cover image The Black Hood, Vol. 1: The Bullet’s Kiss

The Black Hood, Vol. 1: The Bullet’s Kiss

Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos. Dark Circle, $14.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-61988-962-0

Since debuting from Archie Comics in the 1940s, the Black Hood has been through many incarnations and publishers but has stayed a superhero crime fighter. Back at Archie for a new version, this Black Hood targets corruption and injustice in the inner city with a bloodier approach. This origin story is by the crime-fighter’s book: cop is disfigured in a bust gone bad. For therapy as well as revenge, he becomes a masked vigilante to ruthlessly take down every crook in the city. Crime novelist Swierczynski (Revolver) writes an efficient, driven inner monologue, but his script hunts down vigilante clichés and displays them like a police line-up. Gritty artwork from Gaydos (Alias) gives the tale a suitable noir feel, although the heavy inking and thick outlines on the characters sometimes look like rotoscoped photographs. This entertaining reinvention of a classic mystery man character is a thrill ride: exciting and tense, but the adrenaline’s gone quickly after it’s over. (July)