The Black Hood was created by Harry Shorten for MLJ Comics, which later became known as Archie Comics. He made his first appearance in Top-Notch Comics issue #9 in October 1940.
The Black Hood was originally a mask used during the execution of a witch. As her last act the witch did not curse the executioner but instead his hood. Forever onwards whoever wore the mask would be forced to 'do only good.' To aid them in this mission the wearer of the hood was also granted greater senses, strength and speed.
So it was that the hood passed down the generations, with each new owner being forced to be a vigilante and fight injustice. After their death, the mask would find a new wearer to carry on the work.
In the original comics the current incarnation of the Black Hood is Matthew Kipling 'Kip' Burland. He is an ex-policeman who was framed for grand larceny and left dead by a villain known as 'The Skull'. After clearing his name 'Kip' Burland continues to wear the mask and fight evil.
The Black Hood's popularity lasted approximately ten years, during which time he had not only his own title but also a pulp magazine and a radio show. Since that time there have been a few short lived revivals of the character.
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