Who's The Black Hood On 'Riverdale?' The Answer Could Lie Within The Comic Books

The CW

In Season 2, fans, along with Archie and the gang, are looking are leaving no stone unturned on their quest to find out who exactly shot Fred Andrews on Riverdale and why. The masked assailant set Archie down a path of vengeance and (spoilers ahead) at the end of the season premiere strangled Ms. Grundy to death. Who is the Black Hood, and why is he killing people who are or have been close to Archie? The answers to the murderer's identity and what his purpose is on the show could rest within the pages of the beloved comic book series.

The Black Hood first appeared in the Archie Comics universe in 1940. In his initial form, the Black Hood is a costumed "man of mystery" who has been trained by a hermit to combat evil. The original comic is vague about whether the Black Hood possesses magical superpowers, or just simply has the unusual strength that other street-fighting superheroes like Batman seemed to possess naturally. His real name is Matthew Kipling "Kip" Burland, an ex-cop who had been framed for grand larceny. Burland eventually clears his name from the charges, but continues to wear the costume and fight crime throughout the city, until he passes the "hood" along to his nephew Thomas “Kip” Burland.

In 2015, Archie Comics launched a new imprint called Dark Circle Comics, reimagining the publisher’s non-Archie characters and recast the Black Hood as Greg Hettinger, a Philadelphia cop who intervenes in a gun fight and takes a bullet to the face. He is able to fire off one final shot before he loses consciousness and later when he wakes up, he discovers that he has shot and killed Kip — the second Black Hood. After struggling to deal with his damaged face, slurred speech, and what he did, he develops an addiction to painkillers. A fellow officer later gives Hettinger the Black Hood mask as a joke. But after being framed by a local drug ring and demoted, Hettinger decides to take over the Black Hood's costume and crime-fighting agenda.

Dark Circle Comics

In “Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying,” the Season 2 premiere, Archie’s father Fred was rushed to the hospital after being shot by an anonymous man in what Archie described as a "black hood." At the end of the episode, music teacher Ms. Grundy — who had a very inappropriate and harmful relationship with underage Archie in Season 1 — was making troubling advances to yet another one of her underage students during a piano lesson. After she said goodbye and went back into her home she noticed that a few music sheets had blown around. The window was open and obviously something was off. But by the time she realized that her house had been broken into, it was too late.

The Black Hood was behind Ms. Grundy and choked her to death right as the credits rolled. You don’t see much of the masked murderer, just the fact he's white, has green eyes and a few grey hairs here and there, which indicates that he could be middle-aged.

While definitely dangerous, The Black Hood's comic book history suggests that he may have good intentions in Riverdale after all. Case in point: a cop and vigilante who's keen on seeking justice killing Ms. Grundy, a known child predator, could indicate some twisted form of morality. But, that still doesn’t explain why the Black Hood would go after Fred, who's considered an upstanding man and father in the community. Although, how well do you really know someone in this town?

Maybe Fred is involved with the infamous Lodges, known for their corrupt business practices. Or maybe he's connected to the Southside Serpents along with friend FP. Additionally, in Season 1, Fred admitted that he was arrested for a DUI incident. Could the Black Hood be connected to this arrest somehow? As with most things on Riverdale, fans can never be too sure. Although one thing is clear: the Black Hood isn't just murdering (and attempting to murder) folks for fun. He's on a mission.