Dark Circle Comics 2015
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Michael Gaydos
This could be one of the best new books of the year in my opinion. With it’s gritty tone and down to Earth realness and the fact that legends never die but are reborn in strange new ways showcases that the world will always need their heroes regardless of how they get their start. Michael’s ability to take Duane’s words and story and visualize it in such an intense and dark way embodies what the series is all about and the struggle we see in Greg has been utterly amazing to see.
Set up with drugs he didn’t steal and disgraced it’s easy to say that this scarred hero has gone down the drain as a cop but it isn’t that simple. With what he’s been through and the drugs he takes to help just function through the pain and the scarring well that’s just a crutch for now but it has helped him put on the mask and do what he can for the city he loves. Well that and he feels he needs the drugs he can confiscate along the way.
It might seem a little early for someone to have set him up the way they did but in reality it’s perfect timing. This will shift his focus from the drugs to finding out who is behind his current predicament and that means sharpening his detective and fighting skills. We all know a good hero needs that moment in their life that turns the page for them and that was his accident but now he needs the training to be more effective and that means weaning off the drugs, sharpening his skills and finding his own unique path. Character growth is the most important part of a story, if there is no growth the character is stagnant and boring and readers will lose interest but Duane has been giving us so much more than we bargained for with this series.
Greg’s journey and background and his supporting cast are being explored and fleshed out in ways that are sensible. He isn’t sharing his nighttime proclivities with anyone yet, if at all, but he’s definitely on the right path to being the kind of dark hero that makes a difference in cleaning up a cities underbelly of crime. There’s just this natural progression to what’s happening here that we rarely see, Duane really has done his homework and researched where he wants to go and what he wants to do at least that’s how it feels to me reading this story and what has accomplished well is rocketing this series to the top of the reading pile.
Now that people have seen more footage of the Black Hood speculation has begun if he’s back or a copycat and that kind of scrutiny will undoubtedly be something to keep an eye on for the kind of developments that will come from both the police department and the organized crime groups. This is where events in this issue make such an impact on what we see.
We’ve seen a series of revivals tried throughout the years but Archie’s imprint of Dark Circle has really captured what it needs to make this a huge success. They find themselves at the forefront of social change and relevance in the industry with groundbreaking books that have re-energized readers excitement of comic books.