REVIEW: The Black Hood #5

Script: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Michael Gaydos, Rachel Deering, Kelly Fitzpatrick

Here we have the final part of Duane Swierczynski’s tour de force crime noir drama as the Black Hood finally connects the dots and confronts the villain of the piece.  But at what cost?  I don’t really want to go to much into the story here, I am not giving any of the action or conclusions away, thereby robbing Swierczynski of all his hard work. Suffice to say, that for every action, there is indeed an equal and opposite reaction.

Fans of the series will recognise the terseness of the script and the inner monologue that continues to describe and to some extent, demonstrate the actions of the man under the Hood.  It comes as a stark realization that vengeance and justice may not be the only things that drive him forward.  As always, every good vigilante needs an equally good supporting cast, to offer support or to try and remonstrate failed plans.  The Black Hood is no different; Swiercynski laying plans early in the series have eventually paid out, instead of going for the quick fix.

The art in the book is the same quality at previous issues.  It’s reassuring that mini series like this can command the attention of a consistent artist, rather than run the medley of creators that some of the Big Two roll out on a book.  The book is in safe hands with Michael Gaydos, who again delivers his work with a darkness that somehow is even grittier than the script and dialogue.   Don’t get me wrong, as good as the book looks as an overall atmosphere, there is still  a tendency of some of the characters faces appear to be developed from actual photos.  Have a look at the panels to the left (your left).  Those faces seems very very familiar to me.  This isn’t a massive issue, artist use references for a number of different reasons and objects. Whilst it serves as a distraction, this doesn’t spoil the book.

This little series has been fantastic.  It shows how great a writer Swierczynski can be when left to his own devices.  His Birds of Prey stuff is way below the quality of the work on show here.  I recognise that this may seem a tad unfair, but hands up, who wouldn’t want to read this type of book featuring Canary and Huntress? That of course, will never happen over at DC, mainly as the characters have their own niche, albeit a niche for Canary is changing now that she has been “Batgirl’d”.

I really like this book.  It reads extremely well, minimizing the distraction of some of the art element, which just show how strong the writing actually is.

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