2019 was a big year for the World of Black Hammer. “Black Hammer: Age of Doom” ended, wrapping up the story Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston first set about telling when the series began in 2016. But something happened on the way to the end. . . it became the beginning. Side characters started demanding their own stories and the World of Black Hammer grew in the minds of Lemire and Ormston. They’re already hard at work on the next “Black Hammer” series, while various spinoff titles lay the groundwork for Phase Two.
But before you get to Phase Two, you probably want to read Phase One. So… where do you start? Well, in truth, almost anywhere really. I mean, yeah, if you’re picking up the main “Black Hammer” series, start at volume 1 and read on through 2, 3, and 4, but other than that, all the spinoffs are really written to stand alone. You can read them whenever you like.
This is not THE reading order, it is merely a suggested reading order. I put this together with editor Daniel Chabon and assitant editor Chuck Howitt as a simple way to guide readers through Phase One. Whether you’re a trade paperback reader or library edition reader, this’ll take the guesswork out of what to read next and preserve the story reveals along the way. (I’d only add that it’s probably best to hold off on reading “The World of Black Hammer Encyclopedia” until after you’ve finished Phase One.)
If you’re a trade reader, follow the left column, and if you’re reading the library editions, follow the right column. If the image below is too small, just click for a larger version.
• This list does not include “Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy,” “Colonel Weird: Cosmagog,” or “Barbalien: Red Planet” as these are all a part of Phase Two.
• I know someone is bound to ask about the short story ‘Horrors to Come,’ which is collected in trade paperback, but not in any of the library editions. Don’t worry, it will go to the library editions eventually as a part of Phase Two.