The Quantum Age #1 brings the world of Black Hammer into the year 3041 with tons of action, drama, and heart. It’s written by Jeff Lemire, with art by Wilfredo Torres, colors by Dave Stewart, and letters by Nate Piekos.
The universe is in chaos and a young martian – one of the last of his race – seeks out the help of The Quantum League, once great heroes who have since become enemies of the state.
Each Black Hammer series to date has been a love letter to classic superhero series like Justice League of America and Starman, and The Quantum Age is no exception. Immediately, the series gives off distinct Legion of Super-Heroes vibes, from the time period to the characters and beyond. Obviously, Lemire and company make each series their own, but the homage is a brilliant way to quickly strike a cord with the reader. It sets a clear tone and establishes an emotional connection by feeling like a book you’ve been reading your whole life.
Quantum Age is definitely the most “traditional superhero comic” of the Black Hammer titles (or at least this issue is). It looks to be more action-oriented with bigger set pieces and a grander story, whereas the other series are almost entirely character-driven. But don’t fear, Lemire legionnaires! The characters in Quantum are still as interesting and complex as we’ve come to expect from the writer. After only getting to know them a little bit, you’ll feel the weight of their decisions and fear for their well-being.
And the story itself is equally interesting and mysterious. Finding out how the world became this way and what happened to the Quantum League will definitely have you coming back for more. Just because it’s more “action-oriented” doesn’t mean it’s a boring, dumb punch fest.
Wilfredo Torres’ art and Dave Stewart’s colors combine to create a future that’s equal parts vibrant and gritty. Torres’ work fits the world of Black Hammer well, giving the characters and surroundings a mysterious edge that you can’t quite place. It’s not as edgy as Dean Ormston’s on Black Hammer or Max Fiumara’s on Doctor Star, or as surreal as David Rubin’s on Sherlock Frankenstein, but it’s the perfect fit for this title. It gives the story a more traditional vibe, while still feeling wonderfully weird and independent. Quantum Age seems like it’s going to be more hopeful and inspiring than the Hammer series that have come before it.
As we jump back and forth between two interweaving stories set 25 years apart, Stewart’s colors set the competing tones. The “past” feels brighter and more like a classic superhero comic while the “present” is bleak and dystopian. While everyone on this creative team does their part well, it’s Stewart that seems to have the most control over the audience’s emotions.
The Quantum Age: From the World of Black Hammer #1 is a compelling read, like everything else in this comic book universe. If you’ve been a fan of the Hammer series up to this point, you’re getting more of what you love, but with a little bit more flair.
We also have an interview with Quantum Age artist Wilfredo Torres coming out soon, so keep it tuned to Monkeys Fighting Robots for more info before this series starts next week!