Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #3 – Jeff Lemire, Writer; Michael Walsh, Artist; Nate Piekos, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: After two issues that were more about setting the stage for the eventual meeting between the two very different groups of superheroes, Jeff Lemire and Michael Walsh’s crossover event hits high gear in a fantastic issue that drives home just how un-equipped the heroes of the DCU are to deal with these much stranger heroes. The issue opens with the Black Hammer heroes in custody of the remaining Leaguers, suspected in their disappearances. While Abraham Slam tries to make them see reason and Dragonfly threatens everyone in sight, Golden Gail hits on Aquaman and makes everyone uncomfortable, while Barbalian steals the show with a hilarious riff on J’onn being a stereotype of green martians. I could quibble that the DC heroes are maybe a bit too aggressive in arresting and interrogating them immediately, but the dialogue is so good that I don’t care.
The DC heroes stuck on Black Hammer farm don’t get as much to do, but I think that’s the point. The farm is a trap, designed to let them get close and fall short, eventually becoming resigned to the simple existence they’re trapped in. Bruce and Victor continue fighting, but run into one roadblock after another – although they do discover that not all the Black Hammer heroes may be gone. The real meat of the issue is in the third segment, focusing on Colonel Weird and John Stewart as they explore the space between worlds – and John makes a risky move to save his friend that may throw the entire universe for a loop. A cameo by Zatanna at the end results in a massive development for one of the Black Hammer regulars, which makes me wonder how much impact this mini will wind up having on the main series. Lemire never wastes a page, and I suspect this will fit into the overall tapestry of the world of Black Hammer, making it a must-read.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.