Dark Circle Comics 2015
Written by Duane Swierczynski
Illustrated by Howard Chaykin
Coloured by Jesus Aburto
Lettered by Rachel Deering
Oh how i’ve missed this series! At first I was a little disappointed that Michael wasn’t illustrating this but I think Howard’s work for this west coast excursion has the right tone and feel to it. Also Howard is still amazing with the work he can do and I love seeing his take on Greg including all that emotion he’s got inside those scarred handsome features of his.
Last time we left Greg finally admitted he needed help with his addiction to painkillers and Jessie got him hooked up with a clinic in Southern California. That’s where we see him and Duane doesn’t waste any time in showing us the conflict he has within himself through all this. That we get this clear picture of a strong willed man who doesn’t like to admit he needs help and can’t shake off his new identity is really good strong powerful stuff. Whether he’s really trying to get over things or not is another story but at least he’s in the right place for now.
It isn’t long before one of the members of Greg’s group seeks him out. She knows he’s a cop by trade she can see it in him and she uses that and her own feminine charms to persuade him that she’s the target of killer among them. Asking for help appealing to him as a man, a cop and as a scared woman how can he refuse to investigate her claims? Ah the trouble of dames in a man’s life never cease to amaze me.
I like how Duane crafted this story. Appealing to his inner cop and his sense of duty was a really smart way to get things started. I also appreciate the way it gives us a chance to see him use his cop/detective skills in action and follow his hunches. It also gives him a chance to don the mask and feel like he’s still got a sense of purpose in his life while being cooped up in this place. The characterization here is extremely good and Duane keeps expanding on his character and pushing him further and further into being someone he can like, himself that is.
Calling his partner to help him out by checking into the backgrounds of some of his fellow group members keeps in line with who he is. Though in all honesty i’m surprised he only went for the men. Had it been me i’d have run em all and seen where the chips lie after all it’s awfully convenient that she came to him with this story in the first place and personally i’d like a little more information or confirmation on her story as well. What Greg discovers and how the story plays out with that information leading the end of this issue is delightful.
Not quite unexpected but definitely interesting. He’s still new to this game and he’s bound to make mistakes but the real question is is he going to let these mistakes get to him or will he learn and grow from them? How he’s going to fix the mess he currently finds himself in is going to be interesting to see. Can he do what he needs to do, stay off the radar and keep his other identity from being exposed? We’ll see next issue as the story continues.
This really is one of the year’s most intense and interesting series and hopefully now that it's back we won’t have to wait long between arcs like we have so far. Duane has really gone above and beyond in creating a new mytho for the Black Hood and made him a very interesting, relatable and grounded character.