So, January is here and we all have our signals that the holidays are officially done and it’s time to get our asses in gear, clean up our houses already, and get back into our routines.
In my house, January means one thing and one thing only…..comic book catch up time!
My life tends to get a wee bit crazy in the late fall and winter, as is the norm in the world of retail. As life outside of the house gets nuttier and more demanding, one item that tends to slip at home is keeping up with my comic books. This often results in a very large, leaning pile of purchased yet sadly neglected little beauties just waiting for their time in the sun.
The benefit of this is that when I am into a comic series, I am absolutely THE most impatient person on the planet. I am dying to know what happens next! And so, when I’ve got a giant pile, not only do I have a ton to devour, more than likely I’ve got some complete mini series in that pile, and I can start and finish all in the same day! Oddly satisfying…deny it if you want, but all you nerds out there totally get it.
And so last night I embarked on sorting the pile into the various series that I could potentially tackle. And once they were entered in my catalogue, sorted by publisher, alphabetized by series, and sorted into correct numerical order (yeah, that’s how I roll), I had the task of choosing where, oh, where to start!
After laying them all out on the floor and having my usual new year’s moment of “Oh, God, how in the hell am I ever going to catch up??!!!”, I landed on Dark Circle Comics 4-issue series The Hangman.
Excellent decision! A tale of a hitman, a Hangman, and Hell!
This one is dark and gritty. It’s pretty bad when it seems to be a legitimate debate as to whether the protagonist in this story is nicer than the devil or not. But, hey – had to give him props for covering his daughter’s eyes while retrieving her stuffed animal from his trunk so she doesn’t see the dude trussed and ready for murdering inside. Father of the year, am I right?
The art is amazing! Every panel really adds to the atmosphere of the story. I especially like the reddish cast a lot of the frames had – it created the illusion that everything was soaked in blood at all times. As regular people are often inhabited by some of these supernatural beings roaming the earth, the artists do a phenomenal job of making these humans look just subtly evil enough to know that there is something not-so-subtly sinister lurking under there. Very effective use of creepy children, in particular!
My chief complaint is that it wasn’t long enough. I really am curious to delve into the psyche of Mike Minetta. The man takes a lot of pleasure in his job. He is a hitman, but seems to bring his own flair to each job and make it appropriate to each situation, if you get that horrifying drift. Something had to have happened to him in the past to make him this way if we are to sympathize with him. In these four issues, a very large world is created, and it just didn’t feel like quite enough.
Verdict – bring on more stories about The Hangman!
Check out more details about The Hangman by Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz on the Dark Circle website here.