Saturday, March 7, 2015

Guest Review - The Black Hood #1

   Our Guest Reviews continue as Glen Davis sends along a review of the latest incarnation of The Black Hood:

   I've always been a fan of the Archie, aka MLJ heroes, ever since I found a copy of High Camp Superheroes in a used bookstore when I was 10. 

   These heroes sort of come and go every 10 or 15 years or so, with a slightly different incarnation every time. 

   I really enjoyed the Red Circle books from the last couple of years, so I decided to take a chance on these Dark Circle books. 

   Duane Swiercynski seems to be one of those writers people either love or hate, and I'm afraid  I'm not in the "Love Him" camp. I like some of his novels, but I really think he was the reason that the Immortal Iron Fist was cancelled.

   This is a grim and gritty take on the old school MLJ hero, The Black Hood, who also had his own pulp. Altus Press published the entire run of the pulp in a book titled The Pulp Adventures Of The Hooded Detective, for those curious.

   It starts in Philadelphia, when a cop encounters the original Black Hood taking down some street thugs. During the melee, the officer takes a shotgun blast to the face and manages to shoot and kill The Black Hood.

   Hailed as a hero, but suffering a grievous facial injury and Post Traumatic Stress disorder, the cop becomes addicted to pain killers, falls in love with his therapist, and becomes the new Black Hood. 

   To be honest, I found it pretty much by the numbers and fairly tedious. The art and the black pages really make the comic gritty. 

   Also included are a couple of essays, one by Swiercynski and another by crime novelist Dennis Tafoya, about how terrible life in Philadelphia is.

   This comic doesn't seem to be for me. Too bad.

Grade:  C-


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