Review: Masks #6
The Shadow, Green Hornet, and the other heroes have infiltrated the stronghold of the Justice Party, but are they prepared for the dark secrets held within? Meanwhile, the new Zorro and Black Bat stand together, overwhelmed as Black Legion troopers flood the city streets. And what has become of the Spider?
Dynamite’s amazing pulp heroes team-up rolls on this month with the release of the net issue in the miniseries from Chris Roberson. Masks #6 (of 8) is written by Roberson and features art by Dennis Calero. Simon Bowland rounds out the cast with lettering. So does Masks continue to please, or have we suddenly hit a slump?
Our assembled heroes have finally tracked down the headquarters of the person behind the Justice Party. The Green Hornet, Miss Fury, and the Green Lama are face-to-face with the man that is the cause of their, and the city’s, troubles. He is waxing lyrical about how he rose to power and bought so many politicians. Throughout the issue we start to piece together his larger plan. He’s a madman, but he believes he is doing just as much good as the masked vigilantes. The Black Bat and Zorro are still fighting the Justice Party goons in the streets when they piece together what the other heroes already know. They’re doing some clean-up, then they’re off to join the others. At the same time The Shadow, Black Terror, and Kato are fighting their way to the penthouse suite where the other heroes are being held. The cavalry is coming, but is it already too late?
Roberson writes another great script. There are a lot of characters to keep straight, but he’s done that and given them all a chance to shine. You can tell he loves all the characters, but The Shadow gets some of the best lines. It’s fitting since he is the unofficial leader of the group. We get another piece of the puzzle, and with two issues left it seems like the final picture is going to be spectacular. The series reads well month to month, but I think it will really excel collected together. Calero’s art is a little more miss than hit this time. It seems like it’s a cycle. I praise him one month only to have to nitpick the next. This time his close-up facial work is a little weirder than usual. You have bright, bright, bright scenes with heavily shadowed and silhouetted characters. It just doesn’t work with every panel. The lack of detail and background work severely hurt this issue. You have generic action line background even on scenes that are more of a downbeat. It takes you out of the story as you start to wonder why there’s no background.
Bottom Line: Masks #6 is an example of a really good story being taken down a few pegs by some odd art choices. I’m a Calero fan, I really am, but this issue just doesn’t work for me. Roberson has done some amazing things with these characters, so you still get more than your money’s worth. 3.5/5
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