The Quantum Age returns us to the world of Black Hammer, a place I readily confess to being a late comer to, but since discovering it, I’ve become a huge fan of Jeff Lemire. With The Quantum Age, Lemire reveals the future of his universe, as its set one hundred years later than previous stories and features an entirely new gang of heroes who, inspired by their predecessors, battle the forces of evil in the twenty second century.
The Quantum Age begins by introducing its new heroes, including Glue Girl, Fireball, Gravitus and Archive who reminisces about the old guard of Golden Gail, Abraham Slam, Barbalien, Colonel Weird and obviously the Hammer himself and the fact that nobody knows what actually happened to them. To a record keeper like Archive this proves to be troubling and when a new recruit, using Black Hammer’s weapon of choice, presents herself to the crew, we’re then led on a time travelling adventure to try and unravel exactly what happened to the original heroes. Did I mention that in a somewhat ironic echo of current events, The President and the Citadels are wiping out all alien species across the galaxy? No? Well there’s that too.
Lemire and Wilfredo Torres are proficient storytellers and their engaging tale that avoids all of the usual superhero clichés while creating a band of characters that are influenced by established Sci-Fi franchises, but remain entirely original. Torres artwork takes inspiration for the future, by drawing from the past, almost as if he was gazing at the 2100’s from somewhere in the fifties, which in entirely in keeping with the retro feel of Black Hammer. If you’re bored with Marvel and disillusioned by D.C then The Quantum Age might just be the book you’ve been looking for… Chris Andrews