Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Michael Walsh
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Black Hammer is an independent super hero title released by Dark Horse Comics that is part homage to the golden and silver age of comics while also being a dark and twisted take on super heroics. Justice League on the other hand is the premiere super team comic from DC comics. Never would I have thought that these two vastly different books would end up in a crossover yet here we are with Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #1 by the incredible team of Black Hammer co-creator and writer Jeff Lemire and amazing artist Michael Walsh.
Anyone looking for a big cross-company super hero throwdown should look elsewhere. Anyone in the mood for a comic with a mystery and some unknown world swapping then Black Hammer/Justice League #1 is the book for you. The crux of Black Hammer is that a group of heroes sacrificed themselves to save their home of Spiral City from the Anti-God but rather then dying the heroes awoke in an eerie farming community of Rockwood where they have been trapped for ten years with no way home. This issue is set well before the current Black Hammer: Age of Doom and our book begins with Abraham Slam confronting two of his friends, the robot Talkie-Walkie and the Martian Barbalien as they cannibalize his tractor for yet another device that may help them return to Spiral City. Throw in some nonsensical dialogue from Colonel Weird, a man unstuck in time and the foul mouthed sixty-year-old stuck in a ten-year old’s body of Golden Gail and the opening of this issue feels like the early days of Black Hammer. Then a stranger comes to the farm with an offer to take the property off their hands. The book then switches to a common event in the life of the Justice League, a giant Starro and his mini-stars have invaded Metropolis and the only thing standing in the way of an earth controlled by a giant starfish shaped alien is the Justice League. It’s in the middle of this battle that the same man from the farm approaches the League with a forbidding promise and our two teams switch places, paving the way for what will no doubt be an interesting tale of role reversals, time displacement, and some classic super heroics. I cannot wait to see how this series plays out.
Jeff Lemire is a treasure to the comics community, whether it be with his creator owned work or his writing for the big two on such books as Green Arrow or Old Man Logan. His work on Black Hammer is some of his best and this quality continues with this first issue of Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #1. Michael Walsh’s pencils and colors are a wonderful choice with their classic stylings and detailed realism. Walsh’s colors have a pastel style to them, which are a great fit to his already strong pencils. This book is amazing that it works for both the eclectic retro style of a regular Black Hammer issue but has the all the high-flying visual dynamics one would expect from the monthly Justice League. Bringing these two creators together for this crossover was a brilliant choice and this book will not disappoint fans of either franchise.
Verdict: Buy! Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #1 is a fabulous first issue of an unexpected crossover. Jeff Lemire and Michael Walsh have created a comic that holds true to fans of both franchise and is a mini-series that should not be missed.