Comic Review: The Unbelievable Unteens: From the World of Black Hammer #4 (Dark Horse Comics)

Comic book artist Jane Ito discovers that her comic creations were based on real events, chronicling her youth as a superhero. With this revelation, she and her old friends The […]

Comic book artist Jane Ito discovers that her comic creations were based on real events, chronicling her youth as a superhero. With this revelation, she and her old friends The Unteens must band together one last time to defeat the very forces that caused their disbanding.

Old wounds unravel again, friendships are reforged, but will the Unteens succeed in their mission to rid the enemy that haunts them? Or will they dissolve like the hopes and dreams of their youth?

Another installment set in the world of Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer universe, yet even as a standalone issue of sorts, Lemeire manages to craft a compelling story of former glories and harsh realities. This team is definitely reminiscent of teen teams from the big two’s heyday of the 1980s, providing a fun, poppy flair of what made such teams appealing then and now. Lemire is no stranger to writing analogs that take the tropes of the content/genre that his characters are modeled after and give them a nuanced twist that convinces the reader to stick around due to the characters and their plight.

Upon reading this issue, I found myself enjoying this book due to how well Lemeire establishes these characters within the first five pages, providing everything that one needs to know about this former teen team, showcasing their current adult lives and struggles with reconciling past mistakes and former glories. It’s a simple yet relatable concept that anyone can relate to. As youth, the future seems so bright and uncertain, but there’s self-assurance that nothing will phase or steer one away from hopes and aspirations, vs adulthood, where balancing responsibilities and learning to accept the realities that lay before them, trying to make the most and working through it all.

The cast of characters such as Jane Ito, Jack Sabbath, Strobe, and Kid Boom all face these struggles in their own right, and because of that, it makes their reunion to make amends and team up one last time all the more enjoyable to read due to Lemire’s ability to make relatable characters that are worth rooting for. It’s a beautifully written issue that works as a final issue for the mini-series, but also works as a great standalone issue due to how well it sums up the premise and story in a nutshell.

The art by Tyler Crook is perfect for this particular issue due to the emotional reunion and events that unfold throughout the book. The choice of giving the art some watercolor tones really cements the mood of the book and the worlds that the heroes traverse through between the living and the dead. But what makes the book really shine is the character moments and gestures that are skillfully rendered by Crook, giving this the weight it needed as the conclusion to this story by Lemaire and Crook.

Crook excels in providing fantastic layouts and action, mixed with human moments that are beautifully rendered throughout this book. One never knows what to expect with a new comic or series, but Jeff Lemire and team always reminds readers that he still has the chops to deliver good stories, and it shows in a book such as this. I recommend adding this book to your pull list for new comic book day.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.