Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12 Shows You What A True Hero Is

by James Ferguson

The heroes of Black Hammer farm have finally found their way back home, but at what cost? The Anti-God is about to tear their entire reality apart once again. The only way to stop the destruction of all of reality is to go back to the farm. After escaping that trap, how can they possibly put themselves back in? Get ready to learn exactly what makes a hero.

Madame Dragonfly is at the heart of Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12. We knew that she was responsible for imprisoning the heroes in the first place and now she’s the only one who can put them back. Unlike the other characters, who had their memories erased, she remembered everything and still built up a fake life for herself anyway.

Writer Jeff Lemire explores this in the most heartbreaking fashion. Dragonfly just wanted something resembling a normal life. She had a home and a family. Even though she knew it wasn’t real, she still clings to it because of what it represents to her. This leads to a rather saccharine scene between her and Abraham Slam, but it’s so very earned.

The cracks in Dragonfly’s spell start to show as Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12 continues. She drops her secret identity to reveal her usual cloaked self and the background flips back and forth between a normal house to the Cabin of Horrors. This shows Dragonfly trying to hold onto this world. Artist Dean Ormston captures every bit of the heated emotion in what amounts to a conversation between friends. There’s not a lot of action, yet it feels more riveting than the biggest blockbuster super hero battles.

The tension rises steadily throughout this issue as the Anti-God’s presence is felt. It’s shown as a giant, frightening eye in the air above the city. Colorist Dave Stewart creates an ominous tone with a bright orange sky. Everything builds to a riveting climax as we wonder what’s next for these heroes we’ve come to know and love.

Letterer Todd Klein gets in on this action too with some bold font that underscores the stress the characters are feeling. I’ll always have a soft spot for Colonel Weird’s haunting speech too.

How can you possibly bring an epic saga like Black Hammer to a close? I had no idea this was going to be the finale so this hit me out of the blue. By the end of the issue I was nearly crying, having witnessed the deeply emotional journey these characters have been through. We’ve seen heroes fight gods, monsters, aliens, and more, but this is on another level. This is a sacrifice like no other, showing everyone what it means to be a hero. That quality is what makes Black Hammer stand head and shoulders above the other super hero comics out there. This is how you breathe new life into this genre.

Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12 from Dark Horse Comics is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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