Sunday, December 2, 2012

Masks #1

This one should be subtitled, "Made especially for Chuck."

As a fan of pulp stars like The Shadow and The Spider, the idea of teaming up those two heroes (have they ever "met" before?) along with the Green Hornet, Kato and Zorro translates into a "must-buy" comic for me.

But Masks goes one step further by having Alex Ross provide the artwork. His realistic, painted art has been exceptional throughout his career, and this issue is among his best work yet.

Since the pulp heroes are "real" people who happen to wear masks (as opposed to superheroes dressed in unrealistic, skin-tight costumes), Ross' real-world depictions capture the story perfectly.

The story by Chris Roberson starts the process of bringing the heroes together and sets up an overpowering menace for them to face. Each character "speaks" with the proper voice and they avoid the old "heroes meet and fight each other" bit. Well, mostly.

I admit that I approached this issue with some trepidation. These team-ups don't alway work well, and that can be disappointing - but this one delivers on every level.

Can't wait for the next chapter!

Grade: A



Glen Davis said...

I found the photorealism actually worked against the project. Lamont Cranston simply didn't look like a real person. I know he's supposed to be hawk headed, but come on.

Chuck said...

Glen, I always felt that way about The Shadow until I picked up an art book - I think it was the one about James Bama. It included a photo of several guys grouped together, some of whom served as models for different painters (including Bama's model for Doc Savage) - and standing in the group was the guy who served as the model for The Shadow - he was the absolute spitting image of the famous image used (now) in Masks. I couldn't believe it.