The Black Hood #5 Review
It’s kind of funny (and a bit weird) to go straight from reviewing something as bright and cheerful as Archie #1 to a comic as dark, gritty and violent as The Black Hood #5. We’ve seen the protagonist, Greg Hettinger, go through hell and back trying to track down those who framed him and tore his life apart. In The Black Hood #5, Greg puts his detective skills and fists to work, beating and interrogating every two-bit loser he can get his vengeful hands on. It all leads up to an intense encounter with a high-ranking city official, who the local criminals know only as “The Connection”.
The Black Hood is not your garden-variety superhero. Since we first met Philadelphia police officer Greg Hettinger back in issue #1, it was 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 led to Greg taking a shotgun blast to the face, and accidentally killing local vigilante the Black Hood. Over the next few months, Greg struggled 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) was Greg’s way of coping with reality. Over the course of the last four issues, Greg’s managed to get a handle on his addiction (with the help of his therapist, now his getaway driver) and is intent on taking down The Connection, no matter what – even if it another Black Hood ends up dead in the streets.
While the artwork in The Black Hood #5 lives up the standard set by previous issues, I can’t help but shake the feeling that some of the artwork seems lifted directly from whatever photo references the artist was utilizing. Many of the faces seem familiar, especially The Connection’s brother, who looks exactly like that old dude that played Ace Ventura’s landlord in Pet Detective. Still, the art is quite good – it’s just that at times it looks like the faces and environments were traced from actual photographs.
The Black Hood #5 does a solid job of closing the first arc in this series, and I’m interested to see where the writers take it when the new issues drop in the fall. For those interested in gripping, realistic, violent crime dramas like the Netflix Daredevil series, The Black Hood is definitely worth checking out.