Greg Hettinger is having a bit of a hard time. Looking to escape his vigilante self he moved to the California and was living the hand to foot existence of a vagrant with the goal of having trouble leaving him alone. Unable to deny his nature Greg’s actions have come to the attention of the underworld assassin known as The Nobody who scours the country for the Black Hood, murdering people as he goes with each murder undoing the good work of the Hood as a final confrontation looms ever closer.
It seems a lot has happened in the time since I last cast my eyes over Philly’s own vigilante. As always seems the case, Hettinger’s life gets more and more complicated as he looks for a way out of his double life. Things were never going to be easy, this is after all a comic book and vigilantes very rarely get to ride off into the sunset without some sense of loss. Here, under the careful craft of Duane Swierczynski the steps into despair have been handled well. But where to go when you hit rock bottom?
Daune Swierczynski’s work on this book continues to consolidate the initial sense of surprise many readers will have no doubt felt when compared to his DC work on the ill-fated Birds of Prey book. With the darkness inherent in this book, I wonder if the idiom of misery and company can be applied to comic book and readers? Greg’s life seems to be a perpetual pigs ears no matter how many silk purses he is given. Still, it is good to see him get a level of control back in his life, even if by doing so he takes a few too many steps to figure out who the next murder victim may well be.
It’s not just the writing that shows the blight of Greg’s torment. The art by Gregg Scott works as effectively as it has done in previous issues. If you are a fan of the book, you don’t need me to extol the virtues of the art. Inversely, it’s probably not a style that will outright grab you. Scott’s work is a grower, it fits the strengths of the Swierczynski’s writing which is probably the art’s biggest strength. Scott is also helped out massively by the colors of Kelly Fitzpatrick whose use lighter colors and shades for the West Coast is just one example of the subtlety of her work.
The Black Hood has been a consistently impressive comic from Dark Circle Comics. Regardless of the seemingly repetitive trope of the darkness threatening the hero, Swierczynski and co. do well to keep things interesting, even if the last page possibly has an element of “jumping the shark”.
Writing – 4 Stars
Art – 4 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars
Script: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Greg Scott, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick
Cover: Greg Smallwood