The Hood – A Comic Review

Posted on March 31, 2008. Filed under: Reviews, Uncategorized |

 The Hood – A Comic Review

As of late, Brian K. Vaughan has become my favorite comic book writer.  Runaways, Pride of Baghdad, Y the Last Man:  all are fantastically written comics based on even more fantastic ideas.  The Hood is another comic to add to this list of new favorites.  This is a comic about a young man, who for a lack of a better term is a “hood”, named Parker Robbins.  Parker is a petty criminal trying to eek out an existence for himself and his pregnant girlfriend any way he can.  This isn’t to say that he’s being noble for the sake of his relationship;  he sleeps around with whores and lies to the mother of his child about having jobs.  He’s kind of a slimy jerk.

In the process of trying to heist some goods from a waterfront warehouse, he happens upon a demonic creature.  Believing that he has dispatched the horror he steals its boots and hood (the other reason behind the title).  Only later does Parker discover that the clothing he recently boosted off of an incapacitated demon hold magical powers.  The boots allow Parker to fly while the hood grants him invisibility.  This defining revelation now sets the stage for the rest of the book.

 

Vaughan’s genius in writing lies in taking a story we are all familiar with and twisting it.  The twists that he adds to any of his stories aren’t unbelievable, it’s not like they come out of nowhere.  In fact his twisting of the familiar is that which makes his stories more realistic.  Most of us are accustomed to tales which involve normal people discovering super powers then using those powers for good by fighting those who prey upon the innocent.  The twist that Vaughan lends to the character of Parker Robbins is that once Parker realizes what he can do, he uses it to his advantage in committing and getting away with crimes.  This new found power is used for evil, not good.

Aside from the fact that this book is purely and simply a good read, it forces us to take a look at what we have been given and what we do with it.  Receiving a gift seems to be a good test of character.  Many of us don’t use our gifts, whether material or spiritual, always with the benefit of others in mind.  Thinking of material gifts, many of us have made the statement, “If I won the lottery I’d…” and finish it off with donating money to the church, an orphanage, our families, etc.  We insist that we’d use the money for good.  But let’s face it, when we have an excess of money now, we are more than likely going to spend it on something that we want. 

Spiritually speaking some of us are given gifts by God for the benefit of the church and the benefit of all mankind.  Unfortunately we often times horde these gifts to ourselves instead of sharing with others.  We shy away from the responsibility that said gift brings us.  Too often when a gift is bestowed upon us, we don’t use it to uplift people around us.  Our first thought is for ourselves.  The gift merely accentuates the behaviors and the activities we’ve been carrying on with the entire time. 

 

The Hood is a good, though extreme, illustration of this.  I’m nowhere near saying we are all going to become criminals when given a gift from God.  I’m merely exhorting us to think about what the gift has become under our control.  What have we done with it?  Who has benefited from our newfound talents and treasures?  Maybe when we discover that we’ve been granted a gift from above we should take stock of our priorities and revamp them if necessary. 

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