CONTINUITY: What does LUCIUS HAMMER have to do with THE HARLEM SHADOW?
BANG. POW. Then BOO-YAHHH! That was what happened when the idea of Lucius Hammer first struck me as the comic book I had to write. What started out as a harmless homage to Luke Cage became a revelatory soul search for the black superhero by exploring the African American Experience. If you haven't yet read Lucius Hammer Issue One: I, HAMMER...Lucius was born in 1900. In his universe, black paranormals have a few key traits and one of those is an extended life span. Lucius ages normally until he reaches the age of twenty-three and then for decades...he remains his youthful self while those around him die and the history of the world unfurls before him. Lucius' plan to become an American hero goes horribly wrong when he returns home from WWII and observes that he is still considered unworthy of the title...hero. In a pivotal moment, quite like the one where Bruce Wayne watches the bat crash through his study window,Lucius is getting a shoeshine and reading a black newspaper called the Midnight Sun. The Midnight Sun has published a story about a dashing, black vigilante who calls himself The Harlem Shadow. Immediately Lucius is captivated by the fact that there is a "black superhero" and he reads with great interest the rest of the article which focuses on The Harlem Shadow's battle against a consortium of villainy called The Underbelly. The story about the Harlem Shadow is the catalyst for Lucius Hammer deciding he wants to be a superhero. He had never before thought to use his super-powers to be a "super-hero" because he had not seen a black man or woman in that capacity. But the elegant image of The Harlem Shadow in the newspapers was something that triggers Lucius' imagination...influencing him to be something more. Can you read one without reading the other? Certainly. But I would never consider eating good pasta without marinara. That's how well these two titles complement one another. The Harlem Shadow is actually going to have three distinct story arcs...the first being "Birth of the Cool"...and it will consist of five stories that bring you into the plush, urban wilds of Harlem during our hero's initial appearance. The next arc is entitled..."Secret Journey" and will go over in detail how Linden Somerset came to be the man known as the Harlem Shadow. "Bitch's Brew" will be the third arc and it will focus on The Harlem Shadow's paranormal exploits and his more exotic villains. There will also be a 50 page one shot graphic novel teaming Lucius Hammer and The Harlem Shadow together. This is not a sales gimmick...this is a natural, organic outworking of a story that's been waiting to be told for some time. Tune in for the epic tale of the "other" heroes history forgot to tell you about. Only from Ravenhammer.