Review: The Black Hood #1

The Black Hood #1 cover
Cover by Alex Toth

The Black Hood #1
Published and © by Red Circle (Archie), June 1983

Title: “The Mask … and the Man”

Synopsis: When Kip Burland is drafted to foil the Death-Monger’s plan, it’s The Black Hood who answers to call.

Writer: Cary Burkett
Artist: Gray Morrow

Review: Red Circle’s revival of Black Hood revival gets off to a slow start. Cary Burkett’s story does little to differentiate the Black Hood from myriad similar characters, or to make readers care about his alter ego. Gray Morrow’s art is technically proficient but looks more like commercial art than comics. 


Title: “Get on the Stick, Kramer!”
Synopsis: A drill sergeant’s relentless abuse of a young Marine continues into civilian life – and takes an occult turn.

Writer: Marv Channing
Artist: Doug Wildey

Review: This story, with no connection to The Black Hood, would by more at home in a Bronze-Era DC mystery mag.


Title: “Crime Hits a Sour Note”
Synopsis: When an orchestra concert he’s attending ends in kidnapping, The Black Hood leaps into action.

Writer: Marv Channing and Robin Snyder
Penciler: Al McWilliams

Review: Much like the lead feature, this short Black Hood feature is competent but lacks anything to set it apart. Meh.

Grade (for the entire issue): C

Second opinion: Recommended by The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003.

Cool factor: That Alex Toth cover has serious energy …
Not-so-cool factor: … the rest of this issue does not.

Notable: Includes a “Secrets of the Dark Avenger” one-pager illustrated by Gray Morrow showcasing The Black Hood’s weapons. … Also include a “Crusader Chronicles” text feature by Robin Snyder documenting the history of The Black Hood. 

Character quotable: “Uncle Matt gave me the hood – just as it was given to him – so The Black Hood would continue to be a symbol of justice.” – Kip “The Black Hood” Burland, with an internal monologue for a legacy hero

A word from the artist: “I kept the name Kip Burland because it sounded so un-macho.” – Gray Marrow, talking about a 1970s attempt to relaunch The Black Hood, from this issue’s “Crusader Chronicles” feature

Editor’s note: This review was written Sept. 4, 2021.

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