Comics Auteur Brandom Graham returns with yet another chapter of his latest creative outing in “Rain Like Hammers” #3 from Image Comics. Unlike the last issue, this issue is actually a direct sequel to the events of issue #2 and offers more of the same wit, secrecy, satire, and class commentary as we’ve come to expect from this comic. With endlessly clever writing and off-the-wall visuals, “Rain Like Hammers” continues to be one of the most fantastically unique comics on shelves right now.
“Supercriminal Brik Blok’s new butler body craves eating dust and can see through walls. How will he adjust to his new carapace? Meanwhile, the dead start returning to the palace-world of Skycradle.”
Writing & Plot
Brandon Graham’s clever and poignant writing still holds strong in “Rain Like Hammers” #3, with the mix of odd absurdity, satire, and hilarity carrying this chapter along splendidly. Graham’s brand of satire never fails to feel appropriate no matter how out of left field some of the sequences can be (the butlers being engineered to enjoy the taste of dust is both weirdly funny and frighteningly relevant). The way the aristocracy of Skycradle are presented, as well as how their servant class is illustrated in comparison, feels like a Monty Python skit on a completely different frontier. Outside of the purely humorous and satirical elements though, there is a character-centric heart that carries this story along. The sense of trapped isolation that Brik Blok feels in his borrowed body while trying to accomplish his goals comes through in a genuinely emotional manner. I find him to be a delightfully enjoyable protagonist as we watch him navigate both his surroundings and this strange new body he inhabits. The rising B-plot we find his lost lover in is also highly interesting, and her own struggle with navigating the aristocratic expectations of this city-planet are just as claustrophobic as Brik’s plight. The further this story goes the more poignant and intriguing its story becomes, and it makes every issue a delight to open and experience.
There’s not much I can say about Brandon Graham’s art here in “Rain Like Hammers” #3 that I haven’t already said in the prior issues. The mixture of absurd design geometry and hilarious fluid animation plant the reader in the perfect atmospheric tone to experience this comic. The alien, almost Dr. Seuss-ian design language of the cities and various creatures and characters is delightfully fun, but is also focused enough on its main character and character expressions as to actually as to keep the story grounded. The panel direction is all over the place but in a well-orderd way, meaning that there is little to no structure to how the pages are constructed. Little panels will appear in a clustered order on one page, followed by a series of massive splash pages and yet everything still makes sense. The only way this works is because Graham is the sole writer and artist on the book, making the cartoonist’s vision come to life in a way that is only achievable by this solitary vision. This is a brilliant piece of the comics medium, and this series as a whole is a visual treat on multiple levels.
“Rain Like Hammers” #3 is yet another delightfully witty and poignant chapter in this phenomenal comic series from Brandon Graham. The writing is both hilarious and emotionally gripping, full of clever satire and nuance. The visuals are unlike anything you’ve ever seen if you’ve never read a Brandon Graham book, and it begs top be discovered and enjoyed. Be sure to grab this latest issue when it hits stands on 3-24!