The Quantum Age No. 6 review: Infiltration, time travel, and Quantum World!


The Quantum Age takes a corner.

Following the initial success of Black Hammer, Dark Horse had a few miniseries offshoots, and The Quantum Age is one of the best. Writer Jeff Lemire, artist Wilfredo Torres, colorist Dave Stewart and letterer Nate Piekos have assembled a vivid, energetic exploration of heroism 1000 after the events of things like Dr. Star and Age of Doom. The archetypes expressed, and the moral issues grappled with, are incredibly deep and sometimes dare I say profound, the art is full of gorgeous shades and fast action, and the pace of the comic is frenetic. It’s one of the better reads out there; Lemire recently made a deal to expand the Black Hammer universe with Legendary Entertainment.

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Crafty plans are made in The Quantum Age

Last issue, the gang was on the way back to Earth to fight Gravitus, an ex-member, after getting Archive-V back from outer space. This issue opens up in Earth’s orbit, with members of the Quantum League sneaking into the lab, one disguised as an enemy officer. Playing themselves off as prisoners, Erb and Modular Lass are brought before Gravitus. Meanwhile, Colonel Weird had teleported through the Para-Zone off of the gang’s ship in orbit, and ended up in Spiral Swamp, confronting Madame Dragonfly. Now we see that she’s Madame Butterfly, hanging out with a Swamp Thing knockoff/homage, and she refuses to take Weird back to Black Hammer Farm, where all the stuff went down in the original comics. The Colonel busts her for living in a secluded, make-believe life as punishment for what happened on the Farm, and after a touching moment where the Madame becomes Dragonfly again, they decide to forgive themselves. The Quantum Age is good at those tender moments.

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A sneaky trick and a quirky solution from The Quantum Age

As Modular Lass and Erb are brought directly before Gravitus, more of the League’s plan is revealed. Barbaliteen is there to strike the killing blow, the new Black Hammer is waiting elsewhere as backup, and Erb is the backup plan. Unfortunately, right as Barbaliteen is about to break Gravitus’ neck, the villain lets everyone know that he was listening in to their telepathic communications from internal receivers from his time as a member of the Quantum League, and starts fighting the assembled heroes. Archive V’s back-up plan is to have Erb go nuclear again; Erb is some kind of nuclear space armadillo or something, responsible for a blast in New York years ago. Black Hammer realizes this is why Archive V kept her back from the battle –he didn’t want to lose her again. Another touching The Quantum Age moment. Gravitus figures it out and seemingly kills everyone, but it turns out their whole infiltration was a simulation, as the team realizes that there are no plans where they don’t fail. Out of options and despondent, the gang is suddenly rejoined by Colonel Weird and Madame Dragonfly, who reveal that the way to beat Gravitus is to go forward to the end of time and bring literally everyone with, restarting their existence anew in Quantum World.

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The final page is the whole gang assembled, all posed righteously, like a 90’s cover. It’s both  powerful and reverential, and goofy, which has been a bit of a theme the whole time (nuclear armadillo, anyone?) The future exploits of the gang as they create their new lives in the Quantum World are sure to be entertaining. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.