Advance Review: BLACK HAMMER ’45 Adds Yet Another Layer To This Growing Universe


At this point, it's safe to say anything falling under the 'Black Hammer' banner is going to be worth your time and money. This growing universe and this book is a total must for any fan who loves comics. Do not miss this book. 
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Black Hammer ’45 by Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes, Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt and Marie Enger adds even more history to the Black Hammer universe with an action-packed debut issue filled with intrigue, emotion, occult threats, beautiful art and a rollicking narrative pace.

Black Hammer ’45 #1
Story by: Jeff Lemire & Ray Fawkes
Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Matt Kindt
Colors by: Sharlene Kindt
Letters by: Marie Enger

During the Golden Age of superheroes, an elite Air Force crew called the Black Hammer Squadron was formed to fight the Axis powers. Facing occult threats from the German side, this team must save a family of scientists from the Nazi’s. But the mysterious and dangerous Ghost Hunter is hot on their trail.


The Black Hammer books have always been comics about comics in some way. From the beginning, the concept and story were deeply rooted in the history of the medium. Black Hammer ’45 is no different, as it’s a take on the classic WWII flying aces squadron (think DC’s Blackhawks). But like all BH comics, it’s also much, much more. The creators behind BH have always put a large amount of heart and emotion into everything; they also focus heavily on relationships. Black Hammer ’45 does just that. As awesome as the action and concept are, it’s the bonds between the Squadron that really pulls you in. The men are scarred both physically and mentally and all they really have is each other (this family dynamic is also something Lemire often explores beautifully).

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Lemire is not writing alone here, he’s got seasoned scribe Ray Fawkes sitting behind the keyboard. Fawkes brings a kinetic pace to the story that gives it it’s a strong narrative drive. The narration is fantastic and ‘sounds’ real. It creates a voice inside your head. The two collaborate effortlessly and this is as much Fawkes’ book as it is Lemire’s.


Matt Kindt’s art is unique and hard to describe, the linework is soft and sketchy. Perhaps impressionistic is the closest traditional art term one could use, especially with Sharlene Kindt’s use of light and colors. But it’s so much more than that too. It has echoes of the pastoral and the look of watercolors. It’s a beautiful book to look at. Both ‘quiet’ and ‘loud’ scenes also work within this style and look.


At this point, it’s safe to say anything falling under the Black Hammer banner is going to be worth your time and money. This growing universe and this book is a total must for any fan who loves comics. Do not miss this book.

Black Hammer ’45 is out March 06, 2019 from Dark Horse Comics. 

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Manuel Gomez
Assistant Comic Book Editor. Manny has been obsessed with comics since childhood. He feels every New Comic Book Day is a holiday. He also probably plays way too much Magic: The Gathering.


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