Comic Review: Black Hammer: Visions #3 (Dark Horse Comics)

“… Enjoy your life and your legacy and leave the dumb punch-ups to people young enough to think that’s an answer.” Abraham Slam, hero of Spiral City battles a threat […]

“… Enjoy your life and your legacy and leave the dumb punch-ups to people young enough to think that’s an answer.”

Abraham Slam, hero of Spiral City battles a threat unlike any other. And the enemy? Is relevance. With the government implementing replacing Abraham Slam for a new Slam, what becomes of Abraham Slam? Will He fade into obscurity like all underrated heroes of old? Who will be the one true Slam of Spiral City?

For anyone that is familiar with Zdarsky’s work such as Spider-Man: Life Story, Daredevil, Sex Criminals, you’ll no doubt be in for a treat. For those that are unfamiliar with Zdarsky’s diverse work, this one-shot story for this anthology series is a great place to start. Zdarsky wastes no time setting up the premise and digging into the character of Abraham Slam. Zdarsky does fantastic work, building a story around a retired superhero that can’t let go of his former alter ego. Abraham Slam reminds me of a few characters in comics and fiction, a man that’s got strong wholesome values, trying to do the right thing in ever-changing times where morality is grey and justice is just as confusing. I enjoyed the meta-commentary that’s very reflective of the 90s era of superhero comics, where classic golden age heroes were often replaced by new, extreme versions of them. Even though this comic was long in the works prior to Marvel’s Falcon and Winter Soldier series, they compliment each other beautifully. Heck, in some cases there’s elements in this story that Zdarsky beautifully crafts that remind me a bit of Alan Moore’s commentary on superhero nostalgia and Waid/Ross’s Kingdom Come. It’s a beautifully well-written comic that manages to check all the boxes for a great story about growing beyond one’s nostalgia of self.

Art: The art by Johnnie Christmas’s, is expertly accompanied by Dave Stewart’s colorwork. Their linework and colors adds another level of depth to this personal yet meta-story that Zdarsky has penned. The characters feel perfectly mundane to the world, so when action happens, Christmas and Stewart ensure to stray from ideal superhero fighting, making it brutal and ugly that is fitting to a story such as this. Nate Piekos does a great job accompanying the art with well-placed lettering that delivers a good reading experience. If it isn’t obvious already, this was a very good one-shot story in this magnificent world of Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer. Zdarsky and team strike a home run with this one-shot, making it a worth adding to the pull list. I highly recommend picking this book up.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.