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Red Circle: The Hangman #1

Reviews for the various Mighty Crusaders Comics.

Moderator: Rik

Post Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:02 pm

Posts: 7

Red Circle: The Hangman #1
Posted: Friday, August 7, 2009
By: Jason Cohen


Plot: The legend of a man is told, who makes a deal for his life and becomes an avenging phantom from the civil war to present time.

Comments: Straczynski tells the tale of a Union doctor who is captured and hung by the Confederates. A mysterious figure comes to him and offers him life if he agrees to live forever to judge the guilty and save the innocent. Robert Dickering now lives in the modern DCU as a doctor by day and phantom by night.

The Hangman looks to be along the lines of El Diablo, however there are some interesting differences that will hopefully be expanded upon to create a more unique character in the future. Robert Dickering is a little more of a superhero than the El Diablos of same said genre--the curse also causes him pain when he transforms at night. Perhaps the most interesting of all his qualities is that he isn’t so much invulnerable as he is undying. The Hangman feels pain and bullets leave scars, it just doesn’t kill him. Maybe the oddest of all his qualities is his apparent ability to shoot nooses out from under his cape and hang people with them.

Dr. Dickering himself needs more fleshing out to really get a feel for whom he is and why he agreed to partake in this. The one thing we do know is that he has high morals which is evident when he tends to a wounded Confederate soldier, becomes a children's doctor and refuses to give up his immortal soul to survive his ordeal. I would also like to see how he went unnoticed for over 100 years, especially as someone so public like a doctor.

I’m not a big fan of Derenick’s art, but I was surprised how well his art style fit with this story. I think Derenick would be perfect for Jonah Hex or an Old West feature. He adds a certain feel of grittiness and chaos on the battlefields and his use of shadows makes the Hangman even more mysterious later on in the issue. My only problem with the art was that the Hangman himself looked like a 'roid ragging disproportionate monster.

I think the creative team offered a great reintroduction to the character and it was an enjoyable surprise to read. This issue has a little bit for everyone--the Old West, Straczynski, the supernatural, and the Hangman. If you’re interested in new characters, than check this issue out and look into the coming co-feature in The Web. In the meantime, come back next issue for another new character: Inferno.

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