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Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier vs. Minutemen

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Bat-Fan Beyond, May 4, 2012.

  1. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    I don't know why no one ever mentioned this before, but I just noticed something...

    Darwyn Cooke will be doing the Before Watchmen: Minutemen mini-series, and now that I've seen him draw the character Hooded Justice, it reminded me of his own character John Henry/The Black Hood in the DC: New Frontier mini-series.

    Cooke must have been inspired by the look of Watchmen's Hooded Justice when he designed New Frontier's John Henry/The Black Hood. They both have the same black executioner's hood (a reverse KKK hood) and a broken noose around their necks. But I actually think it works better symbolically for John Henry, considering the character and story involved. Maybe that's why Cooke borrowed the idea.


    Take a look and compare:

    Hooded Justice---> http://s3-ak.buzzfed.com/static/enh.../17/enhanced-buzz-wide-32169-1334698971-9.jpg

    John Henry/The Black Hood --> http://www.4thletter.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/jh06.jpg



    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    Darwyn Cooke's Black Hood is John Henry Irons with another identity, but he's not the first Black Hood. That's an existing MLJ character. And Hooded Justice in Watchmen seems to be combination of MLJ's Black Hood
    [​IMG]


    and Hangman
    [​IMG]

    characters, so it makes sense Cooke's takes on both would look similar.

    But here's where it gets confusing. Both the Black Hood and Hangman's Hooded Justice-esque looks are post Watchmen and maybe Watchmen inspired. In the golden age the Black Hood looked like this:

    [​IMG]

    And Hangman looked like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
    Staff Member Moderator Reporter

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    Maybe, but unless you can find someplace where Cooke says that was the inspiration (and I'm not saying he didn't), you could also argue common ancestry rather than direct inspiration. Astro City has a character named the Hanged Man who's their rough analog to the Spectre, but I'd say he was more inspired by the tarot than Hooded Justice.

    Also, in the case of Hooded Justice, I don't think the hood was intended to echo the KKK as much as the hoods that people were sometimes forced to wear when they were hanged (which is also partially why the Hanged Man has that burlap sack over his head). The New Frontier's John Henry character gets a nice double-meaning because it does look like a KKK hood, but that's a nice bonus. The fact that Cooke gets to draw Hooded Justice does definitely make the character look a bit like John Henry, but as I said, unless Cooke says the Watchmen character inspired his, I'd actually think that it's the other way around -- he's now drawing Hooded Justice to look like John Henry :).
     
  4. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    Shawn and Ed:

    Interesting information. Thanks for sharing!

    I knew there was an older character called The Black Hood, but I never did any research to see if there was any relation to, or even a seed of inspiration for, Darwyn Cooke's character; I just thought it was generic pulp character name that was probably used throughout the history of comics for various characters. And I have never even heard of The Hanged Man.

    Funny enough, I've read New Frontier a couple of times, and Watchmen multiple times more, and I never made a conscious association between the two hooded characters, despite their similar appearances, until I saw Cooke's designs for the Minutemen.


     
  5. Bat-Fan Beyond

    Bat-Fan Beyond Active Member

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    Wow, I had forgotten about this thread.

    Rest In Peace, Darwyn Cooke.
     

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