As far as I know, writer Jeff Lemire finished his main Black Hammer story. Originally written as material featuring characters of his own design that were something of stand-ins for lesser-known DC and Marvel heroes he believed he’d never get a chance to write (and in many case since actually has gotten a chance to write), that doesn’t mean he can’t do a spin-off mini-series now and then in that universe.
That’s basically what The Quantum Age is.
Superhero universes do often have time-traveling heroes from the future, and Black Hammer is no exception. If Lemire believed he’d never get to write certain characters, this one certainly looks like his attempt to write a Legion of Superhero story. Set two hundred years in the future, we see a world where the youthful superhero team the Quantum League fell in the face of a Martian invasion years earlier, and since then, a gravity-powered member of the group has taken over as president of Earth and started a genocidal program for Martians of all stripes and a general xenophobic distaste for aliens in general.
As such, it now falls to the remaining members, as well as a young Martian who grew up on tales of the heroic Barbalien, to maybe figure out a way to save the universe. They’re few in number, underpowered for the most part compared to their former comrade, and there really isn’t a good plan to use against someone who can crush anyone like a bug with just a dirty look.
But there are some people who can help. A few people left over from previous stories may be able to do something, but still the answer to the problems of this universe may be a bit beyond the usual superhero fisticuffs.
Lemire has always had a firm grasp on making these stories out to be more mature than your standard superhero fare. The solution is never about beating up the bad guy but realizing that there may be ways to do the right thing without violence. Otherwise, the path lies strew with remorse and depression. Superheroics are always as much a source of pain as adventure in the world of Black Hammer, and this story, while not as good as some of the other spin-offs, is still a quality read.
8.5 out of 10 robo-worlds.