This is a spoiler-free review of THE BLACK HOOD #3, which hits comic shops on April 22. The FOC for issue 3 is Monday, March 30.
Officer Greg Hettinger has been arrested after being set up with drugs in his apartment. While he is free, for the time being, he puts on the Black Hood again to find out who set him up by asking "who is above you?"
With the last issue, which we reviewed here, the direction seemingly changed and it was a little tough to understand where this book was going, which was really cool about it, since it kept the reader on their toes. Issue #3 really establishes the direction the book is going, and it's pretty awesome. Again, although only three issues in, it's hard to predict what's coming next and the element of surprise THE BLACK HOOD has to offer is easily one of the most appealing things about it.
THE BLACK HOOD is gritty and takes the vigilante book to a completely different place as the main character, Greg Hettinger, is a sympathetic character who is not incredibly likable because of some of his actions. This book is more of a character study than anything else of a man trying to get his life back and this is the issue that puts him on the road to redemption, his redemption. He's not trying to become the hero the city once thought he was. He's trying to right the wrongs committed on him and on the city he swore to protect as a police officer.
Duane Swierczynski thrives as a writer with a character like this, much like his work on JUDGE DREDD at IDW, but what sets this apart is the grittiness and watching a man lose everything and try to put himself back together. That almost makes this seem like an uplifting book and while this issue has moments that are uplifting, the overall story of getting justice is what drives the character and story.
Then, there's the art of Michael Gaydos, which is the perfect companion to Swierczynski's story, and vice versa. While Hettinger's story is dark and within this issue, a tad bittersweet, especially the moments he shares with his speech therapist, Gaydos' art is what pushes this book to be the best it can be. As it's been mentioned in previous reviews, aside from the art, the hand-drawn panels really give this book an uneasy feeling as Hettinger walks through this world and it's little things like that which make THE BLACK HOOD such an intriguing piece.
On the down side of things, for some, the book, tonally, is incredibly dark and that combine with the character development of Hettinger can be a bit of a turn-off for some readers. THE BLACK HOOD is not for everyone, but those who enjoy books of this nature will fall in love with it. If it resonates with you, it is impossible to put down.
THE BLACK HOOD has become one of my favorite reads, and we're only a few issues in. Hettinger is this incredibly intriguing character and his journey is incredibly fascinating. Swierczynski and Gaydos play exceptionally well off each other to create this dim but intriguing book that is really hard to put down. Check out the first two issues of this book if you're in the mood for something that's really character driven and quite gritty.
FOC for THE BLACK HOOD #3 is March 30, so ask your comic book retailer to sign you up! THE BLACK HOOD #3 hits comic shops on April 22. The solicit is below as well.
THE BLACK HOOD #3
NEW ONGOING SERIES FROM DARK CIRCLE! “The Bullet’s Kiss, Part 3” The Black Hood is supposed to be dead. Shot, de-masked, autopsied, buried. So who’s running around town in a ratty black hood, declaring war on the underworld? The City of Philadelphia is electrified by the fleeting glimpses they see on social media—but both the cops and the drug gangs want him stopped at all costs. However, the new Black Hood may not have to be stopped. He’s coming unglued all on his own…
Script: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Michael Gaydos, Rachel Deering, Kelly FitzpatrickCover: Francesco FrancavillaRobert Hack
Variant Cover: David Mack
Variant Cover: Howard Chaykin
Dark Circle Movie Throwback Variant Cover: On Sale Date: 4/22
32-page, full color comic