Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Step into the "Circle"..... A review of The Black Hood #3 by Dark Circle Comics

    Well, here we are again for a 3rd installment of The Black Hood by Archie/Dark Circle Comics! I'm not going to pull any punches here folks, this book fucking rocks and this third issue is the best issue in the series yet. In fact, issue #3 of The Black Hood is without a doubt the best comic book I've read in 2015. Hell, it may be the best comic I've read since the beginning of "X" from Dark Horse Comics a couple of years ago (written by the same guy too). Guys, this book was stellar from top to bottom and delivered a riveting story about a character who's flawed in so many ways and mastered the dramatic aspect of a weekly television drama mixed with a superhero story that isn't a superhero story, that is a superhero story.......that isn't. It's so complex. Make no bones about it, there are no capes or logo's here ladies and gentlemen, this is downright gritty as all hell and not for the faint of heart. You don't read this book to see Spider-Man or Batman protecting the city from the villain of the week where it all turns out okay in the end, you read this title because you want to see a drugged out vigilante tear shit up and and plant his flag as one of the true bad-ass characters in comics today. This is definitely the strongest of the two books currently being published by Dark Circle Comics as I felt The Fox #1 wasn't nearly as good a read though it's admittedly a different kind of a book than The Black Hood (review forthcoming). Even after The Crusaders, The Shield, and The Hangman see print I find it hard to believe that anything that Dark Circle could produce could touch this, as premature as that may be to type. That's how strongly I feel about this book.
    The issue picks up where the 2nd left off with our hero in police custody after being framed by an unknown entity. He finds himself out of jail and back on the job but really begins to put forth the effort to get to the bottom of who's going after him and why when he begins terrifying street thugs asking who their bosses are. He does this for a few pages and gets across that he isn't playing around and that he knows there is a job to do aside from wearing the badge. Even his on the job partner strikes up a conversation about how he is admiring what The Black Hood is accomplishing, not knowing the man he's talking to is that very character. The ending of the book was great when we saw two dudes digging up the original Black Hood's grave while the new Black Hood ruins their excavation in a scene that should be made into a poster or a framed wall-hanging. We also got to see some more interaction between Greg and his speech coach which will (in my opinion) lead to something romantic between the two, this issue dropped enough hints for me to believe so and it would make a fun little side story with all the other happenings going on. Also, I'm pretty sure The Black Hood killed somebody in this issue though we truly don't know the fate of the individual. I'm fairly certain he's dead though.
     Once again the story was superbly written by Duane Swierczynski with gritty art by Michael Gaydos, it's such a perfect blend that at only 3 issues in I couldn't see anyone else handling this book though it's inevitable that someday that'll have to be the case unless it gets cancelled early on (I'd protest). I'd love to see these two plant their flag on this book and stick around for a while though in a manor similar to Bendis/Bagley on Ultimate Spider-Man or Claremont/Byrne on X-Men back in the day. They're seriously that good at what they do on this book. Too often creative teams get switched around and it happens sometimes when it seems like they're just hitting their stride as a tandem on certain books, one can only pray that something like that won't happen here sans the traditional fill-in issues that seems to be the standard within the industry. I'll be eagerly looking forward to reading issue #4 when it hits as things appear to be moving forward now with only a couple issues left until a planned break for the team to get the second arc ready. Hopefully we find out who's behind everything soon and I certainly don't want to be on the opposite end of what The Black Hood has planned for those responsible for his framing and incarceration. This book is going to read so well in TPB form when Dark Circle releases it, it's reading exceptionally good in single issue format and definitely has a vibe that will translate perfectly into collected form for those of you waiting to read it that way. But trust me when I say that good things are ahead folks and good things are here, keep reading.....

Story & Plot - 9.5/10
Art & Illustration - 8.5/10
Inks & Colors - 8.5/10
Cast & Characters - 8.5/10
Overall Score - 9/10

     © B-Sly The Gamer Guy

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