Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'The Black Hood' #8 by Duane Swierczynski and Robert Hack


★★★★☆ (4/5)

'The Black Hood' continues to chronicle the rocky ride of Greg Hettinger from policeman to vigilante to drug-addicted vigilante cop, to recovering addict. Unfortunately, he can't seem to kick the habit of getting his ass beaten. Duane Swierczynski keeps painting a realistic and gritty picture of a regular guy, a non-superhero, who stubbornly seeks justice despite the odds against him. Special guest artist Robert Hack keeps the streets of Philadelphia dirty and dark in this latest installment of the 'Lonely Crusade' arc. 

The issue opens up with Hettinger in mid-fight with the cultish Crusaders and he's outnumbered, outgunned, and homeless people caught in the crossfire. It's an untenable situation that has become his modus operandi. Yet, no matter how many big shots he takes he doesn't given up even when most smart people would turn and run away. No one would blame him if he drew his gun and started firing back. His moral code, however selective, refuses to kill. 

As a street level hero, The Black Hood is an admirable protagonist who fights for justice no matter the odds. It sometimes means being on the receiving end of gun fire, fists, or bats like he is in this issue. Swierczynski has made Hettinger more human than most comic book vigilantes. He's not likely to be armed to the teeth mowing down the bad guy. This is really more a three dimensional character study of a guy who's convinced himself that he needs to be on the street administering justice in ways he can't while in uniform. Although, this compulsion to be a hero is just a substitute for his other addicition - painkillers. Clean and sober, still wearing the hood but lying to Jessie makes Hettinger seem small and irrational. He has to lie to coworkers about his injuries (there are many) and the downward spiral begins anew. He's a perfectly flawed character that makes 'The Black Hood' more compelling for it. 

Hack does a wonderful job of keeping the dreary and grimy atmosphere of Philly that Michael Gaydos had established. A far cry from his more colorful and classical look of his work on Archie Comics' Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Hack choreographs the fight for maximum effect getting in tight with every bloody punch, kick or ladder to the face. And can still muster nuance with facial expressions and body language. Kelly Fitzpatrick keeps the pallete muddy with splashes of cardinal and earhtones. 

'The Black Hood' is a down and dirty street tale of a determined cop turned vigilante that is doing everything he can to make the streets safer even if it kills him. And it almost does. It's this type of realistic portrayal that makes Hettinger a compelling figure for everything he does right and everything he does wrong. He's no all-powerful gun-toting savior and that's okay. He might be misguided but damn is it gripping.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ADVANCE REVIEW: 'Secret Weapons' #1 by Eric Heisserer, Raúl Allén, and Patricia Martin

In comics, the assembling of a team of heroes is not a new concept. But what if those "heroes" had been rejected for having lame powers? Valiant addresses this question in the fantastic new mini, Secret Weapons #1, starring Amanda McKee - the technopath codenamed Livewire.


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Eric Heisserer (Arrival) and Harvey Award-nominated artist Raúl Allén (Wrath of the Eternal Warrior) have given this band of misfits a new life under the leadership of Livewire. What could have been treated as a parody is handled with great care and love as these psiots that Toyo Harada had stashed away after drawing out their powers but considered useless have found a new purpose.It's another great entry point for new readers and a rewarding one for longtime fans of Livewire and the Unity series.

Harada stashed Nicole (can speak to birds), Martin (can make inanimate objects glow), Owen (spontaneously summons a random object at any given time) and thr…

HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA by Paul Dini, Marc Andreyko and Laura Braga Coming in October

DC Entertainment and Archie Comics announce the crossover of epic proportions with HARLEY & IVY MEET BETTY & VERONICA. Their hijinks are brought to you by the real-life team-up of Paul Dini (HARLEY QUINN) and Marc Andreyko (WONDER WOMAN ’77), with art by Laura Braga (DC BOMBSHELLS). It all starts this October as these teams of best gal pals cross paths between Gotham and Riverdale!


“It's the sort of offer you scream out ‘YES!’ to before your eyes reach the middle of the email,” said Dini. “I've always wanted the chance to play in Riverdale, and to help Harley and Ivy invade it is a dream come true.  Marc's a great talent and a good friend. Writing this series with him has been like sitting on the lawn during summer vacation and reading a big pile of DC and Archie comics.  Except we have to stay indoors and type a lot.”
“It's going to be a blast to bring these amazing ladies together in this once-in-a-lifetime crossover,” said Braga. “Each character is different…

REVIEW: 'Magnus' #2 by Kyle Higgins, Jorge Fornes, and Chris O’Halloran

The reinvention of 'Magnus' at Dynamite by Kyle Higgins and Jorge Fornés has yielded one of the best detective stories in comics.


MAGNUS #2  Writer: Kyle Higgins Artist: Jorge Fornes Colors: Chris O'Halloran Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: July 19, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Ever since Frederick, an A.I. android, brutally murdered his owners (they were kind of dicks, though) robot whisperer, not "Robot Fighter" as in past iterations, psychologist Kerri Magnus has turned bounty hunter to bring the killer to justice. She's had to go down this rabbit hole of intrigue and tension as A.I. units seek their independence from their human overlords. They even have their own artificial world in the cloud that gives them some respite from their stupid slave owners. It's also the world Magnus has to navigate in order to track down Frederick but will androids obstruct her investigation as a sign of solidarity to robot-kind?
Higgins weave…

NEW COMIC BOOK DAY: Notable Releases 7/5/17

It's another great week for comics. We've culled 18 of them for this week's recommendations but it easily could have been more. Whatever you're looking for it's on stands today. Horror - Babyteeth, Sabrina, Unholy Grail. Superheroes - Batman, Green Arrow, Black Bolt, Zodiac Starforce. Sci-fi - Catalyst Prime Noble, Failsafe. Fantasy - Karma Police, Claudia & Rex. And so much more. Happy reading!


NEW COMIC BOOK DAY 7/5/17 by Slidely Slideshow MUSIC BY CALVIN HARRIS



(W) Roberto Aguirre Sacasa(A/CA) Robert Hack The horror adventures of Sabrina return! Learn the haunting back story of Sabrina's father, Edward Spellman.

(W) Chris Lewis(A) Jasen Smith(CA) Mike Spicer (A/CA) Tony Gregori On her first mission as a compassionate assassin, Jack found an enchanted dagger from her previous incarnation's bloody past. Its true power is revealed when it opens a portal to a mysterious realm known as the Grove. Seeking answers, Jack and her companions pass through the …

The 'DC Universe Original Movies: 10th Anniversary Collection' is The Box Set of Your Dreams

If you love DC Universe animated films then Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have got something special for you. Today, they announced the release of the DC Universe Original Movies: 10th Anniversary Collection, a comprehensive box set of all 30 films, 5 animated shorts, new special features and exclusive collectible items coming this fall.


The entire 30-film set will be available digitally on August 15, and in a Blu-ray box set on November 7. No pricing information has been released so far but more details are promised this summer. 
Launched in 2007 with the landmark release of Superman Doomsday, the DC Universe Original Movies are based on or inspired by storylines and/or characters from within the ever-expanding DC library. Produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the stories range from films based upon iconic DC Super Hero stories (Superman Doomsday, Justice League: The New Frontier, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: The Killing Joke) to films inspired by t…