INDEPENDENT COMIC-BOOKS

The Black Hood #2

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When you steal from the underworld, the underworld will come looking for you — even if you’re a cop. Greg Hettinger has unwittingly crossed the city’s most fearsome drug lord — a man only known as “The Connection,” who sends two of his most fearsome lieutenants after Greg. It’s one thing to have trouble come knocking on your front door. But it’s another when it’s already inside your house…

Picking up from the first issue, Greg has impulsively gone out at night wearing the Black Hood mask. He happens upon a mugging in progress, and disarms and beats up three men who armed with knives. Greg’s narration during the fight makes it clear that he’s no “Batman”-like super-skilled martial artist, he’s greatly aided by the fact that he was high on the drugs he’d been taken to mask his pain, therefor he didn’t feel any of the punches that landed on him. Afterward he feels a rush, but also isn’t sure about what he’s doing. Nevertheless, his drug stash is getting low, so in his job as a cop he begins shaking down the drug dealers that he arrests. First he looks for pills or cash that he can use to buy pills. Eventually we see that he gives in to using heroine. It’s not clear how much time passes, but the crooks start to become wary of Greg’s activities and come up with a plan to take him out. I won’t spoil the plan, but it works and once again this issue ends on a dramatic cliffhanger…

It’s a good issue, although quite different from what I expected. This is far from your typical vigilante comic-book, Gregg barely spends any type as The Black Hood. The book is more about this injured cop whose life spirals out of control after he becomes addicted to drugs. It’s a compelling story, and I’m interested in seeing where writing Duane Swierczynski goes with this. And I continue to be impressed with Michael Gaydos’ gritty artwork. Chacebook rating: FOUR STARS

AVAILABLE ON COMIXOLOGY

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