Read the first issue of Black Hammer/Justice League crossover comic for free
It's been a while since the Justice League left their world. The original superhero team is often kept busy by all the supervillains and cosmic invasions wreaking havoc in the DC Universe, but every once in awhile they'll cross over with another comic publisher and meet up with the likes of the Avengers. Their latest such crossover took place last year and brought Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and their teammates face-to-face with the superheroes of Dark Horse's Black Hammer franchise. Now, you can read the first issue of Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice for free here on EW.
Originally created by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dean Ormston, Black Hammer is about a group of superheroes (washed-up crimefighter Abraham Slam, shapeshifting extraterrestial Barbalien, enigmatic witch Madame Dragonfly, spaced-out astronaut Colonel Weird and his loyal robot Talky, and Golden Gail, an old woman trapped in a young girl's body) who find themselves stuck on a farm for years after an epic battle with evil. Each of them is representative of a different era in superhero comics, and each of them is uniquely aggrieved by their virtual imprisonment on a farm they can't leave. Golden Gail, for instance, is an homage to Golden Age superheroes like Captain Marvel, capable of transforming into a powerful alter-ego by uttering a magic word (in her case, "Zafram!"). However, before that aforementioned battle, Gail's human side had grown old. She had to transform for the conflict, but now on the farm she finds herself trapped in a much younger body, with all the identity crises that produces.
The other Black Hammer heroes aren't much better off than Gail, which might explain why they jump at the chance to leave the farm when a mysterious man shows up in Black Hammer/Justice League #1.
"I grew up an avid DC Comics reader and was lucky enough to write many of their characters when I was working exclusively for DC," Lemire tells EW. "But when I went on to create my own superhero universe with Black Hammer, I thought I had mostly left DC behind. I never dreamed that a project like this would surface, where I could take my own creations and mix and match them up with all those iconic DC characters I loved so much. This project was a total blast from start to finish, a love letter to superhero comics and all the great crossovers I read as a kid.”
Though the Black Hammer heroes have mostly been illustrated by Ormston since they first appeared in 2016, Walsh was able to carry on their style while also blending it with that of the DC paragons.
This project was a perfect unity of sensibilities for me. I got to mix the moody and atmospheric Black Hammer universe with the dynamic and bombastic storytelling of a superhero multiverse like DC," Walsh says. "Working with Jeff was a dream collaboration and I learned a lot from the way he was able to balance a crossover between these unique worlds with such elegance.”
Read the first issue of the crossover comic Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice below. The complete collection of the five-issue miniseries is available now from booksellers.