Saturday, May 27, 2017

Black Hammer #9 Review

Stop...Hammer Time

Written by: Jeff Lemire
Art by: David Rubin and Dave Stewart
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 24, 2017

I’m not sure if it was the small hiatus, or the lackluster annual, but it seemed to take a new issue headed into a new arc to really get me in the headspace that Black Hammer requires. Coming off the last issue with possibly the first genuine plot twist of the books run, I have been clamoring to get my hands on this next issue. So without further ado let’s make the jump to the actual review.

As I said, I’ve been clamoring to get into the Lemire style headspace of sadness mixed with misery with a dash of mystery and tragedy. It’s apt that this would come out the same week that we return, after 25 years, to the world of Twin Peaks. I would never compare Black Hammer to anything Lynchian, but if I had to think of a comic book or some type of media that I would like to see David Lynch adapt it’d have to be Black Hammer. There’s no other story right now that comes to mind with a cast of characters with such diverse internal struggles while dealing with secrecy and the troubles of their past. If that type of material doesn’t scream Lynch I don’t know what else could come closer.

With this issue we kick things off with Colonel Weird looking young and dapper as he gets a call from control of a distress signal. The planet comes back as having no life-forms inhabiting it so Weird, being ever curious, runs off to be the hero. We eventually get the meeting of Weird and Talky-Walky, who we now find out, is actually TLK-E WLK-E, as he comes to the rescue of Weird. We learn that Talky has, opposed to his fellow robot kind, come to idolize earth through the means of television and has left the distress signal as a possible way to meet a human. So they run off together in what I assume is a long set of crazy adventures.

Where Black Hammer shines the most is when it comes to its contrasts, and this is no outlier. Where we first see the start of a great friendship we cut to the seemingly end of that relationship. Still midway through his devious act we get a little insight into the possible thinking of Weird. He comes off almost as tragic in that it’s something that is just a part of time and not something he necessarily wants to do. Even though he does seem to go the extra mile in making sure it’s officially done.

With some last little tidbits involving more than just Weird and Talky-Walky, that I’d rather not get into for spoilers, the issue finishes off with a very interesting cliff hanger. This issue isn’t bursting with plot development, but that isn’t exactly where my enjoyment comes from with Black Hammer. It’s more about the emotional response I get from the issue and the characters’ struggles. With this issue we see two very different Colonel Weird’s, so much so that when the flashback started it took me a page or two to register that I was reading Colonel Weird. The contrast between the times and the character really drives home just how much Weird is lost in a way.

The one worry that does come to me from this issue is just how convoluted and timey wimey will the eventual conclusion end up being? Whether its just this story arc, or whether it’s the books conclusion as a whole, I just worry that the farther we go on the more it’s likely to heavily involve Weird and his space/time universe. That’s something more to worry about later, as for now I’m just loving what we’re getting, even if they may not be the most plot filled issues.
Bits and Pieces:

While light on the plot and story development we get a beautiful contrast with Colonel Weird, between a flashback and life on the farm, with a great backstory to Walky-Talky in tow.

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