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Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley
Bird & Squirrel All Tangled Up by James Burks
Black Hammer, Volume 3: Age of Doom Part One by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston
Boat of Dreams by Rogério Coelho
Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany
Captive Hearts of Oz Volume 1 by Ryo Maruya and Mamenosuke Fujimaru
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FF3366: orphans going offroad to rural places

FF3333: orphans in rural places along Blue Highways

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Black Hammer, Volume 3: Age of Doom Part One: 02/02/19

Black Hammer, Volume 3: Age of Doom Part One

Black Hammer: Age of Doom by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston is the third volume of the Black Hammer series or the fifth volume if the two side stories are included. Lucy Weber has arrived on the farm and she's taken on the mantle of Black Hammer. She knows the truth behind their banishment but before she can reveal it, she disappears.

The majority of volume three is a split narrative, divided between the characters on the farm trying to regroup and Lucy aka Black Hammer trying to find her way back to the farm.

Lucy's experience dives the comic right into metafiction. Her journey back to the farm involves a bar, a trip through hell, a run in with Sweet Tooth, and so forth. Her quest makes it obvious that things aren't what they appear to be on the farm or anywhere else that isn't Spiral City.

Black Hammer wanders through the Sweet Tooth comic

Meanwhile back on the farm and in neighboring Rockwood, things that had gone awry appear to be fixed. But the suddenness of the fixing is uncanny. This half of the comic also provides insight into the truth behind Rockwood and the whereabouts of Lucy.

Looking at volume three in terms of the Road Narrative Spectrum, this one is a 33FFFF.

From Lucy's perspective, her journey to Rockwood and then to where ever it is she goes, is framed within the context of her father. As she is now wearing his uniform and carrying his hammer, her journey counts as family. Furthermore, the others on the farm are living as a de facto family even if they aren't always happy about their situation. That puts the traveler category at a 33.

The destination as we learn through both pieces of the narrative is a literal no place, or utopia. Both worlds are artifices and their construction is breaking down. That the reality behind the apparent farm and rural town is now revealed boosts the destination up to utopia (FF).

Finally there is the path taken. Although Lucy does a lot of off road tracking, the ultimate barrier between where she and the others are and reality is framed around the context of the cornfield. That puts the destination (or rather, the place to escape from) as an FF.

Four stars

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