Black Circle Comics brings back a forgotten hero from the 1970’s, I didn’t even know who the Black Hood was, so maybe forgotten is the wrong word to use in my case, but nevertheless here he is and man is it dark and depressing.
A Philly cop attempts to stop a robbery in progress near a school yard, and ends up taking some buckshot to the face and shooting the vigilante known as the Black Hood. Feelings among his comrades are mixed about the Black Hood’s death but Greg Hettinger is taking it the hardest, he’s now disfigured, unable to speak properly, in constant pain, and now must live with killing an innocent man.
So depressing is the word I would use to describe The Black Hood #1, dark is another, but not all comic books can be rainbows and unicorns (unfortunately) so The Black Hood becomes another possibly great “anti-hero” book.
Duane Sweirczynski, a man not unfamiliar with the anti-hero, having written Punisher and Deadpool books and is currently writing X (another very dark and gruesome book) and Judge Dredd, one of my favorite anti-heroes, easily transfers all that skill over to The Black Hood #1. Although he may be all too familiar since The Black Hood is walking the line of cliche, his character building of Greg Hettinger will be the key piece to The Black Hood’s success.
While Sweirczynski crafts a man haunted by inner demons Michael Gaydos’ art molds it all together. Each panel has that “blue hue” crime drama feel, those wondering what the hell I’m talking about, think about watching a film that constantly has a blue filter, like The Departed, The Town, or We Own the Night. Following me now? Good, because The Black Hood #1 is framed and colored just like the dramas, it’s pretty damn impressive.
I’m not sure why I don’t see The Black Hood #1 as memorable, I mean, after reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about how depressing the book was, so naturally I couldn’t think of why I’d ever want to read it again. Some people like gritty, they like tension, they like the uncertainty of life, The Black Hood #1 is for them.