Dark Circle Comics 2015
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Michael Gaydos
Coloured by Kelly Fitzpatrick
This series for me is already the breakout hit of the year. It should be something that everyone is reading. Duane has gone and taken an established hero in the Black Hood and given him the most unexpected of legacies and an origin story that is as dark and gritty as they come and yet ends with this redemption and brightness that is just amazing.
Equally as amazing is the interior artwork by Michael and Kelly. There really such a grittiness to it that is gorgeous and detailed to give us this world Greg operates in. It’s powerful and emotional in ways that hit you like a ton of bricks and honestly this couldn’t be done by any other team as effectively as it’s being done right here.
The way this issue unfolded was pretty darn spectacular and the brand of justice this Black Hood dishes out well he’s a cop and he’s not afraid of killing a man. From threatening and beating up men to get to the higher ups yeah that’s par for the course. What was nice to see was that chain of command went, who was involved and how he was able to take advantage of his position and his family to get away with things that are decidedly unlawful and counterproductive. Granted I get it he did what he did to catch those people who were his rivals and even went so far as to frame Greg to disgrace him so he’d be in the clear to continue to grow his operation to greater heights. Still that he could do this on the back of his brother is reprehensible.
I get ahead of myself here though. Jessie’s driving Greg around getting him from place to place here watching him in action. This should go against everything she stands for as a therapist and as his friend but I think she’s as fascinated by him as we are and is willing to see just how far he’ll go and if he can get this out of his system perhaps he’ll calm down and be able to move forward. Of course let’s face it even if he weren’t popping pills like they were Pez he’s got the bug for vigilante crime fighting and this is only the beginning of his career.
We see Greg get exonerated and welcomed back to the force and the city as the “Hero Cop” once again and Jessie got him into a rehab center to get him off the pill dependency. It would be a good ending to his story framing the man who tried to ruin him, bringing his underworld life to light and getting clean but he’s a cop and he knows what’s out there on the streets of the city he loves and he knows he can do something about that. He clean up his city and keep his secret again after all when one Black Hood falls another one rises to take his place but this time he’s also the one who used his cop’s skills to figure everything out and now he’s in this for the long haul.
The Black Hoods adventures are just beginning and this creative team has done the impossible and made him one of comics most interesting and emotionally powerful men.