“The Mask: I Pledge Allegiance to the Mask” #1
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
WRITER: Christopher Cantwell
ARTIST: Patric Reynolds
COVER PRICE: $3.99
If you mention “The Mask” to most people, they would probably think of the 1994 Jim Carrey movie based on the comic book of the same name. But to those who read independent comic books throughout the 1980s and 1990s, what started as a dark, gritty, and often violent and mature-themed comic (much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) was diluted for the masses and turned into a comedic, kid-friendly cash grab for toys and cartoons. The real Mask, originally known as The Masque, was created by Dark Horse Comics founder, Mike Richardson, which would later go on to appear in “Dark Horse Presents” in 1989, by writer John Arcudi and artist Doug Mahnke. Although simply known as The Big Head Killer, the “Mask” referred to the mask itself and not the character. But the character eventually faded away after a 2000 crossover with DC Comics’ the Joker.
Now decades later, on the outskirts of the crime-ridden Edge City, two abusive foster parents are brutally murdered by a mysterious green-faced killer. Grabbing the attention of the media and local politicians, the murders are reminiscent of the “Big Head” killer 30 years ago. And when former detective Mitch Kellaway learns of the possibility that the Big Head killer has returned, he digs up some old evidence and tries to track him down. Meanwhile, struggling politician Abner Mead tries to spearhead his campaign against the incumbent Mayor Kathy Matthews, but as his political career is in shambles, he soon discovers something on the riverbank that can turn his career around.
In order to catch up on this new series, readers will have to be somewhat familiar with the last 30 years of the Mask’s history, including the events from “The Mask” (1991), “The Mask Returns” (1992-1993) and “The Mask Strikes Back” (1995). Over the years, the ancient mask has had several wearers, such as the late Stanley Ipkiss, his ex-girlfriend Kathy, and Lieutenant Mitch Kellaway. As the mask endows its wearer with the power to do anything he or she wants, enabling them to act on their most violent impulses.
For fans of the Mask comic book, this is a long-awaited return after the character’s likeness was severely tarnished in the 2005 bomb “Son of Mask” movie starring Jamie Kennedy. New readers may be interested to go back and see the original series that started it all. I have high hopes that this new series, written by Christopher Cantwell (“Halt and Catch Fire”) and artist Patric Reynolds (“Hellboy”), will add new life to the character. Plus, (without creating too much controversy) the politically-themed storyline in this highly-charged political climate that we currently live in, brings an element of realism and relatability top the story.
“Big Head for President 2020! Make America Green Again!”
Review written by Dave “Chernabog” Whiteman, a Native Texan, Metalhead🤘, Writer, Star Woid, Funatic, and all-around Fanboy/Nerd/Geek! 👓