At first, I didn’t think there was going to be a need for a Black Hammer Reading Order, but this fairly new series adds already more and more spin-offs.
What’s Black Hammer?
American comic series created by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dean Ormston, Black Hammer is published by Dark Horse Comics and tell a rather different superhero story.
Everything started ten years ago when the famous Black Hammer and six other superheroes from Spiral City fought the deadly Anti-God in order to save the Wolrd. Thy win, but they also disappear after the fight.
The world believes them dead, but they became trapped in Rockwood, a small city in the middle of nowhere. They just can’t leave. Black Hammer died trying. They must leave mundane lives in this timeless city. They don’t really know where or when they are and they lost almost all hope to leave one day or to discover the truth about what happened to them.
Black Hammer Reading Order:
The world of Black Hammer is new, but the way the main series and the spin-off miniseries connect require a little bit of guidance.
- Black Hammer: Secret Origins – Collects Black Hammer #1-#6.
- Black Hammer Giant-Sized Annual – Illustrated by an all-star slate of guest artists, this oversized anthology issue features five Black Hammer stories from Jeff Lemire, each focusing on one of the stranded heroes. See how Dustin Nguyen, Emi Lenox, Nate Powell, Matt Kindt, and Ray Fawkes take on tales about Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Barbalien, and Madame Dragonfly.
- Black Hammer: The Event – Collects Black Hammer issues #7-11, and issue #13.
Black Hammer Library Edition Volume 1 : Collects the first and second volumes of Black Hammer, and Black Hammer: Giant Sized Annual in a deluxe, hardcover, and oversized format with a new cover, sketchbook extras, and more! Coming soon.
These next two are spin-off miniseries. You need to read Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, but (for now at least), Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows seems to be optional.
- Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil – Collects Black Hammer #12 and Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1–4. This mystery set in the world of superheroes follows a reporter investigating what happened to her father: The Black Hammer. All answers seem to lie in Spiral City’s infamous insane asylum where some of its dangerous super-villain tenants reside. As she gets closer and closer to the truth she uncovers the dark origin stories of some of Black Hammer’s greatest foes and how they tie into the puzzle of what happened to Spiral City’s greatest hero.
- Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows – Collects Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1–4. An aged crime fighter desperately wants to reconnect with his estranged son, who he hoped would one day take the mantle of Doctor Star. Over the course of the story we learn his World War II-era origin, how he got his powers, his exciting astral adventures, the formation of some of Black Hammer’s greatest heroes, and more in this heartbreaking superhero tale about fathers and sons.
The name is not just “Black Hammer” anymore, but the Age of Doom is the second chapter in the ongoing series, not another miniseries.
- Black Hammer: Age of Doom Part One – Collects Black Hammer: Age of Doom #1–5. Coming soon.