REVIEW: The Black Hood #9: The Lonely Crusade Part 3

Whoever said it’s always sunny in Philadelphia obviously doesn’t hang out in the same part of town as Officer Hettinger, A.K. A The Black Hood.

This series from Dark Circle Comics continues to delve into a darkness that shows no sign of seeing a breaking dawn any time soon.  Hettinger is on a helluva a missing persons case.  Seeking the local journo turned wino who has an ear into everyone’s business he learns that another person has gone missing and sets off to bring in a little Hood help.

Duane Swierczynski’s relentless pacing continues to make a pig’s ear out of a silk purse out of Hettinger’s life; where Hettinger’s opportunity to walk away from the Hood is always sat across a dinner table from him.  However, like most people, Hettinger fails to see the woods for the trees which in this case may have a detrimental impact on his personal crusade of retribution. The writing, as you have come to expect form this series, is spot on.  This issue we have the ongoing story and a back story of sorts which shows how dark Philly has been.  The dialogue works and there is a twist in the tail, which adds a level of realism to the vigilante story.

Greg Scott replaces Robert Hack on art and whilst his work fits the book well, it does smack a little of my least favourite art term – “House Style”! Scott may well be a solid artist in his own right and given the previous artists on this book,  the aforementioned Robert Hack and the superb Michael Gaydos setting the table, I can see why it makes sense to continue in the same vein.  Yes the book looks equally as good as previous issues; the continuing great work from letterer Rachel Deering and colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick no doubt helps in that regard.  But if there is a change in art team I want to see it.

Despite my onw personal issues with the art, The Black Hood remains a strong book under the skilful guardianship of Swierczynski who continues to make life difficult for Hettinger.  At some point something will have to break.  But will it be Hettinger or the Black Hood?

STORY BY Duane Swierczynski
ART BY Greg Scott, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Rachel Deering
PUBLISHER Dark Circle Comics

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