Comic Publishers

June 5, 2015

Dark Circle Review: The Black Hood #4

Hoodcover4The Black Hood #4
Publisher: Dark Circle Comics (Archie)
Story: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Michael Gaydos

How does one sum up how amazing The Black Hood is? Certainly if you are not reading it you have to be tired of hearing every comics news outlet and blog singing its praises and telling you to pick up a copy. Is it Swierczynski’s impeccable writing that scares you? Perhaps you don’t want to see him at his finest here and realize how poor other titles are constructed? Maybe it’s the stunning art from Gaydos’s hand that he plunks on the paper, for surely after you gaze upon it, you will start to question the art in other titles. Vertigo fans. Old school Red Circle Comics fans. In general, good, solid people, those, unless you are an aspiring Nazi war criminal, you’d want to be, all of them are reading this book. So don’t worry about being let down by the hype, just do it. Read this book.

Issue #4 is not just a four-star slam bang of a home run, but once again makes this four-for-four solid issues that the Dark Circle team has delivered. The story arc is wrapping up soon, and it continues to be a phenomenal one.

This month’s issue finds Black Hood at his wit’s end and in some deep shit. As he inches closer to finding out the identity of the Philadelphia crime lord, the Connection, he makes a fatal error of over estimating himself while facing off against two nasty fellows in a grave yard. They’ve been sent by the Connection, and match the Black Hood blow by blow and toe to toe. In time for the baddies but not himself, the police show up, but not before the duo discovers Black Hood’s identity. Suddenly, it is a race against the clock to find out the identity of and get rid of the Connection, before Greg ends up behind bars himself for his unorthodox vigilante work, or worse: dead.

As you may have figured out from the opening paragraph, Swierczynski continues to churn out solid writing in what is nothing but a well constructed, grade-A crime drama, as we near the first story arc’s end. His counterpart on the title, artist Gaydos, continues to impress us as well four issues in, holding up the comic’s visual quality. Dark, gritty, yet a realistically true, believable Philadelphia is presented before our eyes, as one cannot pull it from the praise.

With titles like The Black Hood, The Fox, Afterlife With Archie, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Archie publishes the best adult aimed stories these days, reminding us of the golden times when things like Vertigo or Marvel MAX really kicked it into high gear, proving they are more than pull list worthy for readers across the nation.

The Black Hood #4 is out now.

Drew McCabe



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