Dark Circle Comics 2015
Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Felix Ruiz
Coloured by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettered by Rachel Deering
Archie’s revival of these characters has been successful and with the addition of the Hangman the line continues to grow and bring us to a darker world. To be honest i’m least familiar with the Hangman of all the titles so for me this new launch is more exciting since i’m pretty much coming into this with a clean slate. Frank really is a great choice for this series and from what be brought to this introductory issue makes me excited for what’s to come.
I have to say I was surprised by the opening but then I guess I shouldn’t have been. Still as we see such a great domestic scene with a wife making a husband breakfast I started to think he was the Hangman. That however quickly went another direction and suddenly it was a whole different opening. More intrigued than ever especially since it was one of those moments that I thought this guy is gonna be in for it. The writing is creative and fun and definitely surprises you.
Felix and Kelly do a wonderful job on the interiors here too. I love the expressiveness of the facial expressions we see right off the bat. A loving husband and father who suddenly has this incredibly dark expression on his face. Yeah it really made for a huge wow moment as you start to realize there’s something off about him. Throughout the entire issue the page layouts and panel usage are used to really tell this tale wonderfully through these visuals. Impressive stuff to keep this really dark and yet not overly done.
As we see what Mikey Ice does for a living after leaving his family we get a little bit of a local legend, ya know an old wives tale about the Boia, the executioner in English otherwise known as the Hangman. I have to say this was a great creative, unique and interesting way of introducing the idea of the character.
Now i don’t know if because of the circumstances of what we see is what caused the Hangman to arrive or if Mikey was already on his radar but it does seem as if he’s the next in line to suffer for his sins. There’s a great supernatural element going on here and when we see the ending it’s open so that there are multiple ways that this can continue next issue. If this is going to be like much of what we’ve seen in the other books than the line of succession is going to happen and the Hangman will become someone new. I have a feeling about what’s going to happen here all things considered and if it goes the way I think it will than Oh My Stars and Garters Frank really took us there!
This was a fantastic introduction that was really more shrouded in mystery than answers but leaves you with that desire to see what happens next. If Frank is going to slowly draw out the history of the Hangman and tell us how and why each are chosen and what they must accomplish to move on then i’m all for it. Part of the fun is trying to figure out in your mind and seeing if you are right and that means coming back month after month.
That this fits exquisitely into the Dark Circle world is no surprise but the more supernatural element does surprise me. I like the expanding world these characters live in and I look forward to see what Frank has in store for us next.