The Black Hood: Season 2 #4

The Black Hood: Season 2 is nearly over. It’s Black Hood vs Black Hood in Issue #4 as the original Black Hood (Kip Burling) confronts the current Black Hood (Greg Hettinger) saying, “Killing me wasn’t enough, officer? You had to steal my identity too?”

The first two-thirds of the story is the formulaic, testosterone fueled fight that happens whenever two heroes meet for the first time, followed by how Burling survived being shot in the face by Hettinger once they inevitably beat each other to a stalemate. The last third of the story has The Nobody kidnapping Hettinger’s ex girlfriend, before coming to an explosive finish.

As usual, the issue is capped off with a classic 1940’s Black Hood story.  I’m really torn about these backup stories.  On the one hand, I love them and the history they bring. On the other hand, it’s mostly just a cheap way to stretch a four issue story arc into five.

Duane Swierczynski’s story was less amazing this issue, but only because of the necessarily stereotypical nature of the Hero vs. Hero encounter. It’s been done every way possible, and this was the appropriate formula, it just didn’t stand out. Similarly, this was the first time I’ve been actively disappointed in Greg Scott’s art. There is a rule in filmmaking called the 180 degree rule: basically, when you have 2 people in the frame, you show them from one side so they remain in the same relative Left/Right position. When you suddenly cross the axis and now have those people switched to Right/Left, it is generally disorienting. This happened twice in one page, for the sole reason (as far as I can tell) of showing a right handed punch without blocking a face.

On its own, I can only justify giving this issue a 3 out of 5, but I am still enjoying the series and looking forward to the conclusion of this story arc next month. There’s a good chance that once Black Hood goes on a probable hiatus between story arcs (which will probably restart with Season 3 issue #1) I’ll pick up Dark Circle’s The Fox collected TPB editions, while I wait for the remainder of their collections in the fall and new year.

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