Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Step into the "Circle".....A review of The Black Hood #1 by Dark Circle Comics!

    Hello everyone and thanks a million for dropping by! Today I have a real treat because this afternoon I decided to sit down and read, or re-read actually, and review a new comic book on store stands called The Black Hood, by a publisher known as Dark Circle Comics (an imprint of Archie). Every once in a while a new (or existing) publisher comes along with a crop of new comics to unleash upon the masses featuring fun an interesting characters and after taking a look at the lineup that Dark Circle Comics has in store I'd say that this looks as promising and as fun as anything I've checked out since Dynamite made a run at the classic pulp heroes a few years back. Heck, this may even rival and/or exceed the greatness going on at Valiant and Dark Horse's Project Black Sky books. That's a very bold statement. But the questions always remains whether or not the line of books will last in a crowded market that seems to be dwindling...

    As far as The Black Hood #1 goes all I can say is "wow". From the first portion of the book to the last you are witness to a tragic incident that horribly disfigures a police officer who is forced to take a considerable amount of time off to rehab his injuries and learn to rejoin society again. Once he does he realizes that what he's doing isn't really doing much for him anymore since killing a vigilante known as "The Black Hood" so he decides to put the mask on and take up the mantle. Now I know what you're thinking. You're most likely thinking that stories such as this have been told before and that there really isn't anything special about this tale that hasn't been told. And in many ways you're right, but the magic here lies in the fact that the creative team isn't trying to reinvent the wheel more so than they're trying to master it. And this issue truly did thanks to it's remarkable story and it's dark and gritty artwork, this book was a home-run that has left me wanting more by the time I was finished. This single issue is one of the finest works that Duane Swierczynski has churned out and rivals anything he's done on Valiant's Bloodshot or Dark Horse's "X" and really should be given a chance by anyone who likes a dark and dank vigilante story that seems to have some crime overtones. The art is dark and gritty and I tip my hat to Michael Gaydos for his unique style of illustration, it's really giving the character some depth beyond what the scribe can give and the book benefits overall from his pencils. The first issue alone has introduced us to a main character who is good but wants to be bad, a potential love interest, a plot that will eventually unfold and answer a lot of questions, and it's kicked off what could be a very promising universe of heroes and villains that could be used to drive media efforts sometime down the road. My only issue is that they're going with the $3.99 price tag for their comics which will no doubt limit their potential sales since so many publishers are promoting books at the same price, and in some cases cheaper, with bigger franchises and higher tier talent attached to them. I would think that publishers these days would be able to promote a book at $2.99 and still make a sizable profit, but maybe I'm wrong.....I don't know, I just feel bad for all the kids out there who want to buy comics but can't afford to thanks to the inflated price tag.

All in all I do highly recommend this book and I hope that despite the high price tag and the "been done before" story that you'll give it a shot if you're a fellow comic book fan because there is just so much here to like. On top of The Black Hood, Dark Circle plans to release comics based on characters they own including The Fox, The Shield, Hangman, and New Crusaders, as well as the potential of expanding more throughout 2016 and then beyond. By the end of 2015 they should have 4-5 titles on store shelves and a clear vision of where the line will go, if it goes anywhere at all. This comic book fan sure hope it does.

Story& Plot - 9/10
Art & Illustration - 8.5/10
Inks & Colors - 10/10
Cast & Characters - 8.5/10
Overall Score - 9/10
© B-Sly The Gamer Guy

1 comment:

  1. i read issues 1 and 2, freaking dark as shit! Great comic.