Incoming: BLACK HAMMER Vol. 1 Library Edition

Cover painting by Dean Ormston.

When I got into comics as a pro in 1977, collected editions of monthly comics in any form were unknown. That began to change with the success of THE DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN collections in 1986, and today a moderately successful comic is almost sure to be collected in one or more trade paperbacks, while a very successful one, like BLACK HAMMER, can expect a hardcover edition as well. Dark Horse has gone all out and produced an oversized deluxe hardcover containing the first 13 issues and first annual for the series, the same kind of format DC calls their “Absolute Editions.” It has large format art printed on high quality thick paper, a place-mark ribbon, and lots of extra material. The only area where they skimped a bit was on the glued rather than sewn binding. Even so, this is a book that should last for many decades. Who is buying $50 volumes like this? I have no idea, but someone is, or they couldn’t be published. The material inside is quite good, but I don’t know if I’d call it quite worthy of this treatment. Your opinion may vary, and if BLACK HAMMER is everything to you, you’ll want this. I believe it’s available now.

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