Lucy, the new Black Hammer, has figured out what is going on with the Golden Age heroes and the farm they find themselves stranded upon. Unfortunately, she is mysteriously teleported away, leaving Colonel Weird despondent and Abraham Slam, Barbalian, Golden Gail, and Madame Dragonfly to discover their own way out. Meanwhile, Lucy finds herself in a mysterious bar with a frightening clientele.
The selling points of Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1 are the mystery, your investment in the universe and its characters, and the interactions between the heroes on the farm. As such, some of its mileage will depend on your attachment to the universe of Black Hammer.
There are things to like about this book; the heroes on the farm have nice dialogue and chemistry. While I was left curious about what is going on, I was left a little bored by this comic. The mystery is vague, and there is a threadbare direction for the Golden Age heroes to go. The pacing is near-glacial in this comic, as it is more concerned with vaguely establishing the scenario.
That probably makes it sound like I hated Age of Doom #1, but I really didn't. Jeff Lemire has crafted an interesting set of characters, and I still want to know what the heart of this mystery is. The main problem is that this first issue takes a while to set itself up before getting to a concrete conflict.
Dean Orsmston's artwork has a simplistic style to it that mixes less detailing that focuses more on the eyes and mouth than anything else. It looks good, and it has a Mike Mignola vibe to it. Dave Stewart's color work is more pale and cold, giving the world and uninviting atmosphere fitting of the story.
Black Hamer: Age of Doom #1 is interesting, has some well-designed characters that are good send-offs of the Golden Age of comics, and has some solid artwork. However, the pacing is slow and has little to offer those who aren't already invested in this world. As such, I can recommend it to those who enjoy Black Hammer, but I would give it a pass if you're not already into this continuity.
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