Review: The Black Hood #1

-Sam Haine (@S_Haine82)

Written by Duane Swierczynski Artwork by Michael Graydos Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick Lettering by Rachel Deering Published by Dark Circle Comics  

Written by Duane Swierczynski
Artwork by Michael Graydos
Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettering by Rachel Deering
Published by Dark Circle Comics

 

Gregory Hettinger thought is was going to be a regular day in the life for a police officer. That is until a radio call puts him at the receiving end of a gun on the corner of Bridge & Mulberry in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. Injured in the line of duty and hospitalized, Gregory awakens bandanged and barely able to speak. He is honored as a hero cop for his heroism. However, Gregory just see's it as murder.

    Black Hood #1 comes to us from Dark Circle Comics, an imprint of Archie Comics. A dark and gritty neo-noir set in the streets of brotherly love. Written by local son Duane Swierczynski; whose previous credits include six non-fiction books, The Charlie Hardie Trilogy, eight crime novels including: Severance Package, Expiration Date and the recently published Canary. As well written comic books for DC, Marvel and Dark Horse...  

Myself being a fan of crime and horror comics meant I gravitated to this book the moment I heard it was launching. After three repeat readings I can without question place this on my mandatory pull list. The writing is to the point and lacking in unnecessary genre bullshit.  Characters are layered and fleshed out. The violence is realistic and not for the sake of shock. By the third sitting I found myself squinting my eyes just to make out street signs like Kensington and Somerset as well spotting the "Frankford EL"...

Every page is a tense and moody procedural of a man slowly decaying after a traumatic experience. His days of increasing aggression and detachment are only dulled by his growing dependency to pain medications... 
The surgical pacing of events are illustrated exquisitely by Michael Graydos. Parts of internal dialogue could very easily have been expressed just in the look of a character's eyes without a single word being printed. The artwork coupled with Kelly Fitzpatricks colors gives Black Hood an almost rotoscoping quality. A must have for any fan of crime, disjointed personalities and the ugliness of city living. 

Bonus: Included at the end of this issue #1 is a short essay about crime in Philly by Dennis Tafoya.

The Black Hood, "The Bullet's Kiss" issue #1 of a five part story arc to an ongoing series. Rated Teen+ for violence and Mature Content. 
For further details go to http://darkcirclecomics.com/