The Black Hood, or how comics tell stories
|(Clockwise from upper|
left: Black Hood #1,
Black Hood #1, Black
Hood #1, and Black
Philadelphia's own Duane Swierczynski and his artist collaborator Michael Gaydos compensate for the small number of pages in a typical comic by packing a whole lot of beautifully spare storytelling into those pages. The climax of the opening scene in their new Black Hood series, for example, is one panel, one color, and 19 words: "And as the dark came down over my head, I couldn't help but wonder: Would anyone give a shit?"
As often with good comics, I like the way the two media — words and pictures — play off one another, sometimes together, sometimes one (usually the picture) offering ironic commentary on the other. The Black Hood is something like a masked-avenger tale, the story of a guy, here a wounded police officer, who dons a mask and assumes a new identity before going out into the world to attack criminals, but the first glimpse of the protagonist in his hood is anything but heroic.
And Swierczynski is a hell of a technician and craftsman if he can get the hero to refer to "the 15-year-old inside my head" without even coming close to breaking the dark mood.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015