I’ve seen enough horror movies to know that nothing good comes out of a trip to the woods. Black Hammer: Visions #2 provides yet another reason to stay indoors. You never know when you might stumble across a mysterious cabin and get sucked into different worlds. Horror comes to the Black Hammer Universe.
Beware, dear readers, as a tale of murder and madness awaits in Black Hammer: Visions #2. The mysterious Madame Dragonfly has a warning for any who venture into the woods, regardless of their intentions. Stay on the path. Don’t stop. Of course, not everyone listens, especially when you’re transporting a kidnapping victim in the dead of night.
Black Hammer: Visions #2 delivers an unsettling horror story and I am here for it. Madame Dragonfly is probably the character from this universe that we know the least about. While this issue doesn’t delve too much into her backstory, it does provide some interesting perspective, just as the previous chapter did for Golden Gail.
There are some great twists and turns in this book. It starts out as a seemingly straightforward slasher kind of story, then quickly delves into the supernatural and the bizarre. It’s framed by a young man fleeing from his captor, seeking solace wherever he can, even if that’s in a strange cabin in the middle of the woods. Writer Geoff Johns paces this well, steadily building up the tension and scares as this journey continues, leading up to a pivotal and frightening, yet heartbreaking climax.
Artist Scott Kolins was the perfect choice to illustrate Black Hammer: Visions #2. His style is a great fit for the tone of the story and the elements involved. The pencils are loose with a gritty vibe to them. This lines up well with each sequence, from the opening pages in the torrential downpour, to the eerie cabin, and through each of the horrifying scenes found within.
Colorist Bill Crabtree aids in this tone, especially with the use of green. That’s Madame Dragonfly’s signature shade, and although she doesn’t pop up until later in the issue, her presence is most definitely felt in certain scenes where you can see that green shining through.
There’s some tragedy in Black Hammer: Visions #2, both in the victim that’s running from his captor and in Madame Dragonfly herself. They’re both stuck dealing with the consequences of their actions, even if they didn’t realize what they were getting into in the first place. You can feel the sadness coming from Dragonfly as she outlines this to the latest person to unsuspectingly wander into her web. Letterer Nate Piekos drives this feeling home very well during this sequence.
Black Hammer continues to stretch and grow, subverting the tropes of various genres and the stories we know already. This is the Black Hammer take on horror and I would love to see this explored further. Honestly, that’s the case with any of these smaller stories as it’s clear there’s still so much to dig into with this universe. This series is the perfect addition to the overall mythos.