Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Black Hood' #5 by Duane Swierczynski, Michael Gaydos and Kelly Fitzpatrick

In a race against time, Greg Hettinger has to find The Connection and take down his drug empire before his identity is revealed to the public as The Black Hood. In the conclusion of 'The Bullet's Kiss,' Duane Swierczynski, Michael Gaydos and Kelly Fitzpatrick finish up the first arc with the same gritty action and grainy visuals that have made The Black Hood a must-read.

The Black Hood has been a compelling character study in vigilantism and addiction. Hettinger is one of the most complicated characters in comics who isn't easily defined. Sure, calling him a junkie cop with a penchant for wearing a mask and kicking criminal's asses at night would be fairly accurate but doesn't tell the whole story. 

Since the beginning of the series, Hettinger has provided the on-going exposition going on in his head and we've been privy to his mindset. He's very self-aware, but he's still a slave to his desires, to the next high, whether it's from breaking some thug's jaw or from drugs. It's this selfish pursuit that drives the action in this first arc. And it's what gets him in deeper and deeper in trouble. Not to mention stealing the drugs from The Connection's distributors makes him a target. 

The only place where the story falters a bit is in describing the criminal drug empire that only lurks in the shadows and during brief ominous meetings. There's a coordinated system of corruption that's a little too vague and perhaps it's purposely done to hide the reveal at the end. The result undermines the climactic impact of the final confrontation. 

Still, The Black Hood represents the same sort of deconstruction of the street hero that the Netflix version of Daredevil did. A man without powers, I realize Matt Murdock's heightened senses but it was downplayed, on a mission with incredible determination and resiliency. Despite the demons, Hettinger attempts to straighten himself out giving him a sense of humanity, flaws and all, that you don't see enough of in other comics.  

The artistry of Michael Gaydos and  Kelly Fitzpatrick has given the series the raw and unblemished facade of a Philadelphia that is in decline. A city seen through the grainy filter of an artist willing to reveal not only the ugly scars of its protagonist but that of his hometown. An artist whose lines travel a scraggly path unable to find the straight and narrow much like the characters on the page. Fitzpatrick tries to lighten the darkness with variegated color but is continually drawn to the shadows that envelope scenes with noirish flair. 

The Black Hood is the best of pulp fiction where heroism is a gray area as muddled and dark as the hearts of the villains. Hettinger walks a thin line of moral ambiguity but tries to redeem himself even if it is to save his own behind. Will he find redemption? Can he expose the corruption within the department and save himself in the process? Duane Swierczynski has crafted another compelling crime drama that will leave you riveted. 


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja Vol. 4' #20 by Amy Chu, Erik Burnham, Carlos Gomez, and Vincenzo Federici

As the castle prepares for the Feast of the Deities, Sonja and her friends reluctantly take on the job of event security for the owner, the shifty Rusa Sandak, while Sonja attempts to solve the mystery of the missing Lord Skath... at the local tavern.


Red Sonja Vol. 4 #20
writers: Amy Chu, Erik Burnham  |  artist: Carlos Gomez, Vincenzo Federici covers: Babs Tarr (A), Tula Lotay (B), John Royle (C),               J. Bone (D), Cosplay Cover (E)               Babs Tarr (RI-B/W), Tula Lotay (RI-Virgin),               John Royle (RI-B/W)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+ 










PREVIEW: 'Barbarella' #9 by Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar

Barbarella has been lied to. Worse, she’s been weaponized, and someone’s going to answer for that, for sure. (Well, assuming she survives the judgment of the Esseverine sun-giants, and an armada of a thousand ships...)


Barbarella #9
writer: Mike Carey  |  artist: Kenan Yarar covers: Dave Bullock (A), Scott Chantler (B),               Eoin Marron (C), Anthony Marques (D),               Kenan Yarar (E-Sub)               Eoin Marron (RI-B/W), Scott Chantler (RI-Virgin)               Dave Bullock (RI-B/W)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+ 










PREVIEW: 'Barbarella' #7 by Mike Carey and Kenan Yarar

Barbarella is lost in a maze of Radically Unstable Space-Time, with Pulver Glain, his boys, and his smarter-than-smart gun Sally-Anne hot on her trail. But what’s at the heart of the maze is a threat - and a miracle - that none of them are ready for.


Barbarella #7

writer: Mike Carey  |  artist: Kenan Yarar
covers: Butcher Billy (A), Hayden Sherman (B),
              Daniel HDR (C), Giovanni Timpano (D),
              Kenan Yarar (E-Sub)
              Butcher Billy (RI-B/W), Daniel HDR (RI-B/W)
              Giovanni Timpano (RI-Virgin)

In Stores 06/20/2018

FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |  Mature