Mind Capsules – The Hangman #1 and Drax #1

The Hangman #1
The Hangman #1

Writer – Frank Tieri
Artist – Felix Ruiz
Colours – Kelly Fitzpatrick

The latest property from Dark Circle Comics, Archie’s imprint for its mature line of superheroes, is The Hangman by Frank Tieri and Felix Ruiz. From what can be gleaned during this first issue, the Hangman is a spirit kept here on Earth for the express purpose of punishing the guilty, think of it as Archie’s answer to Ghost Rider – their very own spirit of vengeance. Here, he is sent to kill a man known as Mikey Ice, a man who takes care of problems for his boss with a finality that leaves no room for doubt. Even though at first it seems as if Mikey is an upstanding family man, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no forgiveness to be found in Tieri’s story, though there is redemption and it will surprise you as to who is on the receiving end. Tieri then leaves the book on a cliff-hanger, one that creates a little bafflement in the reader as to what will happen next, even more than anticipation which is there albeit not as much as puzzlement. Though it is possible to hazard a guess as to what will happen, that is all it would be until the next issue hits. The pencils are dark and appropriately moody and Ruiz is a perfect choice to illustrate this tale of deeds dark and mysterious. It is a story that features the worst in humanity, something Tieri brings across quite well and as such, it is not a comic for all ages, quite the opposite in fact. Archie has been on a roll as of late, releasing classic properties reconfigured for a newer audience and their Dark Circle Comics imprint is the perfect place for all of their superheroes to make their home. With books like The Black Hood and The Shield, The Hangman finds itself in good company and though it, and they, might be darker in nature, they are all highly compelling in every way.

4 out of 5

Drax #1
Drax #1

Writer – CM PUnk, Cullen Bunn
Artist – Scott Hepburn
Colours – Matt Milla

Thanks to the success from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, the comics also became more popular, as did all the spinoffs of which this is now one. Out of all of them though, this one seems to be the least warranted as Drax has never been as popular as other members of the team have been. There is nothing wrong with the character getting a title per se, but there is also nothing extraordinary about the finished product either. The story finds Drax wondering what to do at the end of the day when the Guardians have completed their latest mission. it is not as if nobody likes the guy, they just do not want to hang out with him. So, without a hobby or a friend to do something with, Drax decides to head out and accomplish what he has been trying to do for years – kill Thanos. Written by CM Punk and Cullen Bunn, they inject some humour amidst all the action in the book, and there is action as Drax is not called the Destroyer for nothing. The artwork by Scott Hepburn is decent and quite energetic on the page with the writing being just a bit better, but there is one slight negative and that being just how similar it feels and looks to all of the other titles in the Guardians’ series of books. There is nothing that really makes it stand out or beg to be read, nothing that separates it from the herd except for its protagonist. On the whole, the book is executed well, the story is fun and it is good to see Drax get a shot at a solo title, but there is nothing to pull you back for the second issue except perhaps for love of the character. Maybe things will turn around next issue, but for now, it is the least exciting out of Marvel’s new crop of books.

3 out of 5

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