Review: Masks #5
The Justice Party tightens its grip on the Empire State, and the vigilantes and heroes are preparing to go on the offensive. The Shadow, Miss Fury, Green Hornet, Black Bat and the others have gathered enough evidence to prove that the public officials who have established the new fascist police state are merely the pawns of more sinister forces who lurk unseen. No one has heard from the Spider since he left for Albany to investigate the new governor, and he is feared dead, captured, or worse. And while Green Hornet, Black Terror, Miss Fury, and others join the Shadow in preparing to attack the hidden masters of the Justice Party, two fugitives take to the streets as Zorro and the Black Bat.
The smash-hit pulp hero team up from Dynamite continues this week with Masks #5. We have three issues left and the pieces are starting to fall into place. The story is written by Chris Roberson with art from Dennis Calero and art direction by Alex Ross. Simon Bowland tackles lettering. So as we start to see the Justice Party’s endgame, does Masks still pack a punch?
Our heroes have regrouped after going out on their own to find out who exactly is behind, or rather at the top, of the Justice Party. The Spider is missing and presumed captured or dead. The Shadow knows they need all hands on deck, but they have to strike at the Justice Party’s heart while they can. He says their enemies may have numbers on their side but “we have justice on ours.” While the assembled heroes are making their way to the building housing the shadowy figure behind the party, the newly minted Zorro and Black Bat are taking it to the streets. We saw both Zorro and Black Bat “born” in the last issue and now they get a chance to get in on all the action this time around. The two men are fighting the thugs of the Justice Party and learning what it is to be a hero. All the heroes think they’re making progress, but are they just falling deeper into the trap?
Roberson crafts another fine story. The series as a whole has been fantastic, but each issue individually offers up a full serving of pulp goodness. He’s served up a truly epic story that does justice to all the heroes involved. Calero’s art has taken me a few issues to get into. Last time I commended him for his take on Black Bat’s vision and his character work. This issue is another strong effort, but there are a few odd poses. We get another scene of Black Bat vision, so hopefully Calero gets to flex that particular muscle a few more times before the finale.
Bottom Line: Masks continues to impress. We get a lot of progression storywise with this issue, so it will be interesting to see how Roberson uses the last three issues to tie a bow on it. If you’ve not been reading this one, you’re doing yourself a great disservice 4.5/5