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Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #5 Review

4 min read
A wonderful final secret.

A wonderful final secret.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jeff Lemire
Art: Michael Walsh
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot

What They Say:
The Ultimate superhero crossover of the year! Colonel Weird and the Green Lantern must convince the Black Hammer crew to go back to their own dimension to save the multiverse—which means giving up more than some may be willing to give.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The crossover series draws to a close with this installment and it just feels weird that it ends after the main Black Hammer series ends. But it does it in a fun way with a little nod and wink for how it could impact a whole host of things, though I suspect it’ll never really be exploited. Jeff Lemire has all the right hooks needed with this book and it delivers well as we hit the final pages and once again Michael Walsh puts together a fantastic looking book as he finds the right middle ground in order to bind these two properties together. It’s been an absolute delight to read this run and admire both the writing and the art as it played to the tropes without making it feel like we were just going through the motions.

The reveal that Mister Mxyzptlk was behind all of this is easily chalked up to just a bit of his usual shenanigans, causing trouble because he can. That we discover he had ulterior motives at the end just makes it all the more delightful and adds that layer that makes it all worthwhile. Before all of that, however, he does agree to help bring everything back to normal but he sets the hardest of conditions; everyone has to go back to where they started. Everyone is largely on board with that but Mister Mxyzptlk knows that Gail will be the holdout because of how she’s finally been able to get out of her form. That, of course, shows once again that the villain doesn’t understand what it means to be a hero since you know Gail will give all of this up in the end. But I love that we get a lot of good character bits with it beforehand, including a bit of a smack for Aquaman that was quite deserved.

What’s welcome is that we get a decent epilogue to this – after pages of action on both sides of the equation and some time with both teams working together. The dinner at the farm is a whole lot of fun as you see Gail over Aquaman while Barbalien is interested, praise for Clark for his handling of the fields, and all sorts of small bits like that. It’s good to just see these characters hanging out and talking about the mundane things. One of the reasons I dropped Justice League within its opening arc is that it just went so big so fast without giving us real time to build them as a team that it made me lose interest fast. Just the few pages here did more to make the characters accessible than most of what I’ve read about the League elsewhere for a while.

In Summary:
While I do think the series could have been cut back by one issue with a few tweaks here and there, that’s about the extent of my criticism for it as a whole. Lemire gave both sides plenty of great material that let them come across as human and showing how they dealt with very different situations. The action was solid, the designs looked great, and it explored some of the core ideas that make up being a superhero. It definitely had the right writer since Lemire knows DC pretty damn well, and he obviously knows his own creation, but both were treated equally overall. Combine that with the great Michael Walsh artwork that found the right blending for both to come across right and it’s a win across the board.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: November 13th, 2019
MSRP: $3.99


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