"The Black Hood #5" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Circle Comics
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Michael Gaydos
2015, 36 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 24th, 2015
With his life in shambles, Greg Hettinger has become a very dangerous man. It's not that he has nothing to lose; it's that he has one fleeting chance to get everything back. His face will never be normal after it took a shotgun blast, but at least his career and dignity can be saved if he can find the man that framed him and sent him further down this spiral. This makes Greg a downright scary individual. As the Black Hood, he's carving a path through two-bit thugs and gangsters to get to the man in charge, leaving a bloody wake behind him.
For the first time, we get more than a brief glimpse at the mysterious man previously known only as The Connection. This is the guy that's been making Greg's life hell as of late, pulling the strings in the organized crime world of Philadelphia. There's a repulsiveness about him, as if he's sliding around like a slug on two legs. He's sleazy and not afraid to throw his weight around if it means getting what he wants. This makes the confrontation between him and Greg so worthwhile.
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For years, The Connection has been untouchable. Nothing could knock him down from his ivory tower. That is, until he met the Black Hood. Here is a man that cannot be bought or intimidated. What else can this mob boss do to a guy that has already lost it all? No threat is going to make him hesitate in carrying out swift and brutal justice.
And oh, is it brutal. As Greg is mopping the streets with low-level goons, he is armed with little more than a nightstick and his wits. That doesn’t stop him from beating the crap out of people or jumping onto a moving car. The final battle between the Black Hood and The Connection is a little brief, but completely satisfying. It's the kind of finale that will leave you saying, “F-Yeah!”
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Michael Gaydos has been killing it on The Black Hood since issue #1 and it's no different here. There's a terrific full-page spread where the title character finally comes face to face with his opponent. He's a little hunched over after going through a helluva night to get here. There's a fierce look in his eyes as his gravelly voice utters, “I finally made the connection.” It's easily one of the most badass pages in modern comics.
This first arc of The Black Hood has been nothing short of awesome. Greg Hettinger goes on a roller coaster of emotion as you watch him lose everything and slowly rebuild his life from the ground up; the foundation of which is built on a vigilante's mask. There are no capes or tights. No secret lairs or sidekicks. There is just one man who's ready to kick some ass.