2014, he was working on so many projects that drawing it himself was no longer possible, so he teamed up with artist Dean Ormston for the title. According to Lemire, it was important for Black Hammer to not to look anything like mainstream superhero comics. He wanted the series to stand outside of superhero comics and comment on them, not become one of them. For this, Ormston's art style was deemed perfect.[3]

Black Hammer #1 was originally scheduled for release March 2015, however Ormston suffered a cerebral hemorrhage,[4] which left the right side of his body partially paralyzed. After months of rehabilitation, Ormston recovered.[3] The first issue of Black Hammer came out July the following year. Lemire continued working on the series while Ormston recovered. Dean Ormston's working pace was greatly reduced, however, so he sometimes works with layout assistance from Peter Gross.[5] Because of this, Lemire has scripts written well ahead of the release schedule.[6]

In September 2017, shortly after the cliffhanger ending of Black Hammer #13, Dark Horse Comics announced the series had ended and that it would relaunch as Black Hammer: Age of Doom in 2018.[7] Lemire explained the name change in a press release:

“One thing Black Hammer has always done is comment on the history of superhero comics and we live in a world where superhero universes seem to be rebooted, relaunched, and rebirthed every year. It felt like we needed to play around with that idea, but put a Black Hammer spin on it.”[8]

The World of Black Hammer[edit]

In 2017, Jeff Lemire started to expand the Black Hammer universe with spin-off titles, starting with Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil. The spin-offs can be recognized by a black banner along the top of the cover which says "From the world of Black Hammer". So far there have been three spin-offs, Sherlock Frankenstein, Doctor Star and The Quantum Age, with at least three more planned.[9] The universe of Black Hammer and its spin-offs is frequently referred to as "The Hammerverse" (not to be confused with David Drake's Hammerverse) by editor Daniel Chabon in the letter columns, though this name does not appear to be part of any official branding.

Sherlock Frankenstein[edit]

In July 2017, Dark Horse Comics announced Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, a Black Hammer spin-off miniseries written by Jeff Lemire with art by David Rubín. The series focused on Lucy Weber, a nineteen-year-old investigative reporter searching for the truth about what happened ten years ago when her father, the Black Hammer, disappeared.[10]

Doctor Star[edit]

In December 2017, Den of Geek announced a second Black Hammer spin-off miniseries, Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Max Fiumara. The series focuses on Doctor Star, a Golden Age superhero and contemporary of Abraham Slam.[11]

The Quantum Age[edit]

On March 27, 2018, Dark Horse Comics announced The Quantum Age, a spin-off set in 2141 (originally 3041, but this date was revised) about a group of superheroes, inspired by the heroes of Black Hammer Farm.[12]

Black Hammer ’45[edit]

On December 7, 2018, SyFy Wire announced Black Hammer ’45, a four-issue miniseries about the Black Hammer Squadron in World War II. This miniseries marks the first time a Black Hammer title isn't solely written by Jeff Lemire, with Ray Fawkes joining as co-writer.[13]

Crossovers[edit]

In March 2019, Dark Horse Comics and DC Comics announced a five-issue Black Hammer and Justice League crossover miniseries called "Hammer of Justice!" written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Michael Walsh. In the initial announcement, Lemire assured readers he was going to keep Black Hammer character driven without endless tie-ins and events. "Hammer of Justice!" is not "a throwaway ‘imaginary story’" either, and will have lasting repercussions in future Black Hammer stories.[14]

Issues[edit]

Series Issue Release Date Story Art Colors Letters Cover
Black
Hammer
#1 July 20, 2016 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Dean Ormston
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
  • Fábio Moon
    (ECCC 2018 variant)[15]
#2 August 17, 2016
  • Dean Ormston
  • Jeff Lemire (variants)
#3 September 21, 2016
#4 October 19, 2016
#5 November 16, 2016
#6 December 21, 2016
Giant-Sized
Annual
(2017)
January 18, 2017 Jeff Lemire Michael Allred
Ray Fawkes
Matt Kindt
Emi Lenox
Dustin Nguyen
Nate Powell
Ray Fawkes
Sharlene Kindt
Dave Stewart
Todd Klein
  • Jeff Lemire
#7 March 22, 2017 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Dean Ormston
  • Jeff Lemire (variants)
#8 April 19, 2017
#9 May 24, 2017 David Rubín
  • David Rubín
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
#10 June 21, 2017 Dean Ormston Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Dean Ormston
  • Jeff Lemire (variants)
#11 July 26, 2017
#12 August 23, 2017 David Rubín
  • David Rubín
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
#13 September 20, 2017 Dean Ormston Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Dean Ormston
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
Sherlock
Frankenstein
and the
Legion of Evil
#1 October 18, 2017 Jeff Lemire David Rubín
  • David Rubín
  • Mike Mignola (variant)
  • Darren Warren Johnson
    (ECCC 2018 variant)[15]
#2 November 22, 2017
  • David Rubín
  • Dean Ormston (variant)
#3 December 20, 2017
  • David Rubín
  • Duncan Fegredo (variant)
#4 January 24, 2018
  • David Rubín
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
Doctor Star
and the
Kingdom of
Lost Tomorrows
#1 March 7, 2018 Jeff Lemire Max Fiumara Dave Stewart Nate Piekos
  • Max Fiumara
  • Declan Shalvey &
    Jordie Bellaire (variant)
  • Jeff Lemire
    (ComicsPRO variant)
#2 April 4, 2018
  • Max Fiumara
  • J.G. Jones (variant)
#3 May 2, 2018
  • Max Fiumara
  • Dustin Nguyen (variant)
#4 June 6, 2018
  • Max Fiumara
  • Annie Wu (variant)
Black
Hammer:
Age of Doom
#1 April 18, 2018 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Dean Ormston
  • Skottie Young (variant)
  • Rafael Albuquerque
    (2018 Diamond Retailer
    Summit variant)
  • James Stokoe
    (C2E2 2018 variant)
#2 May 23, 2018
  • Dean Ormston
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
#3 June 20, 2018
  • Dean Ormston
  • Michael Cho (variant)
#4 August 22, 2018
  • Dean Ormston
  • James Harren (variant)
#5 September 19, 2018
  • Dean Ormston
  • Fábio Moon (variant)
#6 October 17, 2018 Rich Tommaso
  • Rich Tommaso
  • Farel Dalrymple (variant)
#7 November 21, 2018
  • Rich Tommaso
  • Christian Ward (variant)
Black
Hammer
FCBD 2018:
Overwatch /
Black Hammer

"The Quantum Age"
May 5, 2018 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston
Wilfredo Torres
Dave Stewart Todd Klein N/A
The
Quantum
Age
#1 July 4, 2018 Jeff Lemire Wilfredo Torres Dave Stewart Nate Piekos
  • Wilfredo Torres
  • Christian Ward (variant)
  • Marcos Martín
    (SDCC 2018 variant)
#2 August 1, 2018
  • Wilfredo Torres
  • Andrew MacLean (variant)
#3 October 10, 2018
  • Wilfredo Torres
  • Marco Rudy (variant)
#4 November 14, 2018
  • Wilfredo Torres
  • Brendan McCarthy (variant)
#5 December 12, 2018
  • Wilfredo Torres
  • Tula Lotay (variant)
#6 January 30, 2019
  • Wilfredo Torres
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)
Black
Hammer
Cthu-Louise December 12, 2018 Jeff Lemire Emi Lenox Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Emi Lenox
  • Jill Thompson (variant)
Black
Hammer:
Age of Doom
#8 February 27, 2019 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston Dave Stewart Todd Klein
  • Dean Ormston
  • Bill Sienkiewicz (variant)
#9 March 27, 2019
  • Dean Ormston
  • Sanford Greene (variant)
#10 April 24, 2019
  • Dean Ormston
  • Michel Fiffe (variant)
#11 May 22, 2019
  • Dean Ormston
  • Paolo and Joe Rivera (variant)
Black
Hammer ’45
#1 March 6, 2019 STORY
Jeff Lemire
STORY & SCRIPT
Ray Fawkes
Matt Kindt Sharlene Kindt Marie Enger
  • Matt & Sharlene Kindt
  • Veronica Fish (variant)
#2 April 3, 2019
  • Matt & Sharlene Kindt
  • Glenn Fabry (variant)
#3 May 1, 2019
  • Matt & Sharlene Kindt
  • Denys Cowan, Don Hudson,
    & Noelle Giddings (variant)
#4
Black
Hammer
FCBD 2019:
Stranger Things /
Black Hammer
May 4, 2019 Jeff Lemire
Ray Fawkes
David Rubín N/A
Black
Hammer /
Justice League:
Hammer of
Justice!
#1 July 10, 2019 Jeff Lemire Michael Walsh Dave Stewart Nate Piekos
  • Michael Walsh
  • Andrea Sorrentino (2 variants)
  • Yanick Paquette (variant)
  • Yuko Shimizu (variant)
  • Jeff Lemire (variant)

Collected editions[edit]

Trade paperbacks[edit]

Bʟᴀᴄᴋ Hᴀᴍᴍᴇʀ
Title # Release Date Material collected Bonus Material ISBN
Black Hammer:
Secret Origins
[16]
1 March 29, 2017
  • Black Hammer #1–6
  • Afterword by Jeff Lemire
  • 2008 pitch character profiles
  • Sketchbook
9781616557867
Black Hammer:
The Event
[17]
2 December 27, 2017
  • Black Hammer #7–11, #13
  • Sketchbook
9781506701981
Black Hammer:
Age of Doom – Part 1
[18]
3 January 2, 2019
  • Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1–5
  • Sketchbook
9781506703893
Black Hammer:
Age of Doom – Part 2
4 September 25, 2019
  • Black Hammer: Age of Doom #6–12
9781506708164
Sʜᴇʀʟᴏᴄᴋ Fʀᴀɴᴋᴇɴsᴛᴇɪɴ
Title Release Date Material collected Bonus Material ISBN
Sherlock Frankenstein
and the Legion of Evil
[19]
May 9, 2018
  • Black Hammer #12
  • Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1–4
  • Sketchbook
9781506705262
Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ Sᴛᴀʀ
Title Release Date Material collected Bonus Material ISBN
Doctor Star
and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows
[20]
November 14, 2018
  • Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1–4
  • Sketchbook
9781506706597
Tʜᴇ Qᴜᴀɴᴛᴜᴍ Aɢᴇ
Title Release Date Material collected Bonus Material ISBN
The Quantum Age April 10, 2019
  • The Quantum Age #1–6
9781506708416
Bʟᴀᴄᴋ Hᴀᴍᴍᴇʀ ’45
Title Release Date Material collected Bonus Material ISBN
Black Hammer ’45 October 16, 2019
  • Black Hammer ’45 #1–4
  • Sketchbook
9781506708508

Library editions[edit]

Volume Release Date Material collected Bonus Material ISBN
Black Hammer – Volume 1[21] November 28, 2018
  • Black Hammer #1–13
  • Black Hammer: Giant-Sized Annual (2017)
  • Bonus material from Black Hammer: Secret Origins
  • Variant cover gallery from Black Hammer: The Event
  • New sketchbook material
9781506710730

Awards[edit]

Award Year Category Result
Eisner Awards 2017[22] Best New Series Won
Best Lettering (Todd Klein) Won
Best Writer (Jeff Lemire) Nominated
2018[23] Best Continuing Series Nominated
Best Writer (Jeff Lemire) Nominated
Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team (David Rubín) Nominated
Best Coloring (David Rubín) Nominated
Best Coloring (Dave Stewart) Nominated

Film and Television Development[edit]

On November 13, 2018, The New York Times announced a film and television development deal with Legendary Entertainment. This deal includes not just Black Hammer, but all its associated titles, effectively opening the door to create a cross-platform film and television shared universe.[24] Both Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston are executive producers, and Lemire will be actively involved in the adaptations. Lemire described his involvement as follows:

“I decided with Black Hammer, because it’s so personal and near and dear to my heart, if I was ever going to option and develop it, I had to be intimately involved. As far as that adaptation, I do have to be the one that is creatively steering that ship, like the comic.”[25]

Lemire has confirmed he is currently working on a pilot script for the initial project with Legendary.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sunu, Steve. "Lemire Explores Superheroics in "The Black Hammer"". Comic Book Resources. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Renaud, Jeffrey. "Jeff Lemire Goes DC Exclusive". Comic Book Resources. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Lemire, Jeff (March 29, 2017). The Real Secret Origins of Black Hammer (Afterword in Black Hammer – Volume 1: Secret Origins). Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781616557867. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  4. ^ Brett, White. "Dark Horse's "Black Hammer" Delayed". Comic Book Resources. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Lemire, Jeff; Ormston, Dean (January 2, 2019). Black Hammer: Age of Doom – Part 1. Sketchbook section: Dark Horse Books. ISBN 9781506703893.
  6. ^ Edgar, Sean. "Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, Dustin Nguyen & More Expand Jeff Lemire's Black Hammer Universe in New Annual". Paste Magazine. Paste Magazine. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  7. ^ Sagers, Aaron. "Jeff Lemire and Dark Horse End Black Hammer and Will Return With Age of Doom". Syfy Wire. Syfy Wire. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Eisner-Award Winning Comic Book Saga "Black Hammer" Returns in 2018". Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Salvatore, Brian. "An Interview With Our Best Writer of 2017, Jeff Lemire". Multiversity Comics. Multiversity Comics. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Marnell, Blair. "Mike Mignola covers Sherlock Frankenstein & the Legion of Evil # 1". Crave. Crave. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  11. ^ Dandy, Jim. "Doctor Star Takes Center Stage in New Black Hammer Spinoff". Den of Geek. Den of Geek. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
  12. ^ "C2E2 2018: Jeff Lemire and Wilfredo Torres Explore the Future of Superheroes". Dark Horse Comics blog. Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  13. ^ Estrella, Ernie. "Exclusive Reveal: Black Hammer '45 Miniseries Will Turn Back the Clock to the Golden Age". SyFy Wire. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Bailey, Benjamin. "Exclusive: DC's Justice League Meets Black Hammer in "Hammer of Justice!"". IGN. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Dark Horse Announces Emerald City Comic Con 2018 Exclusives". Graphic Policy. Graphic Policy. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  16. ^ Lemire, Jeff; Ormston, Dean (March 29, 2017). Black Hammer – Volume 1: Secret Origins. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781616557867. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Lemire, Jeff; Ormston, Dean; Rubín, David (December 20, 2017). Black Hammer – Volume 2: The Event. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781506701981. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  18. ^ Lemire, Jeff; Ormston, Dean (January 2, 2019). Black Hammer – Volume 3: Age of Doom – Part 1. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781506703893. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Lemire, Jeff; Rubín, David (May 9, 2018). Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781506701981. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  20. ^ Lemire, Jeff; Fiumara, Max (November 14, 2018). Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781506706597. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  21. ^ "Dark Horse to Publish Library Edition of "Black Hammer"". Dark Horse Comics. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  22. ^ "2017 Eisner Awards Winners (Full List)". Newsarama. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  23. ^ "2018 Eisner Awards Nominations". Newsarama. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  24. ^ Gustines, George Gene. "Black Hammer, an Indie Comic, Gets a Major Film and TV Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  25. ^ a b Estrella, Ernie. "Exclusive: Jeff Lemire Confirms He's Writing the Black Hammer Pilot and Will Be Closely Involved with the Adaptation". SyFy Wire. Retrieved December 10, 2018.

External links[edit]