Written by: Duane Swierczynski
Art by: Michael Gaydos
The Black Hood has already set the stage for gritty and dark themed crime stories so comparing it to the hit Netflix series: Daredevil, wouldn’t be a stretch. However Greg Hettinger is a little more tortured than even Matt Murdock. In issue three though, this man in the mask is shaking things up while finding his soul again.
The fact it’s a first-person account gives us a running monologue that lets us in on his train of thought for better or for worse. Despite being framed as a junkie cop, Hettinger still finds time to put on the mask, but his desk duty has him reevaluating his life. He starts making changes for the better and putting him on a healthier path. Normally, I’d worry if your vigilante starts to find his happy place and starts making healthy choices, but I’m confident Duane Swierczynski will throw some unpleasantries his way soon.
It’s refreshing to see a protagonist that isn’t one thing. He’s constantly evolving. Here we are at issue three and Hettinger has been through a lot already and now he’s transitioning again. There’s no flowery crusade or parent dead in the alley to avenge he’s a working class hero finding his way.
Michael Gaydos continues to do exceptional work giving The Black Hood it’s weathered, beaten, and gritty urban landscape. Philadelphia, in all its Sephia glory thanks to Kelley Fitzpatrick’s colors, and Gaydos’ character designs are great and varied. They look like real people not templates of one another.
Like the titular hero, The Black Hood is finding itself, not settling to be just another vigilante book. It’s just as concerned with the person beneath the mask as it is with the search for justice. Hettinger is flawed and scarred, certainly not the face of a superhero, but one that is riveting and that’s what makes The Black Hood so compelling.