Review: Masks #1 By Chris Roberson And Alex Ross
THE CROSS-OVER YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! Before superheroes, there were Masks! The Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, the Spider and more in a story that only Dynamite could tell! For the first time EVER, these masked vigilantes are joining together in on EPIC series! It’s 1938, and the Justice Party has swept into office in New York State. But the newly-elected officials are in the control of powerful criminals, who quickly corrupt the law to their own advantage. When a fascist police state is instituted, the only ones who stand in defense of the innocent are masked vigilantes like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, and the Spider. As the confrontation builds, more masked heroes will join the fight including Black Bat, Miss Fury, Black Terror, Green Lama and many more!
When the law is unjust, justice must be an outlaw!
Masks kicks off the eight issue miniseries written by Chris Roberson with painted art by Alex Ross. Simon Bowland rounds out the cast by providing lettering. This kicks off the highly anticipated miniseries featuring the likes of The Shadow, Green Hornet and Kato, and The Spider with more to come. With a super team-up of some of the best known pulp heroes there’s a lot that could go wrong, but does the series deliver?
The story is set in 1938. We open with the Green Hornet and Kato beating down some thugs for information. They finally get a chance to squeeze the last thug standing for information when none other than The Shadow appears. The Shadow and the Green Hornet are working toward similar ends, but they go about it in different ways. The Shadow tells the Hornet and Kato to go to Cobalt Club to find some answers. This is where our story starts to unfold. Britt Reid (Green Hornet) and Lamont Cranston (The Shadow) talk about the new Justice Party that has came to power in New York. Reid is tracking down a mob boss from Chicago while Shadow is holding things down in New York. It turns out there’s a tangled web of intrigue with the Justice Party. The party quickly sets about a corrupt fascist police state that shakes down innocent people. You can pretty much guess how our heroes feel about that.
The art is handled by Alex Ross. There really isn’t much you can say about Mr. Ross. He is truly a master at his craft and he brings a lot to the table this issue. The scenes in the club with a blue hue are absolutely stunning. The sections of story with our masked heroes are just as brilliant with dark alleys and rooftops. Roberson crafts an excellent introductory issue. While the only big players in the majority of this issue are Green Hornet Kato and The Shadow, each is handled masterfully. Roberson nails the characters in just a few panels.
Bottom Line: Masks is the pulp hero team-up book dreams are made of. Each character is handled masterfully and many more of the old favorites are going to show up in subsequent issues. With a great story that is reminiscent of the past our heroes were created in and amazing art by Alex Ross, this is one you cannot miss. Drop everything and go add this miniseries to your pull list. I’ve only said this in one other review, but I give this one a five because that’s as high as it goes. 5/5