To paraphrase a quote by Justice Potter, evil is like pornography. You know it when you see it. Dark Circle Comics’ latest title, The Hangman, is a 32 page comic by Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz, which permeates a tone of evil. It’s not an evil on the writer and artist’s part, it’s a kind of evil that is depicted within the actual comic book. Yet, wherever evil is seemingly prevailing, there’s usually a “stupid urban legend” to follow. Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz’ The Hangman is the debut issue of the urban legend that follows said evil. This is “the horror of it all” and is now one of the next comic series that we cannot wait for you to get your hands on!
It may seem as if the only comic books we’ve been talking of lately are the ones by Dark Circle Comics, the imprint of Archie Comics. Chief among every other reason is that each comic is solidly written and drawn. Dark Circle Comics – they’re the ones making the comic books that every fan of the medium should care about. Their latest entry into their expanding lineup, Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz’ The Hangman, is another compelling addition to be found on the comic shelf, destined to work its mystical ways into your hands and collection.
Some time ago, Alex Segura, the senior vice president of publicity and marketing for Archie Comics, Dark Circle Comics editor, and novelist said that The Hangman would feel as if Quentin Tarantino had adapted a Stephen King novel. It’s an accurate way to describe the contextual style of Frank Tieri’s re-imagining of the obscure 1940’s character from Pep Comics. In a similar way that The Shield is a dramatic re-invisioning of the character, Tieri and artist Felix Ruiz have done for The Hangman what Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig have done for The Shield/Victoria Adams.
The Hangman part one “Damned” opens up in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. The creative decision to open this new story in one of New York’s most known boroughs is just as smart as Philadelphia being the main location of The Black Hood series. It helps establish a connection that could sometimes be lost within the bigger and more fantastical of super hero stories. It also helps illuminate why The Fox, as of right now, seemingly feels out of place with Dark Circle’s growing lineup of comic books. That’s not to say anything of Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel’s book because we loved it. Dark Circle Comics seem to be heading in a creative direction that is more comfortable with heroes and villains of a different cut.
The Hangman, the “stupid urban legend” or “boia”, is easily one of the most fascinating of comic book characters right now and if you love heroes like Batman and The Punisher, there is no reason for you not to add this alongside said characters on your pull list. We’re very interested to see the direction Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz’ Hangman takes, especially because it seems so unpredictable. We, more or less, know how Victoria Adams aka The Shield’s story will play out, but The Hangman? We can’t even formulate a theory. Tieri and Ruiz are just that solid a creative team.
The Hangman is a perfect follow up to The Black Hood chapter six, which we reviewed here. There’s an inherent violence to it, or more so a creeping subtlety to it, that makes this another adult comic book. If Dark Circle Comics’ The Shield was a big PG-13 tentpole film, The Hangman would be the Netflix series that everyone is speaking of. The art work, particularly the haziness of it, by Felix Ruiz gives this series an immediate buzz worthy vibe. And isn’t it time someone makes mention of the colorist? Kelly Fitzpatrick compliments Ruiz’ work in a great way and the usage of colors distinguishes each panel.
While The Hangman chapter one “Damned” is just under two weeks away, now could not be any sooner to start speaking of what writer Frank Tieri and artist Felix Ruiz are doing with this series. The Hangman is a very different kind of comic book in the way that it does border very much on the horror genre. The hero (is he even one?) isn’t seen all that much within the issue, but is used in such a way that by the time “to be continued” is reached, you’re compelled to read the next chapter.
The Hangman chapter one releases Wednesday, November 4th. What’cha Reading gives it five stars!
They say the Hangman is nothing more than an urban legend. A spook story told to scare criminals straight. But those who encounter him—like hitman “Mad Dog” Mike Minetta—know different. They know that when he comes for you… you’re dead already. Join fan-favorite writer Frank Tieri (WOLVERINE, BATMAN) and artist extraordinaire Felix Ruiz (WOLVERINE MAX, HALO) for an ongoing tale of horror, the supernatural and violence… and learn why some men may never be redeemed.
Script: Frank Tieri
Art: Felix Ruiz
Cover: Timothy Bradstreet
Variant Covers: Felix Ruiz, Francesco Francavilla, Robert Hack
On Sale Date: 11/4
32-page, full color comic