13. BLACK HAMMER
“Black Hammer” from Dark Horse Comics is written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Dean Ormston. The main storyline is the first of its kind to venture into unknown territory, addressing what happens to superheroes after “the big crossover event.” While the book digs deep into family dynamics, dysfunction and emotions, it’s a paradoxical look at the world of rejected superheroes. At its core, it tells the story of five superheroes who have been erased from their comic book universe after a big event. They wake up on a small farm in a small town with no idea how they got there and desperate to find their way home.
The book is a metaphor for family… and everyone has a bit of crazy in their family. Adding superheroes and their powers makes it fun, silly read. “Black Hammer” tackles the superhero genre from a perspective we haven’t seen before, answering the debatable question of exactly how a superhero’s life is affected when their comic book world has crumbled. It’s a novel idea for a series that hits hard for anyone who feels lost in their current surroundings, which happens to be a lot of people at the moment.
The “March” trilogy from Top Shelf (written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell) is a must-read for anyone and everyone living in today’s society who want to know more about American history and the ongoing fight for human rights. The black-and-white graphic novel focuses on the historical events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, told through the perspective of civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman, John Lewis.
The story is rooted in the experiences of Lewis who was (and still is) very active and outspoken during the struggle for basic human rights. He brings a new generation of readers along for a bumpy ride they are most likely unfamiliar with because they weren’t alive yet. For anyone interested in a historical yet deeply personal and emotional account of racial tension in America, pick up a copy of “March.” Former President Bill Clinton had this to say about “March”, “…he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands.”
“Wytches” from Image Comics is written by Scott Snyder and illustrated by Jock. The book itself redefines mainstream lore of Wicca and takes the reader on a creepy journey back to the days of dark, gritty and gruesome Witchcraft. The engrossing storyline follows a family after they have moved to a new town. The idea that Snyder is addressing the fears inside all of us in “Wytches” is what makes the series so terrifying in the first place.
In an interview with CBR, writer Scott Snyder explained how the story reflects real-world fears, saying, “The story is deeply about a child who suffers from anxiety, and parents who would do anything to protect her from the world. It’s also personal in a way in that the monsters prey on the most desperate aspects of human nature — your child is suffering, they’ll do something to help you, but you have to do something awful. The story tackles realistic fears between parents and children in situations that are so dark that the characters have no choice but to be heroes.
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