The “Black Hammer”-verse is continuing to expand come the spring with its newest spinoff, “Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows.” Jeff Lemire and artist Max Fiumara are launching this four-issue series that will explore the life of “Golden Age” hero Doctor Star. Today we have an interview with Fiumara about his work on the series and a look at some exclusive preview pages for the first issue. “Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows” #1 hits shelves next week on March 7th, and “Black Hammer” returns in “Black Hammer: Age of Doom” on April 18th.
This new title that you’re working on with Jeff Lemire in his and Dean Ormston’s “Black Hammer”-verse is called “Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows.” I guess my first question is: who is Doctor Star?
Max Fiumara: Jimmy Robinson is Doctor Star. He’s a scientist and a stargazer. He made an appearance in “Black Hammer” as a civilian, but has a superhero past fighting along other “Black Hammer” heroes. That’s all I can really say!
What is it like getting to work in this newly minted “Black Hammer” universe? What does the creative process look like for you working with Lemire and Dave Stewart?
MF: Working on a “Black Hammer” book is very exciting because of what the world is. I admire the work that all the creative team is doing in the series. Working with Jeff [Lemire] and Dave [Stewart] is very easy and awesome. We share the same kind of sensibility and leave room for each other to evolve. We all expect the best from everyone on the team, in a really good way.
You’ve done a lot of work on a lot of different types of books from creator owned things to both the Big 2 companies, recently on the “Aquaman Annual,” and then also in the “Hellboy” universe. It’s the last one I think that’s the most interesting here because a lot of people have compared the new “Black Hammer” world to the Mignolaverse. What’s different about getting to work in a brand new universe and reality and getting to contribute in crafting new superheroes?
MF: Doctor Star is as different or as similar to any other project I’m working on. I tend to look for comic books that allow me to create and add something to an already existing world. I like to “fill in the blanks” if you will.
Doc Star is someone that didn’t have much space in the regular “Black Hammer” series, so here I can expand his story almost from scratch.
The solicits for the series talked about Doctor Star being a Golden Age crimefighter. What books or characters from the Golden Age have influenced your designs for these characters and this world? What kinds of prep did you have to do in order to get into that mindset?
MF: James Robinson and Paul Smith’s “The Golden Age” is a book that I love and use as a reference. I also looked at a bunch of different images from DC’s Golden Age comic series.
Just like the “Black Hammer” book, we are exploring the present life of this character, so a lot of research goes into the time this character is living in and also into the aspect of his being a scientist.
Along those same lines, how do you maintain the tension between homaging the Golden Age of comics and creating something completely new here with “Doctor Star”?
MF: The Golden Age homage is really only used in “Doctor Star” to set things up. We focus primarily on what is happening in these characters’ lives [now]. There are a few homage moments for sure, but what’s more interesting is what comes out of them. You’ll see!
What’s the most exciting part about this series? What can you tease that we have to look forward to?
MF: I think the most exciting part of this series is learning about the experiences of a character that wasn’t really explored in the original “Black Hammer” series. All the people working on this book are very excited about Doctor Star, and that shows on the pages. Hopefully, the readers will enjoy the book as much as we do!Continued below
Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Max Fiumara
Colored by Dave Stewart
Lettered by Nate Piekos
This dual-narrative story set in the world of the Eisner-Award winning Black Hammer series chronicles the legacy of a Golden-Age superhero.
An aged crime fighter desperately wants to reconnect with his estranged son, who he hoped would one day take the mantle of Doctor Star. Over the course of the story, we learn his World War II-era origin, how he got his powers, his exciting astral adventures, the formation of some of Black Hammer’s greatest heroes, and more in this heartbreaking superhero tale about fathers and sons.