Ariana’s Favorite Comic Books of 2022

Comic books, the poor person’s cartoons. I am kidding; if you’re purchasing comic books, there is nothing cheap about them.

This year, for me, was the year of reading more comics than books. Sometimes allowing your eyes to focus on beautifully penciled & inked art can be soothing. When the text gets to be a lot, you can look at the images to trick your brain into getting back into the story.

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Comic Book Review – Black Hammer Reborn

Black Hammer Reborn (Dark Horse Comics)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Caitlin Yarsky, Malachi Ward, and Matthew Sheehan

I was pretty skeptical when I saw Jeff Lemire was putting out a maxi-series titled Black Hammer Reborn. After Black Hammer: The Age of Doom, the main story in this superhero universe seemed all wrapped up, in my opinion. There were secondary mini-series that did world-building, exploring pastiches of familiar comic tropes, which seemed fine. However, I didn’t see any value in going back to a narrative that was concluded in a thematically & emotionally satisfying way. Even after reading Black Hammer Reborn, I haven’t changed my mind too much in that regard. 

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Comic Book Review – Black Hammer 3-in-1 Review

Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy (2021)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Tonci Zonjic

Colonel Weird: Cosmagog (2021)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Tyler Crook

Barbalien: Red Planet (2021)
Written by Jeff Lemire and Tate Bromal
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Jeff Lemire has used his Black Hammer Universe to examine different aspects & tropes of superhero comics. I wouldn’t say it’s been as deep as Alan Moore or Grant Morrison’s work, but it is still very enjoyable. Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy is clearly a critique of the superhero/kid sidekick trope, emphasizing the trauma needed to drive someone into vigilantism and how that trauma harms the people in their radius. Gone is the deus ex machina that keeps Batman and Robin from actual harm. There is no promise that these characters will survive the story, and having the stakes that high makes it compelling. 

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