Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Eman Casallos
Colours: Adriano Augusto
Lettering: Rob Steen
Cover: Jae Lee & June Chung
Masks 2 #1 gives us The Shadow. The Green Hornet and Kato. Black Terror. These are just a few masked vigilantes drawn into a mystery that spans the decades – a plot that threatens our society again and again. With the devastating power to kill thousands of people in a matter of seconds, the Red Death is a villain who may be impossible to stop. It will take more than a dozen masked heroes from three different time periods to stop this madwoman from bringing the world to its knees.
Masks 2 #1 throws the reader right into the action with the Green Hornet his trusty sidekick Kato and The Shadow taking down skull masked gang members who are moving mysterious crates at the New York harbour in 1937. The action continues through the streets of New York and comes to a halt by the intervention of the Black Terror superhero, its at this moment the reader finds out what the crates contain and there effects. Also at this moment the Green Lama appears with two other heroes and tells crime fighters that the threat from these containers and the person who created him will span through time and involve many heroes and crime fighter past present and future to fight the menace. They are then told to attend a party in full costume to find out who their enemy is.
The Masks 2 story is set the year before the original meetup of previous series and again has the characters come together to thwart a common threat. I enjoy the revivals of the golden age superheroes and especially the pulp masked crime fighters who are sometime no more than mortal men who put on mask and fight crime. The pace of the story is fast and action packed and Cullen Bunn gives a good intense action feel and builds the story up nicely from a routine takedown to a larger mystery and threat in the making. His interpretation of the characters are good especially with The Shadow who is a lovechild of Batman and the Punisher in my opinion and his more brutal crime fighting style is brought to question in comparison to the Green Hornet and the Black Terror. There is some humour thrown in to give a more jovial feel for the characters and their relationships and a few nods to other Dynamite books too. I found Eman Casallos to be ideal for this and his take on the characters spot on, his action sequences are fast and fluid and also give a good sense of pace.
I really enjoyed the first Masks series by Chris Robertson and enjoy the world in which these characters live and intertwine, Dynamite Entertainment’s effort to bring these 1930’s and 40’s pulp and golden age characters back to life is working for me and i find them more refreshing than more recent spandex and vigilante character efforts of recent years, this is a cracking start for Masks 2 and i hope the pace and quality of the book is maintained through until the end.