By Laramie Martinez
I’m putting the bottom line at the top this week, this issue is a solid end to a great series. Last month we saw this creative team branch out in both structure and art style for the Colonel’s origin story, this issue dials back the weird and cranks up the eerie for the story of Madame Dragonfly. In a throwback to the Eerie and Creepy comics of old the team has managed to make another unique addition to the first arch. While the plot may not be a strong as some of the previous issues, there are a lot of things to like about Black Hammer #6.
The glaring issue with #6 is Madame Dragonfly’s origin. Her story is a Faustian tale, but one where the twist doesn’t feel so much like a twist but more like a broken promise. Without getting into spoilers, lets just say I felt disappointed by the ending. It just doesn’t hold up to some of the other deal with the devil stories we see in fiction. Besides problematic ending, I enjoyed everything else about Madame Dragonfly, her story up to the end is decent, and seeing her as a host in her own book is a great throwback to the 50s era horror comics. In this issue we also see a few character arcs come to a close and finally get an answer to a question first poised in issue #1.
The art continues to be just the right amount of spooky and strange. Between last issue and this issue the team has displayed a lot of depth, going from cosmic psychedelics to rustic horror. That’s probably one of the things I’m most impressed about this series, is the ability for the art to jump out into a variety of directions yet at the same time have the same feel as a whole. If you showed me a panel from any of these issues, I could instantly tell I was reading a Black Hammer comic.
This will probably be the last issue for a while and it leaves us with a lot to think about. Overall I’ve enjoyed this series. It wears its influences on it’s sleeve, bouncing from genre to genre in the same way a party host gives guests the full house tour. I feel as though we have now just finished the tour and we’re set to spending some time in this world they’ve made. I’m looking forward to getting comfortable.
Black Hammer #6
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormston
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics