A huge sacrifice is made in Black Hammer ’45 No. 4


Black Hammer ’45 hits the mark with a fitting conclusion to a great story.

Dark Horse Comics knows what it’s doing. For forty years they’ve been publishing quite possibly the finest collections of horror comics, adventures stories, and movie spin-offs a reader could find. For the last couple years they’ve also been responsible for releasing Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer universe, a ribald and stunning series of stories about superheroes and the lives they live, full of homage and introspection in a way few comics are capable of encompassing. Writer Ray Fawkes, artist Matt Kindt, colorist Sharlene Kindt and letterer Marie Enger have been weaving the tale of Black Hammer ’45, which takes us back to WWII and the Black Hammer Squadron, which seems to be the origin point for many things and people previously established in the Black Hammer universe, which has been a treat to watch play out.

Dark Horse Comics

More from Comics

Speargunning onto an airplane is par for the course in Black Hammer ’45

At the end of the last issue of Black Hammer ’45, JP had rescued the Greenbaum family from a Nazi camp near Vienna, as gigantic Russian war machines and a deadly German pilot converged upon them. This issue picks up immediately after that, with the Greenbaum patriarch injured by shrapnel and slipping into shock. The German Ghost Hunter has engaged the Russian Red Tide, and explosions are igniting the trees all around the rescued prisoners. JP promises the Greenbaums that Hammer Hawthorne will save them all; “…it’s what he does.” Rendered in absolutely gorgeous Kindt watercolors, Hawthorne uses a spear gun to hijack one of the Ghost Hunter’s fellow pilots and attack the German air ace, who killed Hawthorne’s brothers earlier in the war. Nazarova, the Red Tide commander, activates the self-destruct sequence on her robot, planning to kill everyone around her as she herself perishes.

Dark Horse Comics

Black Hammer ’45 wraps things up in true heroic fashion, as it should

Hawthorne and the Ghost Hunter perform some aerial acrobatics, and just as it looks like Hawthorne will be shot out of the sky, Li comes to Hammer’s aid, sending the German to join Hawthorne as they both crash near JP and Nazarova. Both pilots survive, and the Russian, seeing her two arch-enemies, exits her robotic behemoth. Hawthorne demands JP continue his mission to save the Greenbaums and is shot by the Ghost Hunter. The two begin to brawl on the ground, and JP notices Nazarova making a break for the Greenbaums, who JP has left behind in a Jeep while he attempted to help his commander. The German and American pilots continue to duke it out, as Nazarova and JP shoot each other. The Red Tide robot explodes, and the reader is taken to the aftermath, in Spiral City Memorial Cemetary.

dark. Next. Doxta tortures Grant McKay in Black Science No. 40!

The reader learns that Hawthorne and the Ghost Hunter were obliterated in the explosion, while JP managed to get the Greenbaums to safety; they were responsible for establishing Project W.E.I.R.D., which is directly linked to Colonel Weird, of future Black Hammer fame. JP gives a solemn remembrance speech, and a wonderful war story is concluded. This was a fantastic read; 10/10, most highly recommended. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.