Comic Book Review: Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #4
Lucy Weber’s investigation reaches its end and we’re given a bit of a swerve about one of the Black Hammer Universe’s biggest villains. “Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #4 is a great and heartfelt finale. It sets up where Lucy’s journey takes her in a way that fits this specific superhero universe and it’s what makes the world of Black Hammer so special.
“Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #4 opens with Sherlock Frankenstein’s origin story. In the Victorian Age, Sherlock was dying. He used his intelligence to gain immortality and for a while, he lived a life that he was proud of. He helped solve crimes and did good things for his country until tragedy struck and he turned to a life of crime. After he tells his story to Lucy, she tries to persuade him to help her find her father, who she believes to still be alive.
It’s easy to say that the ending of this miniseries didn’t accomplish much as far as how Lucy ends up with the core cast of “Black Hammer” but ultimately that wasn’t the point of this series. This series was all about world building and giving us a chance to understand who Lucy is and her motivations. Her journey over these four issues has been about wanting to connect with a parent she never feels she truly knew. She wants to know what happened to him and to the world around her because all that happened with the heroes of Spiral City feels so incomplete and forgotten. This series was an exploration in that while still being a complete separate series of its own. Sherlock Frankenstein’s ultimate motivations are not entirely predictable and it makes him far more complicated and emotionally motivated than I initially predicted.
David Rubin closes out the series even better than how he started, which is really saying a lot. His work is so expressive and I think it makes his style so well suited for a charged conversation like this. His faces are so bold and excited and the dialogue truly feels like it’s coming out of these characters, which is something many artists struggle with. Rubin is so good at making every page feel bigger than it really is. His backgrounds are so detailed and the perspectives are so good that the reader is immediately pulled into what ever world he’s crafting. His Victorian Age England is sprawling with all the grime and darkness we typically imagine in a fictional take of this era. There’s a touch of steampunk in everything involving Sherlock Frankenstein’s look and home but Rubin never gets carried away. His color choices are so interesting as he infuses a certain amount of neons within some of these darker pages that captures a sort of fantasy feeling that keeps this issue from feeling too “real.” “Black Hammer” gives us enough drama and darkness so it’s nice to have this series function differently from that.
“Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil” #4 is a very strong ending for a miniseries that adds a lot of world building to “Black Hammer.” Lemire and Rubin cement Lucy as the center of this very big story (at least at this point) and I’m excited to see what else this superhero universe has in store for us this year.