Dynamite Entertainment’s idea to combine as many of their characters together as possible in the crossover Masks is an interesting, albeit it odd, idea. The Shadow, The Green Hornet and Kato, and The Spider all work together to stop the rise of “The Justice Party,” a group of criminals who have wormed their way into office and are turning New York City into a fascist police state.
Over the course of the comic several other Dynamite properties will be introduced as well including Black Bat, Miss Fury, Black Terror, the Green Lama, and (perhaps most perplexing) Zorro. When you get to the point where you are forcing Zorro into a late 1930’s fascist alternate reality of New York you have to wonder why Dynamite stopped there and didn’t decide to throw in Robocop, Red Sonja, Vampirella, Army of Darkness, and John Carter as well.
Cliff Roberson, whose work I very much enjoyed on his his pair of Fables mini-series centered around Cinderella (Fables are Forever, From Fabletown with Love), makes the bizarre plot work – at least for an issue.
And Alex Ross’ work, whether you love it or hate it, is exactly what you’d expect to find here with his glossy painted panels that make each character appear larger than life (which, let’s admit it, is challenging when you’re dealing with a character like The Spider). I’m not sure how long I’ll stick around, especially at $4 an issue, but I’m not sad I gave this first issue a shot. For fans.
[Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99]