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Series overview: The Black Hood (!mpact Comics)

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

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leonmallett User avatar
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The first Black Hood I encountered was through the !mpact imprint, I'll be honest about that. I'll also be honest that as I was only tentatively discovering having a Local Comic Shop at about that time, my collecting of the line was patchy at best. I have since gone on to complete my collection of the !mpact books, thanks in no small part to ebay.

My original impression of the !mpact Black Hood was that he looked very cool. Unfortunately I didn't really get to read much of the character(s) at the time. Since I very recently re-read the books, as well as virually all of the line in fact, I thought I'd offer my overview.

Of all the eight titles from the line, I felt this was the strongest (closely followed by the Fly). That is something I put down to the writer (Mark Wheatley) working very well with the primary artist (Rick Burchett). Together they offer a well-designed mythos featuring a character who must have appeared to be a Punisher type clone to many at first sight, but in reality was anything but (although the first incarnation of the hero that we saw added to that confusion - quite intentionally I feel). In talking of mythos, there is a great deal of that in the book. From the history of the magical hood giving powers to those who wear it whilst compelling the wearer to do good, to the fictional setting evolving from the unification of two criminal families, to the intertwining of both of these strands, especially when the hood falls into the hands of a somewhat unexpected character. We also get to see a sympathetic lead in Nate Cray who is just a good kid who is compelled to act in the cause of justice.

The notion of the hood being passed from wearer to wearer is a great nod to the MLJ Black Hood mythos, whilst still adding a different spin due to the magical nature of the item. I found the book to be an absorbing read, and having read the Red Circle Black hood after reading the !mpact incarnation, it is interesting to note the parallels - both even feature back-up strips with the Fox, for example!

This is a book I would recommend as a good read, with cool visuals and an adeptly woven tapestry that is the main story, spinning out from the events of the climax of the first issue through to the checkered and interesting journey that the hood goes on. I found the series to be a really engaging read that I'd suggest anyone who hasn't picked it up to give it a try. Yes it has nothing to do with the MLJ/Archie/Might Crusaders Black Hood, but if you can put that aside and pick these comics up cheap you may discover a real gem.

Post Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:28 pm
Calum User avatar
Gem Mint
Gem Mint

Posts: 258
Location: Edinburgh

well, as you'll know leon, Red Circle did plan to do a Black Hood miniseries showing past owners of the hood through the ages, which is exactly what !mpact did with their black hood backups in the !mpact annuals.

Black Hood from !mpact (issue 2 actually) was my first intro to this line as well, and then some Alan Class b/w reprints featuring old The Fly stories (from round 1963 i think). Luckily i got almost the entire !mpact run of all eight titles for free from artist Cam Kennedy, who lives quite close to where i grew up. Black Hood was my favourite for a while though, maybe he still is. I have a fondness for the Fox too though. It's difficult to have a favourite character since the number of stories is so wildly different, for example i have seventeen Jaguar issues from the sixties, none of them grab me like the Black Hood stories in Mighty Comics did, and also with so many Fly/Flyman stories, it's difficult to compare him objectively to the Web, say, who appeared in a handful of backups and a couple of teamups.

Post Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:55 pm
leonmallett User avatar
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Calum wrote:
well, as you'll know leon, Red Circle did plan to do a Black Hood miniseries showing past owners of the hood through the ages, which is exactly what !mpact did with their black hood backups in the !mpact annuals.

Black Hood from !mpact (issue 2 actually) was my first intro to this line as well, and then some Alan Class b/w reprints featuring old The Fly stories (from round 1963 i think). Luckily i got almost the entire !mpact run of all eight titles for free from artist Cam Kennedy, who lives quite close to where i grew up. Black Hood was my favourite for a while though, maybe he still is. I have a fondness for the Fox too though. It's difficult to have a favourite character since the number of stories is so wildly different, for example i have seventeen Jaguar issues from the sixties, none of them grab me like the Black Hood stories in Mighty Comics did, and also with so many Fly/Flyman stories, it's difficult to compare him objectively to the Web, say, who appeared in a handful of backups and a couple of teamups.


The Cam Kennedy of 2000AD fame? If so, very cool.

EJM User avatar
Fine
Fine

Posts: 168
Location: New York

Your overview of the character has peaked my interest.

While I only collected a couple of titles from the !mpact line, the Balck Hood was the one that I was always meaning to get around to. Now, having read what you've written here, I'm goign to see if I can back track all of those titles and complete my line of !mpact books, starting with the Black Hood.

Thanks,
EJ
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leonmallett User avatar
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the books are fairly easy to obtain (more so for you guys in the US than Brits like me!), and shouldn't be expensive. From time to time you see full sets on ebay at about 40-75 cents per book (there were approximately 106 or so issues plus the Who's who in oversized format).

If you only focus on the Black Hood it shouldn't be hard to track issues down and it is a worthwhile read, as noted.
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Calum User avatar
Gem Mint
Gem Mint

Posts: 258
Location: Edinburgh

yes, that same cam kennedy. he lives next door to Jim Baikie, literally next door!

Re: Black hood, yes you can buy Black Hood 1 to 12 fairly easily, but the series doesn't start at Black Hood 1! there was an issue featuring the black hood in each of the other !mpact series for the month or so before Black Hood 1 actually came out. So, if you want to get the whole Black Hood set, you need these comics, which comprise the story "Coming of the Hood":

Legend of the Shield 3-4
Comet 4,
Fly 4,
Impact Winter Special 1,
Jaguar 4-5
Web 3

That's from memory so you might want to take that with a pinch of salt, but i think it's right. They all have the Black Hood on the cover so that's a dead giveaway, except for the !mpact Special that is, which is not really part of the set, though it does have the Black Hood in it.

Come tyo think of it Crusaders 1-8 does too, though i think it's the weedy Hit Coffee who is the hood in the Crusaders, and it was my least favourite !mpact book anyway.
PS: Hey! Check out my music at http://www.calumsmusic.com and fill your ears with happiness!

EJM User avatar
Fine
Fine

Posts: 168
Location: New York

Thanks for the Heads Up Calum.

I've placed an order with Mile High Comics. I should have a complete !mpact collection with this delivery.

EJ
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leonmallett User avatar
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Posts: 523
Location: West Midlands, UK
Calum wrote:
yes, that same cam kennedy. he lives next door to Jim Baikie, literally next door!


I loved Baikie's art on the New Statesmen - the early epissodes IIRC. Living next door to one another - that is priceless! Legends both.

Re: Black hood, yes you can buy Black Hood 1 to 12 fairly easily, but the series doesn't start at Black Hood 1! there was an issue featuring the black hood in each of the other !mpact series for the month or so before Black Hood 1 actually came out. So, if you want to get the whole Black Hood set, you need these comics, which comprise the story "Coming of the Hood":

Legend of the Shield 3-4
Comet 4,
Fly 4,
Impact Winter Special 1,
Jaguar 4-5
Web 3

That's from memory so you might want to take that with a pinch of salt, but i think it's right. They all have the Black Hood on the cover so that's a dead giveaway, except for the !mpact Special that is, which is not really part of the set, though it does have the Black Hood in it.

Come tyo think of it Crusaders 1-8 does too, though i think it's the weedy Hit Coffee who is the hood in the Crusaders, and it was my least favourite !mpact book anyway.


I think the list is pretty accurate, but when it comes to Hit Coffee, I have to say that was one of the things that really made the book stand out - anyone could be compelled to act heroically by it. I loved Rags Morales rendtion of the Black Hood in the Crusaders.
Discovering new superhero worlds through the MLJ/Mighty Crusaders legacy...

Calum User avatar
Gem Mint
Gem Mint

Posts: 258
Location: Edinburgh

yes i really did like him in the Black Hood series, but in The Crusaders i thought he was rubbish, that was my least favourite book in the series, with the Comet and Black hood being my favourites, and LOTS being a close second. interestingly, my favourite !mpact titles are the ones that had more issues, with the exception of the Black Hood (and even then you could argue that the crossover issues make up for the deficiency). I would rather have seen these characters over a far longer run, like sixty issues instead of 12-17 issues.

Good for you EJM, a complete !mpact collection is a must, there are plenty of cross title references that you need the whole run to properly appreciate. it took me ages to get literally all the !mpact issues, because i couldn't find LOTS 1 anywhere.

EJM, i really would like to see you doing some comics of these MLJ characters you're redesigning. i don't know if there's a way of doing it but things like Gary Chaloner's work on Will Eisner's Jon Law, and Mike Bromberg's MLJ reprints make me think you could do some sort of self publication, internet distribution or something. I'd buy your output anyway. As i said to Gary Chaloner, i prefer to buy books or comics than see stuff online though.

refs:
mike bromberg's fanzines
Gary Chaloner's john law

by the way the above links were totally messed up by this web interface, i have had a go at making them readable, hopefully i suceeded.
PS: Hey! Check out my music at http://www.calumsmusic.com and fill your ears with happiness!

EJM User avatar
Fine
Fine

Posts: 168
Location: New York

Calum wrote:
yes i really did like him in the Black Hood series, but in The Crusaders i thought he was rubbish, that was my least favourite book in the series, with the Comet and Black hood being my favourites, and LOTS being a close second. interestingly, my favourite !mpact titles are the ones that had more issues, with the exception of the Black Hood (and even then you could argue that the crossover issues make up for the deficiency). I would rather have seen these characters over a far longer run, like sixty issues instead of 12-17 issues.

I'm looking forward to the Comet actually. That was the Title that I liked the least of the series as I just couldn't get into the character. I thought that the design was lacking and the illustration was less than stellar.

So I'll be looking at the character with renewed interest, when ever the books get to me. He's an integral part of the Crusaders team and someone I want to develop design wise so getting the complete run on the Comet should be interesting.

With this message board, I've heard a lot of great things about the character and the !mpact run so I'm really looking forward to those issues as well.

I read the very issue #9 of the Black Hood here:
http://209.115.37.127/MLJ/CD_8/blackhood09/html/blackhood09_01.html
And i thought it interesting that there was no mention of the hood having Mystical powers. Kip Burland was a Police Officer, which I think makes for a great lead in for the kind of hero that was portrayed in that issue. When did the Mystic Powers of the Hood get attached to the character?
Calum wrote:
Good for you EJM, a complete !mpact collection is a must, there are plenty of cross title references that you need the whole run to properly appreciate. it took me ages to get literally all the !mpact issues, because i couldn't find LOTS 1 anywhere.

Yeah, I'm really excited about getting that together. Fuel for this little redesign fun that I'm having with the MLJ cast of heroes.

Calum wrote:
EJM, i really would like to see you doing some comics of these MLJ characters you're redesigning. i don't know if there's a way of doing it but things like Gary Chaloner's work on Will Eisner's Jon Law, and Mike Bromberg's MLJ reprints make me think you could do some sort of self publication, internet distribution or something. I'd buy your output anyway. As i said to Gary Chaloner, i prefer to buy books or comics than see stuff online though.

refs:
mike bromberg's fanzines
Gary Chaloner's john law

by the way the above links were totally messed up by this web interface, i have had a go at making them readable, hopefully i suceeded.


Yeah, the links are working and I took a look at the examples that you gave, though they really look like great ways to keep the characters going, I would really like to see something official from Archie about their heroes, a new Generation of publications.

Thanks for your enthusiasm, I really appreciate it and it really helps to fuel my desire to continue.

Thanks again,
EJ
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leonmallett User avatar
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Location: West Midlands, UK
EJM - I hope we can read your thoughts on the Black Hood run when you read it. Happy reading when the books do turn up.
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GWhitmore User avatar
Gem Mint
Gem Mint

Posts: 391
Location: Idaho

AFAIK, the mystic properties of the Hood didn't get attached in the books until the Impact series.

Gregg
"We are all but Strangers in Paradise...."

leonmallett User avatar
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GWhitmore wrote:
AFAIK, the mystic properties of the Hood didn't get attached in the books until the Impact series.

Gregg



Same here - the !mpact Hood was a mystic artefact, the MLJ/Red circle Hood a symbol more than anything, but both Hood's have parallels through being passed from wearer to wearer.
Discovering new superhero worlds through the MLJ/Mighty Crusaders legacy...


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