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

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman' #6 by Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora

The series has been great fun but for fans of the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsey Wagner it's been a time machine to what could have been when these two iconic heroines meet.


WONDER WOMAN '77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #6  Writer: Andy Mangels Artist: Judit Tondora Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: September 20, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
 Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have put together a sprawling crossover event that faithfully captures the tone and aesthetic of the 1970's shows. Often complicated and full of exposition, the camaraderie between Diana and Jamie is genuine and to see them in action makes the cover price worth every penny. Bringing together not only the titular heroes but incorporating their respective supporting characters like Wonder Girl and combining villains was no easy feat but Mangels and Tondora pull it off with enthusiasm and precision.
The plot to use Fembots to…

LONG BEACH COMIC CON Invades the Southland with William Shatner, Dave Gibbons, Cosplayers, and More

It's that time of year again when pop culture fans from all over Southern California and beyond descend on Long Beach to meet and greet some of their favorite stars from comic books, television, and movies. This year the 2017 Long Beach Comic Con offers some new exciting guests, panels, concerts, film festivals, cosplay contests, and an expansive Space Expo.


Visit downtown Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3 for the annual Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center. This year's lineup includes legendary actor and cultural icon Star Trek's William Shatner speaking in the Main Stage room on Saturday as well as esteemed veteran comic writer and artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).
A con that still values comics will feature comic book vendors, artists, writers, and publishers. Approximately 100 other guests including animators, voice actors, and professional cosplayers will be participating in more than 100 entertaining and informative panels covering animation,…

REVIEW: 'Genius: Cartel' #3 (of 5) by Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, and Rosi Kampe

Adam Freeman and Marc Bernardin tighten the vice around their hero Destiny when she deviates from the mission to a plan of her own. Now outgunned and trapped while trying to rescue dozens of frightened women from the cartel's sex-trade, Destiny must use her superior intellect to find a way out alive in Genius: Cartel #3.


GENIUS: CARTEL #3 (OF 5) Story: Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin Art / Cover: Rosi Kampe Colors: Brad Simpson Letters: Troy Peteri Published: October 18, 2017 Diamond ID: AUG170655
Ignoring orders to assassinate the leader of a drug cartel, Destiny pursues her true mission—free two dozen young girls from the cartel’s sex-trade operation. With an army of mercenaries on her tail and the US border over 1,500 miles away, how will she fight her way out while protecting such fragile cargo?
Digital : $3.99 Print: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
When Destiny decides to alter the mission leaving her troops to complete the assassination of the cartel leader, she opts to lead the women a…

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 …

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #4 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

'Crosswind' #4 delves deeper into the situations that Cason and Juniper have found themselves in. The fates of both are increasingly in danger just as Cason as Juniper begins to stabilize the domestic life. Juniper as Cason has a target on his back and a deception that could cost a life before the two return to their rightful bodies.



CROSSWIND #4 Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Cat Staggs Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: September 27, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The last issue was a satisfying chapter but things get inevitably messier. Cruz is out to get Cason for sleeping with his fiance Mika and making sure he keeps quiet about killing the idiotic son, Siggy, of the mob boss. He's got to play Mr. Randolph against Cason now and it's sure to set some deadly actions in motion. Meanwhile, back in suburbia, Cason just set Juniper's husband straight about his philandering. He needs help getting away as a woman so he enlists the help of a transgender woma…