Monsters, ghosts, and serial killers are in heavy rotation this time of year, but what about curses? Surely they deserve some time in the sun (or moonlight in this case)! This new series gives us that opportunity to see just that, but is it good?
The Hangman #1 (Dark Circle Comics)
It’s safe to say there are a lot of bad people in this world and some of them couldn’t care less if people die or worse. This series asks, what if there was some kind of protector to make sure they didn’t last long? Instead of a superhero like Batman though it’s a force a bit darker. A bit more supernatural.
Why does this comic book matter?
Dark Circle Comics is no stranger to well written and drawn comics. Take The Shield for instance. Plus artist Felix Ruiz has done work all over the place, including the excellent Arkham Manor: Endgame #1.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you like comics about bastards and despicable characters don’t miss this one. Writer Frank Tieri opens the comic with a loving father and husband but we quickly learn he’s not as sweet as he looks. We’re sent right into a serious scene that’s one part scary, two parts awful and it’s all right in front of his children. It’s the perfect way to introduce this character as the issue rolls on, showing us he’s possibly worse than we thought.
In some ways I got a Tarantino vibe from this issue. We’re allowed to see closely the character who appears to be a normal guy, but in reality is anything but. The introduction of the character on the cover is also interesting as he’s folded into myth and superstition. On top of this the comic ends on a cliffhanger that brings everything full circle. It’s exciting reading and it gets tense!
The art by Ruiz is dirty and grimy and it reminds me of Alex Meleev’s work. The scenes are short, but the panels take us around the characters in interesting ways, closing in when necessary. The expressions on these characters are heartfelt even when they’re not the center of a scene. Take for instance a moment where the protagonist throws his daughter on his back and tells his wife he has to leave. The wife has an expression that’s almost pissed or maybe just upset. It helps solidify how important this guy is but it’s subtly at the corner of the page.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The events in this book take place over a short period of time which almost makes the read feel like it’s compressed. The pacing is good, but one might leave the read thinking, “that’s it?” That said there’s plenty to love here and it almost feels like a done in one issue as it begins and ends for our protagonist well.
Rats, oh no!
Is It Good?
Fear, mystery and justice has a new name and it’s The Hangman.
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