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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Reader's Diary #1719- Duane Swierczynski (writer), Michael Gaydos (artist): The Black Hood The Bullet's Kiss

I find it hard not to compare superheroes from Archie Comics' Dark Circle line to DC and Marvel comics, though they've been around just as long. The Black Hood, for example, made me think about the Punisher, but the former character's been around since 1940 whereas the Punisher didn't appear until 1974. That said, I think it's fair to say that Swierczynski's dark vigilante reboot owes at least some debt to the Punisher and his ilk.

It certainly works though, not particularly beholden to any previous Black Hood incarnations (a former Black Hood is killed off right at the start and his killer, a police officer, takes on the role). This version is scarred emotionally and physically, addicted to pain killers, and out for vengeance. The grimy art by Michael Gaydos adds to the wonderfully noir voice.

One giant misstep, however, is with the six issue of the series where Gaydos is replaced by Howard Chaykin. How Chaykin enjoys such a following, I have no idea. His work here is absolute garbage; misshapen faces, people posed weird, fingers and feet all poorly proportioned and bent. People (self-included) like to rag on Rob Liefeld, but Howard Chaykin makes his art look like Da Vinci's. Even Swierczynski's writing can't rise above such a horrible distraction.

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