Comic book fans may have one less item on the pull list in the near future as Eisner Award winner Jeff Lemire has taken to Instagram to tease that his Black Hammer franchise might be wrapping up. Lemire posted a photo of his computer screen simply captioned "??!" and showing off a document whose header reads "BLACK HAMMER: THE END Series Bible - Jeff Lemire September 2021." Below this we can also glimpse a line that seemingly reads "Black Hammer: The End : Series Outlines." As Black Hammer readers may recall we're currently in the midst of "Phase II" of Lemire's superhero titles, perhaps meaning that "The End" will be the third and final phase.
The first "phase" of Lemire's comics included the flagship Black Hammer, Black Hammer: Age of Doom, and spinoffs Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, Doctor Andromeda and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, The Quantum Age, and Black Hammer '45. Currently the second phase has titles Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog, Barbalien: Red Planet, Black Hammer: Visions, Black Hammer: Reborn, and recent release The Unbelievable Unteens. To that end, this third phase will almost certainly have multiple titles and not be limited to just.
Considering the larger genre-bending subversion that Lemire has baked into Black Hammer form the beginning though, is he perhaps having some fun at our expense. At every stage of Black Hammer there has been a loving wink and a twist on the tropes and expectations of superhero comics. Perhaps what Lemire is doing here is a play on publishing initiatives from Marvel and DC about the death of/ending to heroes and series, all of which readers know will never actually be the end. On the other hand, perhaps Lemire really is ending the series like he's done with nearly all of his creator-owned comics to date.
"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," Lemire previously told ComicBook.com. "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....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."
What do you think Lemire wlll do to wrap up Black Hammer? Sound off in the comments below!