Dark Reign

The Hood: End of the Tunnel

Jeff Parker talks about bringing a close to DARK REIGN: THE HOOD!

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By Kevin Mahadeo

For the past couple years, small-time crook-turned kingpin of super villains Parker Robbins has pulled the strings of the Marvel Universe's criminal underground as the Hood. However, for the past few months writer Jeff Parker has played puppet master to the super-powered crime lord as he has desperately struggled to hold together his empire, his family and control over the dark power within him in DARK REIGN: THE HOOD. With the limited series' fifth and final issue on September 30, the strings all get cut and everything comes tumbling down.

DARK REIGN: THE HOOD #5 preview art by Kyle Hotz
"At the end of our series, he loses even more of his ties to a normal life," teases Parker of the dark protagonist. "That leaves him fewer options but to embrace being the Hood, more desperate for power than ever."

The red-hooded Robbins first appeared in the limited series THE HOOD: BLOOD FROM STONES by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Kyle Hotz. The series introduced the character as a simple man who turned to crime as a way to support his pregnant girlfriend and mentally ill mother, torn over his illegal proclivities-a far cry away from the mafia king of present day. The Hood stepped into the forefront of the criminal underground in the pages of NEW AVENGERS; and quickly rose to major player status, gaining membership in Norman Osborn's secret Cabal.

"I think much of that [came from NEW AVENGERS writer]Brian Bendis taking an interest in him, but he works well for readers I think because he's the other direction for a person like Spider-Man," comments Parker of the Hood's rise to infamy. "Had Peter Parker had no role model and got some bad breaks, he could have possibly gone this way. I love getting into Parker Robbins' head and imagining what it's like for him. He justifies everything he does because it's ultimately good for the family that depends on him.  I think many criminals are like that."

DARK REIGN: THE HOOD #5 preview art by Kyle Hotz
The current limited series teams Parker with Hood co-creator Hotz and follows Robbins during Norman Osborn's Dark Reign over the Marvel U. While attempting to maintain leadership of his supper villain assemblage, the Hood also tries to balance his criminal and familial life while desperately searching for a way to separate himself from the influence of the demon Dormammu.

"I had only read his Avengers appearances and didn't know much about him beside that he looked cool," admits Parker of his previous experience with the Hood. "Then I went back and read BLOOD FROM STONES and really got into him. That was good stuff. And it set up so many perfect elements like the baby on the way and a personal enemy devoted to killing the Hood [in] White Fang."

The final issue picks up with the aforementioned Fang holding the Hood's family hostage as revenge against Robbins for murdering her husband. However, despite the multitude of outside threats targeting him, the greatest struggle comes from within the Hood. Brian Bendis referred to the character as "the Michael Corleone of Marvel Universe" and Parker readily agrees with this assessment, saying the Hood "sees organized crime as something that pulls him in, a necessary evil."

DARK REIGN: THE HOOD #5 cover by Marko Djurdjevic
"When you go down the road of justifying, there's nothing you can't justify," continues Parker. "'My girl doesn't understand this part of my life so I need another one who will, like Madame Masque. Killing is wrong, but it's different with these people; they had it coming. To break out of this vicious cycle, I've got to rise to the top and run a criminal empire.' Yeah, that's how you get out of crime."

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Comments

2 comments
cyw1988
cyw1988

Sick, twisted yet tragic. You just know that there is so much to tell about this character. But the deeper you dig into Parker Robins you just know that it's just not going to be pretty...