The Black Hood #3 Review
The Black Hood is not your garden-variety superhero. When we first meet Philadelphia police officer Greg Hettinger in issue #1, it’s obvious that he has a good heart – he stops a shootout that’s taking place outside of an elementary school by himself, because he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep the children out of harm’s way. This selfless act leads to Greg taking a shotgun blast to the face, and accidentally killing local vigilante the Black Hood. Over the next few months, Greg struggles with his new monstrous appearance, as well as the reality that he took the life of a man who was just trying to make his city a better place. Diving headfirst into painkillers (and eventually much harder stuff) is Greg’s way of coping with reality.
In The Black Hood #3, we see Greg finally starting to get a grip on his addiction, as he’s only taking the meds he needs to keep the worst of his pain at bay (hey, it’s better than shooting up heroin, as we saw him do in issue #2.). Greg is arrested after officers raid his home and find drugs, although these drugs aren’t his – someone has decided to frame him. While a police union rep gets him out from behind bars very quickly, this ordeal lights a fire within Greg, who starts seeing his speech therapist, working out, and stopping local crime, determined to find the person who set him up.
Despite all the negative press that Greg has endured following the drug bust, his speech therapist, Jessie, still sees the good in Greg. Her little brother attended the school Greg saved in issue #1, and I suppose she feels a bit indebted to him. Since Jessie hasn’t given up on Greg yet, he feels a newfound sense of drive and purpose, training in the gym and stopping random crimes throughout the city at night. The news begins to spread that the Black Hood is back, and he’s taking no prisoners.
So far I’m very intrigued by The Black Hood. Issue #3 continues to drive the story forward, adding more layers of likability to Greg and giving us more of a glimpse at his take on the Black Hood vigilante. He seems determined to honor the previous Hood, as well as make Jessie see that her faith in him was not undeserved. There are some badass hero moments when the Black Hood is looming in the shadows, ready to beat down the nearest scumbag criminal and take his own searing physical and emotional pain out on them. Seeing him yell “Who is above you?” repeatedly throughout the story was a cool touch, as he hunted down information on the man known only as “The Connection”. Michael Gaydos has done a fantastic job with the artwork, and Duane Swierczynski’s writing is engaging and page-turning. I honestly can’t wait to see what happens in the next issue.