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 …

First Look: LIVEWIRE #1 Lights Up with Vita Ayala, Raul Allen and Patricia Martin

Valiant presents your first look within the pages of LIVEWIRE #1, the stunning new ongoing series from rising star Vita Ayala (Supergirl, Submerged) and fan-favorite artists Raúl Allén (WRATH OF THE ETERNAL WARRIOR) and Patricia Martín (SECRET WEAPONS)!


On December 19th, Amanda “Livewire” McKee – one of Valiant’s most important players since the days of 2012’s HARBINGER – ascends to the spotlight in her first-ever solo series in the publisher’s history!
“Amanda has always been such a strong, complex, compelling character, and I personally have been waiting for a long time for her to get her own solo title!” Ayala told The Hollywood Reporter. “Amanda deserves to shine, and the folks over at Valiant are determined that her first solo book be impactful! And honestly, we need a hero like Amanda right now.”
Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blac…

Chuck Palahniuk and Cameron Stewart Return for FIGHT CLUB 3

FIGHT CLUB 3 asks, “What's the first rule of fatherhood?”


Bestselling novelist Chuck Palahniuk, Eisner Award-winning artist Cameron Stewart, letterer Nate Piekos of Blambot, colorist Dave McCaig and acclaimed cover artist David Mack will collaborate on the follow-up to the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling graphic novel FIGHT CLUB 2. In the 12 part monthly comic book maxi-series FIGHT CLUB 3, Marla Singer is about to deliver her second child, but the daddy isn’t her husband—it's Tyler Durden, who’s very invested in his heir, and the world he’ll inherit.


Marla, her first son, and her husband—the unnamed narrator in the novel, who now goes by Balthazar—live in a run-down motel in a sketchy neighborhood. In the FIGHT CLUB 2 graphic novel Tyler transformed Project Mayhem into Rize or Die. Now, a new group has implemented a ruthless and deviant plan to fine-tune mankind, leading Balthazar to forge an unlikely alliance … with Tyler Durden.


“FIGHT CLUB 3 is about what happens when you need …

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja' Vol. 4 #21 by Amy Chu, Erik Burnham and Carlos Gomez

It’s the final battle against the forces of Sandak, the usurper of Skath’s castle! Lera’s secret is revealed to Sonja! Can the warrior Skath find redemption? Will the dark power of Kulan Gath’s amulet influence our heroes? And how does Sonja best a SHARK? Find out in the last chapter of THE BLADE OF SKATH!


Red Sonja Vol. 4 #21
writers: Amy Chu, Erik Burnham  |  artist: Carlos Gomez covers: Sean Chen (A), Ben Caldwell (B), Kewber Baal (C),               John Royle (D), Cosplay Cover (E-Sub)               Sean Chen (RI-B/W), Ben Caldwell (RI-Virgin),               John Royle (RI-B/W)
FC  |  32 pages  |  $3.99  |   Teen+