With a title character calling himself “The Hangman” you probably shouldn’t expect a very complex character. Revenge, blah blah, lost his family, blah blah, now he kills criminals blah blah. Right? Well maybe not, at least from what we’ve seen so far. The first issue masterfully told a tale of a hitman who didn’t mind his job one bit. In fact he was a real bastard, but he met the Hangman and got what he deserved. This issue opens with him waking up…is it good?
The Hangman #2 (Dark Circle Comics)
Boy was I surprised by what transpires in this issue. When the issue opens you may just think the protagonist is alive, but when all the folks he killed start popping up you realize Hell has a new look and feel. Check out the preview if you haven’t already.
Why does this book matter?
The first story was well paced and fascinating. It was straight up good storytelling. There’s no reason to not expect the same this week.
This is not normal. But on meth it is.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Writer Frank Tieri surprises us a whole new type of story. While the first felt like a crime story this one is supernatural and that blows away any expectations you could bring to a story like this. Crime and criminals are still the bread and butter of the story, but the supernatural elements work quite well. They include a big surprise and an interesting twist on Heaven and Hell. If you thought The Hangman was a simple type of hero you’re wrong and it’s all explained here.
At the same time the main character continues to be the dickish prick we met last issue. Even when dead this guy has brass balls. You have to give Tieri credit: his character never strays too far from who he is given the circumstances. His criminal and almost evil nature is a big part of who he is and that makes his eventual transformation all the more intriguing.
Felix Ruiz blew me away with his art. The gritty textures go a long way in establishing an atmosphere that’s fluid in this story. You can tell Ruiz can draw a dark alley complete with gun and crime perfectly, as it’s noir and grimy. He handles the supernatural elements very well too, with a jagged sense of brutality that fits the setting. Call me crazy but I get a sense of R.M. Guéra from his style. It’s raw and a bit unhinged and you’ll love it if you like that sort of thing.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is great storytelling, but like the first issue not a lot happens in this issue. Another creative team might have told this issue’s story in two pages, but here it takes the entire book to tell it. That’s okay though; the pace actually works well and lets the story breathe, but some might be frustrated by the seemingly slow storytelling.
Run dude. Just run!
Is It Good?
If you’re a fan of mythic stories or good origin stories this is a read for you. It’s raw, a bit unhinged and simply great storytelling.