Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Eman Casallos
Reviewed By: John Amenta
Admission time. I am not overly familiar with most of the pulp heroes featured in Masks 2. Oh sure, I have seen bits of The Green Hornet show from the late 60’s and yes I witnessed a then, leading man Alec Baldwin attempt to kickstart The Shadow into a film franchise. Despite these facts and having a working knowledge of the characters I have never read any of their adventures in comic form, so when this book fell in my lap, I decided to change things.
Cullen Bunn takes over writing the second installment of the Masks title, which sees Dynamite Entertainment uniting several heroes from earlier eras together.As our story opens The Shadow, Green Hornet, The Spider and The Green Lama amongst others are operating as a crime fighting syndicate in New York City 1937. The book begins kinetically, as Hornet and The Shadow break up a group of skull masked henchmen as they transport a mysterious cache of jars. The heroes work together, but not without issues, as Hornet and Black Terror struggle to deal with The Shadow’s overtly violent crime-fighting methods. During the fighting, one of the containers opens and releases its gaseous contents, killing many at the scene. Green Lama uses his powers to see that to defeat the enemy behind the gas it will somehow require this group to team up with heroes from the future to defeat. Following a lead, our protagonists infiltrate a masquerade party and are introduced to the villain of the story as the issue ends.
Cullen Bunn has written The Shadow for Dynamite before and obviously has an affinity for these characters. The premise of teaming these icons up works particularly well because of the way he writes their dialogue and showcases the differences in crime fighting ideals between them. Eman Casallos’ art is a fine compliment, he succeeds in capturing the period in the backgrounds and vehicles, and his action sequences are clear while maintaining dynamism.
After reading Masks 2 #1, I will continue on with this series, but more importantly, it made me want to seek out more of the material, old and new of these characters. If a comic is judged on it’s ability to get someone to read the next issue, then this book greatly exceeded expectations.
4 Red Deaths of 5