Exploring the Black Hammer Universe with Jeff Lemire
Do you lie awake at night, pondering the many secrets of the Black Hammer universe? Have you always wondered who would win in a tag-team wrestling match between “Madam Dragonfly & Col. Weird VS Golden Gail & Sherlock Frankenstein”? Well then, you’re going to want to pay attention. Thanks to a Twitter #AMA hosted by Jeff Lemire, I was able to gain real insight into the series as well as have many of my own questions answered by the famed author/writer/creator/. Below are the unabridged questions posed to Jeff Lemire, as well as his replies. This is the Jeff Lemire: Black Hammer Interview – 280 characters or less.
WOTN: What was the most exciting/challenging aspect of the JL Crossover? Did you have to confront any limitations incorporating characters that had already been defined outside the BHU?
Jeff Lemire: “There honestly were not many limitations put on me. It was mostly just a lot of fun. The only character I wanted to use that I couldn’t was Shazam, but I ended up using Zatanna, and that worked out well for the story.”
WOTN: Would you ever cross-over one of your own series outside of the BHU? Like Royal City for example?
JL: “That can get tricky when different publishers are involved. And I do think that crossover can be fun, but if you do too many, it can get gimmicky. A Sweet Tooth/Skeleton Boy x-over would be fun. But it could never happen.”
“It has to be about the characters and stories or it stops being Black Hammer.”
WOTN: In many ways, Black Hammer is a love letter to the Golden and Silver Age of comics. What is it specifically about that era of storytelling that compels you when writing Black Hammer? Nostalgia? Something more?
JL: “It’s more than nostalgia, though that is certainly part of it. For me, it is a love of many of the artists and writers of that era. They inspire me and make me want to tell stories. But really its the idea that superhero history could be grafted onto real history.”
WOTN: What began as a collective of displaced heroes in a small-town setting has exploded into this gargantuan living, breathing universe. Is storytelling or world-building more important now?
JL: “Always storytelling. There have been a lot of opportunities to do different series or stories that I ditched because the story wasn’t compelling enough. It has to be about the characters and stories or it stops being Black Hammer.”
“The Black Hammer TV series is in development with me writing.”
WOTN: Who would win in a tag-team wrestling match between Colonel Weird & Madam Dragonfly VS Golden Gail & Sherlock Frankenstein?
JL: “Gail and Sherlock for sure. Weird would float away and lose interest and Dragonfly would probably be too anti-social to even show up for the match. Plus NEVER bet against Gail.”
WOTN: Is there any talk or possibility of a BH TV series or film, be it live-action or animated? If you could choose, who would play Abraham Slam in live-action? Who would voice him in animation?
JL: “The Black Hammer TV series is in development with me writing and @Legendary producing. @perlmutations would be a pretty great Abraham Slam.”
WOTN: For Royal City, you posted playlists to work in accompaniment with the issue or to kind of give a window into what you were listening to at the time/how the music represents the art itself. If Black Hammer was a movie, what song would roll at beginning/end credits?
“Abraham Slam was originally called ‘The Farmer’ and he had a big Mech called ‘Tractor.'”
JL: “A brand new composition by Tom Waits.”
WOTN: With Black Hammer ’45 you took a step back and Ray Fawkes took a crack at the scripting. Do you see a future when you have artists and writers taking over these titles entirely or will you always look to keep 6 degrees of separation?
JL: “I am not sure. At the moment I am still really enjoying writing and building the world of Black Hammer. It would be really iterating to see what other creators did with the characters though. One day I would like to read those comics.”
WOTN: Pretty please tell us one thing about BH that we would not have otherwise known unless we took part in this Black Hammer #AMA?
- “Abraham Slam was originally called “The Farmer” and he had a big Mech called “Tractor”.
- “I’ve completely written and discarded three different first issues of the next core BH series because I keep getting better ideas (I think).”
You can read the full twitter discussion by going to @orpheus09 and be sure to follow @JeffLemire for the latest Black Hammer news. The newest installment of the Black Hammer universe, Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy is set for release on December 11th, 2019.