NYCC 2016: Dark Horse Announces Over-sized "Black Hammer" Anthology

Jeff Lemire’s superhero comic series is getting the super treatment: Dark Horse is proud to announce that Black Hammer will have an oversized anthology issue in early 2017. Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual features an all-star slate of guest artists illustrating five stories by Jeff Lemire. Dustin Nguyen (The Authority, Batman: Streets of Gotham), Emi Lenox (Plutona, EmiTown), Nate Powell (March, Any Empire), Matt Kindt (MIND MGMT, Dept. H), Ray Fawkes (One Soul, The People Inside), and Dave Stewart (Fight Club 2, Black Hammer) bring Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Barbalien, and Madame Dragonfly to life.

The forty-page Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual will be available on January 18, 2017.

Black Hammer is currently available as an ongoing comic series from Dark Horse. The popular series is from the prodigious brain of Lemire (Descender, Sweet Tooth, Essex County, A.D.: After Death, Plutona) and brought to life by Ormston (Lucifer, The Sandman), with colors by none other than Eisner Award–winning veteran Dave Stewart.

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Review: Black Hammer #3

This is the second issue to focus on a backstory of one of the characters in the “family.” Although the story does revolve around the theme of alienation, the main character, Barbalien, is an alien after all, that is where the predictability stops. Instead of producing the same tired narrative of a stranger in a strange land who longs for his home, Lemire has created a character who faces true isolation. He also uses this inner conflict to expose other details about conflicts other characters are facing. Another great issue from an outstanding creative team. black-hammer-3While the last issue we focused on Gail, this issue we dive into the past of Barbalien. Forced into traveling to Earth to prevent an interplanetary war, from his first moments on earth he faces pain and alienation. His plight in some ways is similar to Gail’s. Both are outsiders and both feel as though they are trapped by circumstances beyond their control. But while Gail’s conflict comes from being trapped in her own body, Barbalien’s struggle comes from a sort of imposter syndrome. This is an exciting new take on the “alien” character in comics. An outsider on his home world and on planet earth, this issue gives us a look as Barbalien searches for belonging.

While Barbalien’s struggle to find belonging is the main frame of the issue we also witness other characters struggles. Specifically, we see his interaction with Gail reveal more about her character. We also see a little bit of Abe’s relationship with Tammy develop, but we also see some foreshadowing of future conflict within the family since as it’s de facto head, anything he does influences the rest of them as a unit.

Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart continue to put out amazing work. Juxtaposing human language with alien qualities, Ormstrom doesn’t just try to make an alien human. He also emphasizes Barbalien’s strangeness for dramatic effect. He truly makes him look like a monster in one particular panel. He counters this close up of his otherworldliness with several panels depicting his all too human feelings of isolation. Who knew a silhouette could be so sad.

The story continues to move forward, diving deeper into characters and raising the stakes for the family as a unit. From the cover of issue #4 it looks like Abe will be getting the background treatment next, and as for rest of the family, it looks like there might be some hope for them yet.

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Black Hammer #3 Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Dean Ormston Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital


Dark Horse Releases Trade Paperback of Fantastic First Issues

Dark Horse is making it easy for you to find your next favorite series! Dark Horse is excited to announce the Dark Horse Number Ones trade paperback, which will allow readers to familiarize themselves with some of our most talented creators in a value-priced collection. Dark Horse Number Ones opens the door to new storytelling worlds with eight first issues from a diverse selection of genres:

  • Fantastic FirstsGerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s The Umbrella Academy is the story of a group of superpowered children, born on the same day and subsequently adopted and raised by a scientist as secretive as he is wealthy.
  • Mike Mignola’s Hellboy in Hell finds Hellboy dead and in Hell, where a throne awaits him—along with familiar faces.
  • Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich’s Lady Killer showcases a 1960s homemaker who is also a ruthless assassin for hire!
  • Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer finds a group of superheroes banished and trapped in a small town as they struggle to return home.
  • Matt Kindt and Sharlene Kindt’s Dept. H follows a special investigator assigned to uncover possible sabotage taking place at a deep-sea research station.
  • Brian Wood and Mack Chater’s Briggs Land introduces the Briggs family, the leaders of an antigovernment secessionist movement in the United States, as the matriarch, Grace Briggs, attempts to take control from her incarcerated husband.
  • Kurtis Wiebe and Mindy Lee’s Bounty features galactic bandits turned bounty hunters as they fight their way across the galaxy.
  • Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County features a young girl who learns about her origins and discovers her supernatural powers.

At over 200 pages, the Dark Horse Number Ones trade goes on sale March 29, 2017, for an unheard-of price of just $5.99! Comics fans, prepare to find your next obsession!