Over the past year or two, Jeff Lemire and a wide array of creators have crafted a handful of spin-offs helping to flesh out the Black Hammer universe. Now, it's going back to the basics for the creator and his new collaborators. In June, Black Hammer: Reborn will hit shelves feature the return of Lucy Weber as the primary character of this tale.
The last time we saw Lucy, she was just coming into her own as the hammer-wielding hero in Spiral City in the 1990s. When Reborn comes out, readers will quickly see the story has advanced to the present, where Weber has hung up her superhero costume in order to start a family.
According to Lemire, a 20-year time jump was a progression he felt suited Weber best. He even went the length to draft a few scripts carrying the story forward immediately after Black Hammer: Age of Doom, before ultimately deciding the time-jump was a necessity to move things forward.
"The middle-aged Lucy just opened up all sorts of questions and stories for me and made her a much more complex character to explore," Lemire tells us. "I loved the idea of seeing Lucy at the end of Black Hammer: Age of Doom as the world's greatest superhero and living up to her father's legacy and then jumping ahead and finding her in a very different place."
He adds, "She's no longer Black Hammer. What the hell happened to her?! That's the story, exploring those intervening years and unlocking the secret of how it all went wrong. We will see all the key moments that got her to this place, as the series will play with multiple timelines. So we will see lots more stories in this earlier time period and not just Lucy Weber stories."
That mystery will be solved over the next year. The writer tells us he has at least 12 issues planned for the Reborn line, and there are more stories to be told on the other side of that. No matter the case, Lemire reassures us, the Black Hammer world lives on past Reborn.
"There is more on the other side for sure. These first 12 issues bring everything together," the writer adds. "All the various characters and spin-offs converge around Lucy, so in that sense, it is the culmination of all the stories so far. But what happens after these first twelve will change everything and flip the whole universe on its head."
As for what fans can expect, several of the aforementioned Black Hammer spin-offs lead directly to Reborn. If you've been keeping up with Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy and Colonel Weird: Cosmagog, those stories lead straight into the first issue of this new story — and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Lemire confirms that fans will also see the return of Cthu-Lou, Sherlock Frankenstein, and — believe it or not — the resurgence of Anti-God at some point during the first 12 issues of this new title.
"I have a deep love for the history of superhero comics and, at this point I am very very invested in this universe I've created," the writer says. I've put so much into it and spent so many years building it, so the last thing I want to do is just turn it into another generic mainstream superhero title."
He concludes, "That pushes me to try and do something different with it if I am going to keep telling Black Hammer stories. I love that challenge, continuing to bring my own personal perspective to these stories."
Black Hammer: Reborn #1 hits comic stores on June 23rd. The issue is now available for pre-order through your local comic store.