Masks, Volume 2 Review
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It begins with hoods—each wearing a skull mask—and hundreds of people at masquerades. The airborne poison is called the red death, and their leader is called the Red Death. They’re both well-named.

That sort of thing draws the attention of people like the Shadow, the Spider, the Black Terror, the Green Hornet, Kato, Miss Fury, and the other stalwarts of Dynamite Entertainment.

DE keeps a noir tone and makes it a single step between ordinary citizen and superhero. They are always pressed, and sometimes they fight dirty. And I have seen less black in a professional wrestling dojo.

The villains they face are usually repulsive. The Red Death fits this. But she is not only a murderer, she can also travel through time and change the course of events. So we have the Black Sparrow of the thirties, but we also see her granddaughter of the seventies. Similarly, Miss Fury inspires someone to become Ms. Furious in the same decade. And as the time travel expands, so does its effects. Things change without explanation.

The biggest changes are to the Shadow and the Green Hornet. There is the Shadow, and the Shadow, and also a cyborg Shadow. There is the Green Hornet and Kato from the thirties, also the Green Hornet and Mulan Kato, and a Green Hornet in armor with an insectoid head, plus a human-sized actual Green Hornet. And the importance of this is woven into the plot because the more changes at any time the more things are falling apart.

These changes occur suddenly, and you just have to go with it. But amidst the danger and the blind alleys, the crew follows up the various time periods they visit. It’s a great trick. I was also interested to see Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt, turn into Peta Cannon, Thunderbolt. I’d like to see more of her.

Miss Fury and Miss Furious and the two Black Sparrows are similar personalities but in different times. Miss Furious is black and grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. The second Black Sparrow is an arrogant toff. What they learn is that the tracks are the enemy, not each other.

And this is the sort of detail you get—but the information comes in various asides when other, exciting things are happening. Pacing is quick, and you’ll just want the story to last longer. And some of the characters and modified characters who are in only a few panels are ones that you’d like to see more of. But that’s the mark of a good team-up series: everybody has too little time in the spotlight. Maybe next time.

Thoroughly recommended.

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