In the world of interconnected superhero universes, you've got Marvel and DC; and you've got Valiant, the world of Mignola's Hellboy, and a few others. Then there's Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston's Black Hammer world, a shared superhero universe that seemingly grows by each passing month. Within the past week, the title's creators announced a prequel series featuring a shape-shifting alien character named Barabalien. Before long, there will also be a mind-bending Doctor Strange-esque series titled Colonel Weird: Cosmagog. Suffice to say, the world of Black Hammer is an actively expanding shared universe.
Luckily for fans hoping to get into reading the series, Lemire has since shared an exact reading order of the series from the first volume all the way through the latest crossover between Black Hammer and DC's Justice League. If you're hoping to get in on the action, see if your local comic shop is carrying the trades. With the exception of Black Hammer/Justice League, all trade paperbacks listed in the reading order are currently in print. If you need to go the digital route, you can find everything — both single issues and trades — here.
In a world where superheroes also dominate the silver screen, Black Hammer has already been optioned as a live-action universe by Legendary. According to Lemire as of last summer, the hope is to have a shared universe between film and television.
"Legendary has optioned the entire universe, not just the one story," Lemire told us at the time. "It's a very ambitious adaptation and I'm currently working on the first piece of that, writing the screenplay for the first project within what we hope could be a shared universe for film and television."
"That's been cool, too, because you're going back and looking at the earlier Black Hammer stories, and then finding ways to translate them to screen opens up new ideas that way," the writer reflects. "There's been a couple of things we've developed or I've developed for the film and television stuff now, that I've gone back and started working on comic projects based on some of those ideas. One is feeding into the other and back again in an interesting way that I didn't expect."
The latest Black Hammer book — Skilldigger and Skeleton Boy #4 — is supposed to hit shelves April 22nd, though it'd appear the latest news from Diamond could impact that on-sale date.