MASKS #2 Review

MASKS #1 is definitely a contender for comic of the year. First of all, you have to look at the nature of the crossover. It isn’t exactly mainstream like what’s happening over at Marvel and DC, rather it’s less explosive and puts emphasis on the story telling and characters. Unlike Captain America, Iron Man, or Batman, characters like the Green Hornet and the Shadow don’t the luxury of being longtime fan favorites. So this crossover was a pretty special one, featuring a lot of the ‘pulp’ heroes. Issue #1 just blew me away with its excellent story, characters, and art. I didn’t have any history with the Shadow or Spider, yet I was so fully invested. Now, the long awaited Issue #2 is upon us. While not quite as magnificent as the previous installment, it’s still a great comic you should check out.

Here’s the official description from Dynamite:

Powerful criminals and crooked politicians have taken over New York, and instituted a fascist police state. With the law bent to their own purposes, the so- called “Justice Party” and their army of Black Legion troopers imprison, extort, and execute any citizens who stand in their way. Only vigilantes like the Shadow, Green Hornet, and the Spider have any hope of standing against them, but instead of operating outside the law as they have always done, these masked heroes must now oppose the law in their fight for justice. But they will not be fighting alone, as more men and women don masks and emerge from the shadows to stand alongside them.

This one starts out with a few troopers asking the public for tax. “You don’t want any trouble, don’t make any trouble” says one of them. (A bit of an interjection, but I love that line, I’m going to have to start using it in real life.) However, a woman has no plans to give tax, so she heads outside to put on her costume. What she doesn’t realize is that another hero has the same idea. Meanwhile, the Hornet, Kato, the Spider, and the Shadow fight off a bunch of troopers. Chris Roberson’s writing is very strong throughout. Not quite as strong as the previous issue, but well enough. He succeeds in giving each pulp hero a distinctive identity, especially the Shadow. There are two new heroes to the book introduced, Catwoman Miss Fury, and Green Lama. Miss Fury is a very cool character to have around, being the only female hero at the moment. Green Lama is not bad, he needs to be shown more so I can have a better opinion of him. The action comes from the battle with the four heroes against the troopers. It’s easy to forget these guys don’t possess powers, so they could (and do) get overwhelmed by sheer numbers, forcing a retreat.

Sadly Alex Ross didn’t come back for this issue. I will admit that a big selling point of the first issue was the amazingly fantastic art he did. With that said, the art by Dennis Calero is very good in its own right. Sometimes it looks like it mimics Ross’s style, but it’s still far above average. My personal favorite scene with the art is a shot with the Hornet, Kato, Shadow, and Spider preparing for an onslaught from some troopers, a truly fantastic shot showcasing how incredible the art is in this series. Like with the first issue, this one features quite a few covers. The main one showcases The Shadow, the Spider, the Hornet, and Zorro all facing sideways. Not a bad cover, I’m just not sure why Zorro was put instead of Kato, since the former doesn’t appear in this one. Now the second one I like a lot, showcasing the Spider, the Shadow, and the Hornet whom is front and center. My second favorite cover of the bunch. The third one is pretty cool, showcasing Catwoman Miss Fury about to completely beat up a thug. A simple, but extremely good cover for fans of the character. Finally, there’s the cover by Ales Ross, which is as you guessed, the best one of all them. It’s definitely the cover to get.

Overall, MASKS #2 is a great follow up to the perfect first issue. It continues to be a very fun story starring these characters while at the same time making the reader think. As some people are getting led out to be hanged, one cries out “They mean to murder us!” Then a trooper replies “It ain’t murder if it’s the law doing it.” So basically if the law says murder is okay, guess what? It’s not a crime. It’s truly a great dynamic and one of the reasons why MASKS is being such a good read.


S#!T Talking Central

  • Upstate2point0

    it’s Chris Roberson, not Steve Roberson.

    • Daniel Alvarez

      Hmm…I’m not quite sure how I mixed up the two. Thanks for the heads up.