Who the heck is Brother ‘Hood? I imagine that’s what many of you are wondering.
Lt. Bob Locke of the Midway City Police Department was mentioned on page 1 of Knight Watchman: Graveyard Shift #1 and didn’t reappear until issues 3 and 4. Locke was the bodyguard of Mayor Lionel Richards of Midway City, although Locke was MIA when the Mayor was blown up (along withMidway City’s favorite son, Galahad) in an assassination attempt. Deputy Mayor John Princeton assumed power and declared that Locke was part of the conspiracy and had him thrown into prison. You’ll just have to read Graveyard Shift to find out how it all turned out.
And wait a minute: Who the heck is Brother ‘Hood anyway?
You may have guessed by now that Robert Locke is Brother ‘Hood, and you would be correct. Graveyard Shift #1 was not Bob Locke’s first appearance though. Many of you know that Brother ‘Hood was the back-up story in Berzerker #4 from Caliber Press, the testing ground for Big Bang Comics. That first 8 page story was both a prequel and sequel to the 4 issue Graveyard Shift mini-series, and showed former cop Bob Locke returning to the streets of Midway City to wage an urban war against the most corrupt city in America.
The Brother ‘Hood concept was conceived by Chris Ecker. It was designed as an urban telling of the Robin Hood legend. Mayor Lionel Richards (originally Linus Richmond in the ashcan and Berzerker #4) was an avatar for King Richard the Lionhearted, John Princeton for Prince John, and Robert Locke for Robin of Lockesly (we used the name from the Errol Flynn movie). Father Tucker is obviously Friar Tuck.
I don’t recall any thoughts of bows and arrows. Our Brother in the Hood was an urban guerrilla more likely to use his fists. His plan was to aid, mobilize and protect the ghetto dwellers and downtrodden elements of Midway City. Unfortunately, only the one Brother ‘Hood story ever appeared. Graveyard Shift took a while to tell, and after that Ben was on to bigger and better things . Chris and I struggled to keep Big Bang rolling for quite a while, but I always felt like one of those urban camera stores in the 1980’s and 90’s that featured a “Going Out of Business Sale” for decades.
The Brother ‘Hood story wasn’t included in the Knight Watchman: Graveyard Shift trade paperback. It will probably be in the complete Knight Watchman volume 2, but that’s not for certain yet. If there’s any interest, maybe we will make it available as a digital ebook. Let me know what you think.
Oh, by the way, the events in Brother ‘Hood were printed almost a year before Graveyard Shift #1 but take place after GS #4. And just for the record, Berzerker #4 wasn’t Brother ‘Hood’s first appearance. There was a very limited edition promotional ashcan that was made available at the Chicago Comicon in the summer of 1993 and contained the entire 8 page story with a different cover, which is presented here for the first time in 20 years.
One last thing. The cool Brother ‘Hood logo was by Mark Lewis, who designed a boatload of logos for me. If you want to see some fun stuff, visit his blog at http://marklewisdraws.com/