Comic Book Review: Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1
Spinning out from the pages of Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s fantastic “Black Hammer” comes “Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil.” This spin off series comes right after the shocking finale of the first arc of “Black Hammer” and covers a crucial part of Lucy Weber’s journey. “Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #1 is a different kind of story than “Black Hammer” but it fits in perfectly with that series and provides a wonderful added level of world building missing from “Black Hammer.”
“Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #1 tells the full story of Lucy Weber’s investigation into finding out what happened to her father and the heroes we fought along side in the final battle against the Anti-God. To do this, Lucy tries to track down all the villains that her father fought with special focus on the biggest one of them all – Sherlock Frankenstein.
“Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #1 provides something that “Black Hammer” really couldn’t and that’s Lucy’s investigation. When Lucy enters the story, there is a certain level of mystery surrounding her and how she ended up in this place. While we were given plenty of context of her investigation, we always knew it was much more complex and that’s what this first issue provides us. It gives us added context and makes the world of “Black Hammer” feel much bigger while still being very much a story about these people. It makes the disconnect of the farm from the real world even bigger that really works for the story being told in “Black Hammer”. More importantly, this issue lets us spend more time with Lucy and allows us to get to know her better and that’s incredibly important given how “Black Hammer” #12 ended. One of the things I especially love about this is that this is a spin off that doesn’t feel like a cash grab or disconnected. This is the start of a series that feels instrumental to the grander story “Black Hammer” is telling us and I’m very excited about that.
David Rubin is one of my favorite artists working in comics right now and I’m so excited to see him work in this fictional world again. He’s absolutely the perfect choice for this story because it calls for something much weirder and more magical. Rubin’s vision of what Spiral City looks like is one part pure fantasy and one part golden age comics. It’s got a distinct style all its own and it become easy to envision superheroes populating this world. The colors in these particular panels are trippy and incredibly wonderful and bright. This is a city full of life with an underlying darkness that still exists after the heroes are gone. When Lucy arrives at the prison, every character is full of life as Rubin incorporates so many fine details into each design. These characters are entirely original but with this part of the comic, the layouts become the most exciting part. As Lucy walks around, Rubin tosses out a more conventional approach and creates a dizzying layout that highlights just how strange this place is. I felt engaged in this setting and disoriented in the same way Lucy probably was.
“Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #1 is a fantastic start to an unexplored part of Lucy Weber’s journey. While we don’t get a lot of the titular character, there’s so much exciting potential here. This is a spin off that doesn’t stray far from the core story and an absolute must read for fans of “Black Hammer”. If none of this sells you, then David Rubin’s gorgeous artwork should do that.