Black Hammer of late has been jumping far into the past, flinging itself into the future, meandering through other timelines, and asking what ifs? But finally, we’re placed relatively back into the normal timeline of our heroes, in this case Lucy Weber’s (the daughter of the original Black Hammer) who then became the new Black Hammer and helped save the heroes lost to the cabin. Speed forward 20 years, and Weber is married, a mother, and has hung up the mantle of being a hero. How well is family life going for Lucy? Well… not so poorly that she’s willing to don the mantle of Black Hammer again.
Upon reading Compass the first time through, one can feel that it’s steeped in history; the details about the places and people don’t feel made up (and, in many instances, they are not), but it’s also steeped in the love of Indiana Jones, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, and other adventures rooted in the joy of discovery. And in the notes following the story, the writers - Robert Mackenzie and David Walker - make specific reference to Mysterious Cities of Gold, also a show I grew up on!
I’m not even sure how to catch anyone up on what’s happening in Ultramega, and that’s honestly pretty wonderful. This is like nothing else out there right now. It’s a Kaiju story that isn’t concerned at all about pandering to tropes. It’s barely concerned about giving us a hero’s journey, and it’s pulling off avoiding that in the most spectacular way (in spades).
What is violence? What does power do to a person? Growing up in the '80s desensitized me to violence in a big way. Every action and horror film made was all about the death toll. I myself was never a violent person. I’ve never punched anyone, and I don’t ever intend to. As I matured, I began to find that violence could still affect me on an emotional and visceral level, and violence for the sake of violence in many cases became less and less interesting (though, admittedly, I will find the YouTube videos of all of the Mortal Kombat fatalities whenever a new chapter in the series is released). It all started to happen when the realities of how people die or are asked to die became known to me. Sending soldiers overseas to fight and die for … oil, and in the name of freedom, disgusted me.
James Tynion IV is known right now both for his Batman books from DC and also for his horror/sci-fi/fantasy comics from BOOM! Studios. He’s a stellar creator making character-driven stories that sink into your heart and soul.
Skulldigger is Black Hammer’s (Jeff Lemire) take on a sort of Punisher/Batman character. Instead of simply a skull on his chest, you can see the outline of his skeleton on his helmet and chest. (Yes, he has a helmet. Take notes, Punisher.)
The chase continues as complications compound and the stakes ('cause we’re dealing with Vampyres) swiftly rise!
Basilisk #1 is the foundation for a new story, new characters, and a new world from the mind of Cullen Bunn (one of the best horror comic book writers currently writing in the genre) and artist Jonas Scharf (whom I’ll speak more of shortly). Bunn’s Harrow County absolutely blew me away with its scope and character-focused story lines. That started small, focusing on a single character getting swept up into something beyond their control and built outward. Basilisk gives us a few things: an initial event that occurred some time in the past, two characters coming to a head, and a villainous family. Even beyond that, there are plenty of elements introduced. This is giving us hints of who the multiple characters are, and instead it’s giving a wider vision of this world and all the things our two female protagonists might run into along the way. And because it’s probably a five to six-issue story arc, as many BOOM! titles are, there’s a need to get to it!