Black Hammer Annual #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire Artist: Dustin Nguyen, Emi Lenox, Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, Ray Fawkes Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Release Date: January 18, 2017 Cover Price: $5.99 Critic Reviews: 12 User Reviews: 20
9.0Critic Rating
9.1User Rating

+ Pull List

Illustrated by an all-star slate of guest artists, this oversized anthology issue features five Black Hammer stories from Jeff Lemire, each focusing on one of the stranded heroes. See how Dustin Nguyen, Emi Lenox, Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, and Ray Fawkes take on tales about Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Barbalien, and Madame Dragonfly.

  • 10
    Impulse Gamer - Dana Folkard Jan 13, 2017

    Overall, I enjoyed reading this curious tale and learning more about this mysterious tale. I found that Lemire paces his stories well, which allows for us to take in and absorb everything at a steady pace. Even though a lot happens, I never feel overwhelmed and I believe that this is because of his clever writing and character development. The art delivers so much variety and it brings a totally new and interesting element to the Black Hammer visual narrative. I highly recommend reading this, as its a wonderful addition to this very curious and cryptic tale. Read Full Review

  • 10
    Comic Bastards - Chris Tresson Jan 19, 2017

    Overall, I think this annual does a good job of maintaining the quality I'm used to seeing in the series and I really enjoyed reading it. Fans of the series will no doubt love it and it's a little bit of a treat between the wait for the series coming back (not long now.) So yeah. It's pretty bloody good and I reckon you should go out and buy it and the trade if you haven't already. The longer this series goes the better. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. Read Full Review

  • 10
    All-Comic - Matthew Strackbein Jan 16, 2017

    Youll be hard pressed to find a favorite story here without admitting that they work best as a collection. By the last page the tale is as complete as it can be, but your love of Black Hammer will only increase. Annuals once served as a way of bringing on new readers, and so they typically stuck to more exclusive storylines without leading to the overall, ongoing arc. Annuals were also used to showcase new talent, but here the Black Hammer crew has created a Giant Sized Annual that serves more as an opportunity to let other people have some fun with the popular new title. This is a group effort meant to get more out of the series before it takes a break leading up to the next arc. Good news is, there's plenty here to absorb and reabsorb before then. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    CourtOfNerds - Benjamin Raven Jan 25, 2017

    When it comes to giant-sized annuals, it doesn't get much better than Jeff Lemire's Black Hammer Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Pastrami Nation - Nolan Smith Jan 22, 2017

    This annual ties into the series perfectly, all while giving us more insight into this strange team. Even though each pays homage to a certain heroic archtype (Golden Gail: Shazam, Barbalien: Martian Manhunter, Col. Weird: Adam Strange, etc), its Lemires attention to the emotional side of these characters that makes the book tick, and makes our heroes have heart. If you arent already reading Black Hammer, you are committing a huge disservice to yourself. This annual is a fantastic book that readies readers for when the book returns with the next arc. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Big Comic Page - Andrew McGlinn Jan 16, 2017

    Black Hammer Giant Sized Annual is a resounding success. It works for all the right reasons; a complete story that fits into the canon without messing anything up, providing a chance for different artists to realise our favourite characters with some interesting (and inspired) interpretations. All this and Lemire, more than ever, has managed to keep true to the sense of wonder he expresses in the universe of Black Hammer. Namely, the fact that each character is an homage to comics in their purest form, and its the success of that expression which (when shared by the reader) makes Black Hammer such a wondrous thing. All of that is condensed into this annual, and you would be well advised not to miss out on it. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Comics: The Gathering - Forrest Hollingsworth Jan 18, 2017

    Ultimately, this giant and delightfully indulgent issue serves to flesh out both the world our heroes lived in, and fought for, before meeting their untimely farm imprisonment as well as the inhabitants themselves. It's not an issue for new readers like some might expect, but it is a hell of an issue for what was probably the best new comic of 2016. Read Full Review

  • 9.0
    Graphic Policy - christopher scott author May 13, 2017

    Each of the six artists chosen brings their own unique style to the mini-story they tell. Picking one to that stands out above the others is impossible, the talent is so top notch and it's all so impressive. Rating the art as a collective whole is a challenge as well, due to the shifting styles and artists. Read Full Review

  • 8.8
    IGN - Jesse Schedeen Jan 19, 2017

    Maybe labeling this issue "giant-sized" is a bit of a stretch, but it does offer a nice, satisfying standalone story that expands on the cast of the main series. Read Full Review

  • 8.5
    Multiversity Comics - Matt Lune Jan 23, 2017

    A pricey book, but worth every penny for the gorgeous art and vital character insights. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    Outright Geekery - Erik Koehn Jan 17, 2017

    There is something in Black Hammer about the inevitable tragedy of the superhero. Something which goes against the very core concepts of the tropes that Black Hammer is inspired from. Yet in this annual as well as in the ongoing series this dynamic push/pull of superhero conventions and our reactions to them works well and makes for one of the most compelling superhero reads in comics today. I put this issue and this series right up there with King's The Vision and Busiek's Astro City. Lemire makes sure to balance the darkness with surreal wonder and touching relatable moments. In this collection that sense of escalating dread and Shakespearean inevitability combined with real touching emotion is on full display and offers a narrative microcosm of what Lemire is working with so well month to month and why so many people put this in their top 2016 list. You should as well. Read Full Review

  • 8.0
    The Fandom Post - Chris Beveridge Jan 18, 2017

    While I'm totally loving the main series, well, I'll admit that I only "liked" this. It's a fun book in seeing more of these characters from their past lives before everything went south as it showcases their times and styles more and I loved the various interpretations by the artists assembled here. The connective tissue of Colonel Weird works right and everything is solid. But at the same time it doesn't feel like it adds anything truly new, which admittedly is what the classic giant-sized annuals of old were like. So it's a fun romp that adds a few new touches but little of significance. It's entirely worthwhile for fans of the property and it showcases the cast fairly well in some ways, but it's a distinctive work that's not likely to be an easily accessible entry point for anyone. Read Full Review

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