Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hero of the Week #30: The Hood

THE HOOD (Marvel)
Real Name: Parker Robbins
First Appearance: The Hood #1 (July, 2002)
Group Affiliation: The Cabal
Gaming Credentials: -
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #331

Throughout the year I've been pleased to deliver a HOTW that at least has some tenuous connection to video games. For the most part, that's meant characters who have, at some point in their fictional careers, appeared in the medium, assuming their selection was based on some other influence. Well, with the year about to end, I figure it's time to abandon convention and take these last opportunities to acknowledge characters that shaped 2009!

Second only to the dastardly Norman Osborn [aka; Iron Patriot, aka; Green Goblin, aka; former HOTW] in both command and villainy; The Hood was an unlucky omission from this year's comic inspired action-RPG adventure, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. The hero-v-hero aspects of the Civil War-inspired game no doubt bumped out the villain, who, over the past two years, has been elevated from gun-toting jerkass schlub, to devil-dealing 'Kingpin of Super-Villains!'

The Hood acts as gateway for Dormammu to escape the Dark Dimension and attack, in New Avengers.

As a major player in Marvel's Dark Reign of Osborn: The Hood has gone from controversially beating up former-Avenger, Tigra, to playing host to one of the biggest baddies of them all, in Dormammu, before being stripped of those demonic powers, and boosted instead by Loki, who led him to some Norse rune stones that can make his every wish a reality! It's all part of the job description when you throw in with the most powerful forces of machiavellian evil on Marvel's Earth -- The Cabal!

The Hood represents the attitudes of the current Marvel regime, whose last few years have been a hit and miss mixture of conspiracy and alleged longterm planning. He's a character typical of the type of villain that's emerged throughout this decade, one who plays just a fraction ahead of the heroes who are usually off-side per their own internal conflicts and self-generating headaches, which, in the case of The Hood's meteoric rise, were the direct legacy of 2006's Civil War.

After some less desirable efforts, Dark Reign has proven to be something of a success for Marvel in '09. Creatively less on-song than their DC counterparts, Marvel have been somewhat scattershot in their approach to the many properties under their umbrella. Dark Reign supplied an unlikely creative boost to many corners of the Marvel Universe, providing the apparent shock evisceration of The Punisher, twists in the Marvel Zombies saga, and an A+ shift that took their flagship New Avengers book out of crossover-hell, and drove it forward with a new sense of purpose and excitement!

Iron Man leads Marvel's multimedia charge as their great white hope of 2010.

If you're a gamer with only a casual interest in comics, then chances are your immediate reference point is Marvel Comics. Marvel have assured themself a dynasty of familiarity, starting way back in the sixties with the Spider-man cartoon, right up to the noughties with the advent of blockbuster superhero films, and, of course, video games. Cross media exposure has long been Marvel's ticket to ride, but in 2009, they showed unfortunate signs of weakness as DC gained traction with the ever growing Batman franchise.

2010 will provide a double-whammy of Iron Man when the sequel to the film and it's tie-in game arrive in the second-quarter, but it remains to be seen if they'll improve upon this year's creatively disappointing release based on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and the under achieving Super Hero Squad and Ultimate Alliance games. It's a state of mediocrity that echoes the coasting of the comics, which were challenged for the first time in decades in sales by DC's powerhouse Green Lantern/DC Universe event, Blackest Night. It will be interesting to see how -- if at all -- Disney addresses issues of quality within Marvel's future output.

As you've no doubt gathered by now, it's been easy to be cynical about Marvel's direction over the past few years. Much moreso than many fans might have you think! Fortunately, while Iron Man 2 might be yet to fully convince, there's still plenty of promise for 2010. The comics in particular have a serve of treats that will begin with what's promise to be a uniquely fast-paced 'event' in Siege, which elevates the stakes of Dark Reign. There's also positive things happening in the world of Amazing Spider-man, which went from carcinogenic just a year ago, to classic by the end of '09!

I'm sure I could go on and on, but it's the holidays, and I'm sure you get the picture.
Watch out for one final villainous HOTW before we ring in the new year. who represents DC's '09!
If you haven't already, you might also like to reflect on the year via my Best of 2009. You should also vote in the Annual Year-End Infinite Wars Marvel vs DC Fantasy Fights poll at The Comic Book Fight Club! Happy Holidays!

Or, finally, check out Marvel's 2009 HOTW offerings here on 1up: Wolverine (06/01); Captain America (06/22); The Punisher (07/06); Iron Man (07/27); Spider-man (09/11); Iron Patriot (09/18); Deadpool (09/26); Carnage (10/23); Magneto (11/08); Dr. Doom (12/06); War Machine (12/20); The Hood (12/27).

<< Hero of the Week 12/31: Black Hand       [Home]       Hero of the Week 12/20: War Machine >>

Originally posted:

No comments: