Waiting for the Trade – Dark Reign: The Hood

Writers: Jeff Parker, Rick Remender

Pencillers: Kyle Hotz, Max Fiumara

Inker: Scott Hanna

Colourists: Frank Martin, Nestor Pereyra

Letterers: Dave Sharpe, Jeff Eckleberry

Covers: Marko Djurdjevic, Daniel Acuna

Collects: Dark Reign: The Cabal, Dark Reign: The Hood 1-5

It’s no secret that I really like what Marvel have done with Dark Reign. They’ve established an underlying theme in which some great stories can be told, unfortunately this isn’t one of them. I’ve liked the character of The Hood since we reviewed his first appearance way back in Episode 21 of the WFTT podcast. I recall really liking the fact that he triumphed not by being the bigger bad-ass or through superior power (at that time he could walk on air and turn invisible when he held his breath and that was it) but by avoiding the pitfalls that comics villains always blindly dawdle into.

In this story The Hood has come a long way, he’s now the main man when it comes to crime in New York, having successfully banded together the Marvel super-villains into a union of sorts. Again there are aspects here of how he has managed this by avoiding clichéd behaviours, which is one of the nicer touches in the book. Without spoiling things the plot here has his leadership challenged as his professional and personal lives slam together and he makes some tough (and possibly bad) decisions.

I’m just not sure this story had to be told. There’s one key plot point that feels like it has some importance and will remain with the character, the rest feels like a re-hash of plots that have been told many times through many mediums. And a 5 issue miniseries is a lot of investment to get one plot development that I could describe in one sentence.

I like Jeff Parker’s work and I’m a big fan of Agents of Atlas in particular but this lacks the sparkle that book has. The characters feel like stereotypes and nothing really happens till the aforementioned development in issue 5.

The first few pages are what I believe is an excerpt from Cabal. Maybe my struggles with the later issues is because The Hood we see here seems like a completely different character to the one we get later.

Art-wise I quite enjoy what Hotz does in his 5 issues. His work seems a bit more exaggerated than in the miniseries that introduced the character, might be that things were a little rushed. However he portrays the assembled super-villains as a suitably unattractive bunch, which works for me far better than some other artists who make even Molecule Man look like a male model.

A tip of the hat to Parker for using Force, a character that made me smile as I remember him well from the Marvel SuperHeroes roleplaying game sourcebook.


Reviewer: Dave Williams

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: