Sunday, July 8, 2018

Quantum Age: From the World of Black Hammer #1 Review

Quantum Leap

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Wilfredo Torres
Colors by Dave Stewart
Letters by Nate Piekos
Published by Dark Horse
Publication Date: 4 July 2018

Oh boy. Going into this new title I was conflicted. I have yet to read a Black Hammer book that I haven't enjoyed. The attraction has always been that classic feel that the books have had, either in the form of the golden age, silver age or just plain old classic Americana or science-fiction. I was torn though. The Quantum Age? Set in the future? How was that going to work? Well, it's Jeff Lemire, so he has a habit of making the magic happen. Would that be the case for this latest spin-off in the Hammerverse? Let's see.

The tale laid out in this series is one set a thousand years in the future well beyond the timeframe of events within the main Black Hammer series. Earth is governed by an authoritarian regime. Our point of view in this opening installment is that of a young Martian who is being hunted by that regime and is aiming to try and reform The Quantum League - a band of Black Hammer inspired heroes - to help save the world. Lemire has indicated that in doing so the adventurers will help solve the riddle of what happened to the great heroes of the twentieth century.

The writing in this issue is pretty tight. We immediately are given a sense of peril and place. Likewise, we get a pretty firm grasp of the dual sequencing of events both 25 years prior to the setting of this issue and the contemporary events portrayed therein. So far so good. The Martian angle is an interesting one, and Lemire depicts a Martian attack (25 years earlier) against Earth and the subsequent actions taken to respond while indicating that the positions outlined by both parties were not as simple as those recorded for posterity. The writing in the issue is strong and there are clear thematic links to the saga we have come to know.

Likewise, the artistic style although futuristic does not leave behind that classic look that readers of the main series adore. I think that Dave Stewart's colors being consistent across the books in this line is a big plus which gives a universal aspect despite a change in the artists that may occur.

Bits and Pieces

This is a strong outing. On a personal level, the futuristic setting does not hold the same appeal to me as the other titles in this series. It is, however, a good book, and I think it has to be a key part of the reading for any fan of the Black Hammer series, if only because of the strong hints of ties between these futuristic events and the events of the past. This is a vast canvas that Lemire is painting on and I don't think that it is advisable to skip any part of it, lest you miss out on some exciting or intriguing element of the overall mystery. Worth checking out for fans of the saga.


1 comment:

  1. I am hoping there's a copy of this still at my LCS tomorrow (if not, I'll just get the digital.) I feel the same way you do going in--will this "future" take be as good? When will the other shoe drop? But we differ in that I *like* the futuristic sci-fi setting, so I'm hoping I'll enjoy it a bit more than you! Though it seems that you certainly didn't hate the thing!