|The Black Hood|
The Black Hood (Hettinger Version)
Cover to The Black Hood (vol. 4) #2 (March 2015)
Cover by Francesco Francavilla
|First appearance||Matthew Burland
Top-Notch Comics #9 (October 1940)
Thomas "Kip" Burland
Archie's Super Hero Comic Digest Magazine #2 (1979)
The Web #5 (March 2010)
The Black Hood (vol. 4) #1 (February 2015)
|Created by||Harry Shorten|
|Alter ego||(Archie Comics)
Thomas "Kip" Burland
|Team affiliations||The Mighty Crusaders|
Great fighter and detective
Magically increased physical abilities and awareness
|Cover to Black Hood Comics #12 (Fall 1944)|
|Series publication information|
MLJ Magazines/Archie Comics
|Publication date||(vol. 1)
Winter 1943 – Summer 1946
June – October 1983
December 1991 – December 1992
February 2015 – present
|Number of issues||(vol. 1)
13 (#1-12 plus 1 Annual)
5 (as of June 2015 cover date)
|Writer(s)||Duane Swierczynski (vol. 4)|
|Artist(s)||Raymond Kinstler (vol. 1)
Bill Vigoda (vol. 1)
Harry Sahle (vol. 1)
Clem Weisbecker (vol. 1)
Michael Gaydos (vol. 4)
The Black Hood is a fictional character created by MLJ Comics (later known as Archie Comics) during the period known as the "Golden Age of Comic Books." The Black Hood first appeared in Top-Notch Comics #9, October 1940 and became one of MLJ's most popular characters. He has been in four self-titled series as well as in his own radio show. In recent decades, the Black Hood (along with other Archie Comics superheroes) has been licensed and sporadically published by DC Comics. However, the character reappeared under the new Dark Circle Comics line in 2015.
The Black Hood first appeared in MLJ's Top-Notch Comics #9 (cover-dated Oct. 1940). He was created by Harry Shorten. The Black Hood became a popular character and was given his own title, Black Hood Comics, a pulp magazine in 1943. It lasted for 19 issues before being retitled Laugh Comics and becoming an all-humor title.
A second series debuted as part of the original Red Circle Comics imprint. It lasted for three issues from June to October 1983. This Black Hood was known as Thomas "Kip" Burland, the nephew of the original Black Hood.
In 1991, a third series was released under the Impact Comics imprint when DC Comics received the rights to the Red Circle superheroes. It lasted for 13 issues which included 12 regular issues, and one annual.
When Archie Comics rebranded their Red Circle Comics imprint as Dark Circle Comics, the first series released was a new version of the Black Hood. This version is much darker and is has a modern, violent spin as it examines cops and criminals in the city of Philadelphia. It started in February 2015 and is still being published.
In his first incarnation, the Black Hood was a costumed man of mystery who had been trained by a hermit to battle evil. The comic book was at first intentionally vague as to whether he possessed superpowers, or simply had the unusual strength, agility, and healing abilities that costumed crime fighters seem to possess.
His real name was Matthew Kipling "Kip" Burland, an ex-cop who had been framed for grand larceny and left for dead by a villain known as The Skull. Burland eventually cleared his name, but continued to wear the costume. Matthew Burland's love interest was newspaper reporter named Barbara Sutton. The Kip Burland Black Hood was unmasked in court by a character named "Needlenoodle". Thereafter, Burland became a private detective.
The Black Hood enjoyed popularity for a while until he dropped from the covers and was gradually replaced by funny animal characters, as the popularity of the superhero genre faded in the late 1940s. His last few stories were as a private detective without wearing a costume.
During the 1960s the Black Hood returned in Mighty Comics for two issues of Adventures of The Fly (#7, July 1960 and #11, March, 1961). He was also seen teaching Karate in issues of Adventures of the Jaguar and Adventures of The Fly. After returning as a founding member of The Mighty Crusaders in Fly-Man #31-33, he appeared regularly as part of the team in Mighty Crusaders #1-6 (November 1965-August 1966) during the period of Archie Comics' Mighty Comics period. He also appeared through 1967 in solo stories in Fly-Man #34 & 35 and Mighty Comics #41-44, 46, 47 & 50. This version of The Black Hood rides initially on a robot horse called Nightmare (destroyed in Mighty Crusaders #1) before switching to a motorcycle.
In Brazil, this version of the Black Hood was known as Titan O Homem Mistério (Titan The Mystery Man).
Thomas "Kip" Burland
The Black Hood was revived by artist Gray Morrow during his time as an editor at Archie's Red Circle Comics line in the early 1970s, and was first published years later in Archie's Super Hero Comic Digest Magazine #2 (1979). In these stories, The Black Hood's second incarnation, Thomas "Kip" Burland, was given the secret identity by his uncle, the "first" Black Hood, who revealed that the family had in fact used the pseudonym throughout history. This version is less flamboyantly costumed, preferring to wear the mask with regular biker leathers, rides a high performance motorcycle and is typically armed with a custom designed Pepper-box pistol with multiple functions. This Black Hood appeared in three issues of his own title (June–October 1983) and the thirteen issues of The Mighty Crusaders (March 1983-September 1985), as well as two issues of Blue Ribbon (a new story in #11 [August 1984] and a reprint of the Super Hero Comic Digest material in #8 [May 1984]). In the final issues of Mighty Crusaders, the younger Black Hood reverts to the yellow and black/blue costume worn by the prior incarnation of the character.
Impact Comics Black Hood
In 1991, DC Comics revived the character briefly in its Impact Comics imprint. The Impact Comics series featured three major Black Hoods: a bitter vigilante who was featured in the other Impact Comics titles and killed in the first issue of The Black Hood; a high school student who reluctantly took the hood and later abandoned it; and a former mobster, the same mobster who killed the first Black Hood. Numerous other Black Hoods from various time periods were featured in stories from the comics annuals, such as a female Black Hood who lived in medieval France patterned after Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) and a western Hood whose adventures served as an inspiration for the fictional adventures of the Lone Ranger.
The Black Hood focused on the adventures of a series of vigilante characters with the same name throughout history. Each Black Hood character would somehow come in possession of a black hood and when the character wore the hood, he or she was given heightened awareness, and increased strength, speed, and agility. The hood caused each of its wearers to become a vigilante and fight injustice. An interesting feature of the hood was what appeared to be a curse. After a certain period of time, each wearer of the black hood would die. After the death of the Black Hood, the hood would find its way into the hands of another individual with the potential to become the next Black Hood.
The titular black hood was originally an executioner's mask. As a witch was being executed for the crime of witchcraft, she cursed not the executioner, but his hood. From that point on, whoever wore the hood would be compelled to "do only good".
DC Comics licensed the Archie Comics superheroes and began integrating them into the DC Universe in 2009. The DC Universe version of the Black Hood made his debut in January 2010s issue of The Web. He is Mateo Burland, a young Detroit criminal whose sister is murdered by the same criminals Mateo worked with, when Mateo himself tries to escape their influence. After using weapons and equipment found in the defunct headquarters of the Justice League Detroit, Mateo confronts the drug dealer responsible for his sister's death and takes his black bandana. It is unclear whether or not he kills the drug dealer when he says he has meted out justice. It remains to be seen how much of a hero Mateo will become as he adopts the persona of the Black Hood.
Burland was recently shown to be a member of the "second team" of the Mighty Crusaders known as the Shadow Crusaders, helping to rescue Director (former General) Latham.
The new version of The Black Hood debuted in February 2015 under the Dark Circle Comics banner. In this version, the man under the hood is Greg Hettinger, a Philadelphia cop with an addiction to Percocet, who was shot in the line of duty while investigating an incident involving rival drug gangs. He ends up gunning down the masked vigilante known as Black Hood before passing out and ends up a hero in the process." He then later takes up the identity of the Black Hood. His mission is to take down the Philadelphia crime lord known as "The Connection".
- Top Notch Comics #9, October 1940, MLJ Comics
- Mougin, Lou (April 1982). "The Back-Seat Super Heroes, Pt. IV: The Mighty Heroes, or Send Your Super-Hero to Camp!". The Comic Reader (200): 32–49.
- "Mighty Crusaders". Toonopedia.com. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
- Mighty Crusaders.net: "Black Hood III (II)". Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- The Web #5, March 2010
- The Mighty Crusaders #4, October 2010
- Comic Book DB Page: Impact Comics, The Black Hood (1991)
- Internationalhero.co.uk page: The First Archie Comics The Black Hood
- Internationalhero.co.uk page: The 2nd Archie Comics The Black Hood
- Internationalhero.co.uk page: The Impact Comics, The Black Hood (1991)