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Dark Horse Day Series: Why The Mask’s Magic Is Possession

 

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DARK HORSE DAY

The Mask (1991) #1. Dark Horse Comics.

IN RELIGIOUS WARFARE

INTRO

In 1994, The Mask movie became a pop sensation and propelled Jim Carrey into super-stardom. Really, it perhaps defined the decade in movies and showed Hollywood at its best.

With a cocktail of gags, fun, romance and PG-13 violence the movie wowed audiences worldwide. Indeed, worldwide, we all dreamed of donning the fateful Mask and gaining super powers and the instant cool factor!

Though the movie was certainly successful it clearly presented the comic villain as a hero or anti-hero. In fact, it even led to the successful The Mask animated series.

However, it is clear that the Mask is an artifact that amplifies its wearer’s own penchant for violence and destruction. In our first series article, we ask: Is The Mask #possessed?


Flashback FM



#HERO OR #VILLAIN?

Across media, the Mask’s portrayals vary from anti-hero to villain. Popularly, the Mask movie portrayed the character in a more familiar light, as an anti-hero.

In the film, Stanley Ipkiss is the first Mask: a disgruntled employee, bullied and romantic, Stanley stumbles upon an ancient mask, wears it and becomes the Mask.

For the most part, he wants lots of money, have fun and win the heart of his impossible love, the girlfriend of Coco Bongo gangster named Tina.

However, the comics presented the character as a villain who despite having a girlfriend, is bullied by mobsters.

When he finds the mask, he puts it on and becomes the Mask: bloodlusted, he causes mayhem, deaths and destruction.

So our series should help us answer: Is the Mask a #villain or a #hero? Let’s look at comics and film.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

OUR POLL

So far, the Twitter audience has not given any votes.

Let’s look at four elements of The Mask and how the artifact may actually make him #possessed.

 

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IS THE MASK #POSSESSED?

#POSSESSED: BLOODLUST (COMICS)

Notoriously, in Mayhem (1989) #1, one of the central effects of the Mask is to increase its wearer’s bloodlust. When Stanley dons the Mask the first time, he cracks his first gag: “But First…” After some mishaps, he ends up at the biker gang that attacked him earlier. In search of payback, he completely murders the whole gang, leaving their whole shop in flames. In many cases, the possessed display Peak Human to superhuman strength. At the end, he leaves laughing maniacally.

Likewise, in The Mask Returns (1993) #3, we learn the origin story of the Mask. Originally, the Mask was a shamanic artifact that was part of cult rituals. In fact, it fed on death and often increased its wearer’s bloodlust. Indeed, it needed the death of the wearer for the ritual to continue. In the comic, when Katherine puts on the Mask she kills Stanley Ipkiss, her boyfriend. Definitely, the Mask makes its wearers #possessed. Indeed, the bloodlust and the superhuman strength indicate possession.

#CRIMINAL: MAYHEM (FILM)

In the film, the Mask is more often a comedian and a flirt. In fact, he rarely kills and many of his violent outbursts are jokes. At the end, he kills only Dorian the main antagonist in order to save Tina.

At the same time, his penchant for destruction and mayhem causes him the attention of the police. Certainly, the big dance scene with the police force is a highlight of the movie. Definitely, Stanley Ipkiss may be #possessed and not a #criminal.

#POSSESSED: MAGIC (FILM)

Perhaps, the most controversial aspect. Normally, the #possessed exhibit superhuman strength and arcane knowledge. In addition, they may be visited by supernatural or paranormal phenomena. In the movie, it is revealed that the Mask was created by the Asgardian god Loki in order to spread chaos on Earth. On multiple occasions, the Mask uses magic or supernatural power.

For example, he induces mass hypnosis by making an entire police force dance on the streets. Also, he creates a siphon in the pond at the Coco Bongo by painting on the tree where Tina is chained. Other powers are his super speed, and his super strength. At the same time, this is not typical of the #possessed and actually reflects magic or supernatural power. Definitely, the Mask is a magician or sorcerer.

#CRIMINAL: GUNS (COMICS)

In the comics, the Mask frequently uses guns. In fact, his bloodlust and his magic cause him to seek revenge and kill people. In the first appearance, the Mask uses guns to kill the biker gang that bullied him.

Certainly, the use of guns is not necessarily criminal. However, here, it is for the purpose of committing crimes. Definitely, the Mask is also a #criminal.

 

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THE MASK IS A #MAGICIAN

Across media, the Mask is certainly #possessed. In fact, his superhuman strength and his reliance on the artifact indicate a form of shamanic possession.

At the same time, his use of magic reveal he is also a magician. Definitely, the power of summoning objects is arcane or sorcery. Moreover, the question remains about whether the Mask possesses Stanley.

In Behind ‘The Mask,’ Kyle McGovern looks at the origins behind the pop movie. Originally, the Mask was a metaphor for human impulses and how it amplifies its aggression.

“You see a guy who’s downtrodden, he’s got issues, he feels like the world has kicked him a bunch,” says comic book artist Doug Mahnke, who worked on Mayhem and several other miniseries featuring the Mask. “All of a sudden he has this chance to get away with a bunch of —-.”

Definitely, we are closer to the answer that the fact he may actually be a #villain, and not an #anti-hero.

DARK HORSE DAY SERIES: WHY THE MASK IS A #VILLAIN. JUNE 2ND.


LINKS

Behind ‘The Mask’ in The Ringer.
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Dark Horse Day Series: Robocop vs The Terminator

Robocop.
 

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DARK HORSE DAY

Robocop.
Robocop.

For the issue, click on the Amazon product image below to purchase the Kindle or Comixology comic.

IN ADVANCED WARFARE

INTRO

By now, we’ve all seen the original “Robocop” released in 1987. Indeed, it was the movie that marked the decade characterized by other popular movies such as “The Terminator.”

Let’s delve into why Robocop is one of the most avant-garde cyberpunk concepts from the 80s.

clips2evoke

FRANK MILLER

Notably, Frank Miller is the quintessential American comic writer of the ’80s. Really, his body of work is both revolutionary and deconstructionist. Some of his most celebrated works include Sin City, 300, Batman: Year One and the revolutionary The Dark Knight Returns. So, when Frank Miller set out in the ’90s to work on Robocop, people took notice.

SKYNET WEAPONIZED ROBOCOP’S TECH

To begin, Frank Miller’s series brings together different elements of the Robocop and Terminator universes. There are Skynet and its Time Displacement technology, human rebels and Robocop’s brain. In Robocop vs The Terminator (1992), a female soldier in the year 2029 is sent back to the past. Incredibly, her mission is to kill Robocop. At the same time, a trio of Terminators are sent to the past on a mission to protect Robocop.

As the series progresses, we learn that Robocop’s tech is in part responsible for the creation of Skynet. From there, it is a race against time for Robocop to disable Skynet in the future and the past. Of course, in Miller’s style there is a twist at the end which will bring a dramatic resolution. Probably, this is one of the most popular Robocop stories in the medium.

 

Robocop.
Robocop.

ROBOCOP VS THE TERMINATOR

In Robocop vs Terminator (1992) #2, Robocop rumbles with a trio of Terminators. Since Robocop is trying to take down Skynet, he ends up fighting the Terminators. Violently, the battle spans multiple pages. And it features Terminators firing live ammunition at the cyborg.

In the beginning, the Terminators ID Robocop as their Creator. Immediately, they switch mission parameters to “terminate.”1 Soon, Robocop fights mano a mano against their leader. Then, falling through buildings, Alex ends up ripping the android’s head off. What a fitting finish!

The Terrminator.
The Terminator.

CHECK OUT THE STORY: Robocop Is Half-Man, Half-Machine.

FRANK MILLER GAVE THE FANS WHAT THEY WANTED

Frank Miller.

In his review, Zac Thompson at Bloody Disgusting compares Frank Miller’s and Walter Simonson’s work to music.

If you are a music fan, discovering a book like Robocop versus The Terminator HC would be like finding out two of your favorite bands made a kick-ass record together you never heard about way back when. Add to the mix two more iconic music producers (analogy ongoing) creators in Frank Miller and Walter Simonson. This is what you could call a no-brainer if you’re a fan of even only ONE of these four icons. You literally cannot lose by reading this book. It’s perfect for a summer road trip or any other time you want to see a genuinely amazing epic this season. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I opened this book up. I am so glad I discovered this hidden gem and you will be too.

-“Review: “Robocop Versus The Terminator” HC”, BLOODY DISGUSTING

RED Lion Movie Shorts

NEXT: ROBOCOP IS THE CYBORG OF THE 80s. DECEMBER 1ST.


LINKS

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in DC Database.
RoboCop Versus The Terminator in Robocop Wiki.
Review: “Robocop Versus The Terminator” HC in Bloody Disgusting.
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Dark Horse Day Series: Robocop Is Half-Man, Half-Machine

 
Home » Dark Horse Day

DARK HORSE DAY

Robocop vs The Terminator. AP Photo/Dark Horse Comics.

For the issue, click on the Amazon product image below to purchase the Kindle or Comixology comic.

IN MAD SCIENCE

INTRO

By now, we’ve all seen the original “Robocop” released in 1987. Indeed, it was the movie that marked the decade characterized by other popular movies such as “The Terminator.”

Let’s delve into why Robocop is one of the most avant-garde cyberpunk concepts from the 80s.

clips2evoke

ORIGIN STORY

Robocop.
Robocop. AP Photo.

To begin, “Robocop” (1987) is about the police force. Particularly, it is about a Detroit police officer named Alex J. Murphy. Tragically, he is killed in the line of duty by a vicious crime gang. Ingeniously, a company called Omni Consumer Products transforms the fallen hero into a cyborg. Then, he becomes… Robocop.

HALF MAN, HALF MACHINE

Properly speaking, “Robocop” (1987) is an experiment. To this end, let’s test the boundaries between human life and machine programming. In many respects, the cyberpunk culture has produced here a cult film. In fact, the success of “Robocop” is revolutionary in itself. Indeed, it opened the general public’s minds to the possibility of cyborgs, robots and artificial intelligence.

Certainly, Robocop is half man, half machine. Science fiction plays with the limits of reality. Here, logic is bent when a human brain is put inside a machine. Without a doubt, it is the birth of a cyborg. What makes Robocop stand out is the fact he is also a police officer. His commitment to upholding the law is unquestionable though his methods are deemed too violent.

 

Robocop. AP Photo.

HYPER VIOLENCE

Perhaps, the most distinctive element of “Robocop” and its comic adaptations, is its hyper violence. Of course, Hollywood has made it a defined formula to use violence to counter social mores. In fact, this is what is viewed as social progress. What makes Robocop succeed is that lethal violence is served in the cool, logical voice of a machine. But, at the service of the law.

In this regard, much ink has been spilled about violence in Hollywood movies. For some reason, it seems the general public responds positively to artistic works that breathe authentic counter-culture. To this end, cyberpunk seized the imagination of the crowds in the 80s. Indeed, the hyper violence in “Robocop” made for entertainment not seen before on movie screens. And novelty, is the order of the day.

Robocop. AP Photo.

CHECK OUT THE STORY: Why Doctor Doom Is Marvel’s Greatest Villain

FRANK MILLER GAVE THE FANS WHAT THEY WANTED

Robocop vs The Terminator. AP Photo/Dark Horse Comics.

Using elements from both the RoboCop and Terminator universes, the comic book series puts its own spin on proceedings by having Skynet send three Terminators back in time to Detroit to protect a burnt out RoboCop from a lone human soldier (also) sent back to destroy him.

Discovering that the technology used to build him is partly responsible for the future development of Skynet, RoboCop soon sets upon himself to take down Skynet in the post-apocalyptic future single-handedly. Part of the story focuses on his mind, the only part left of him, hiding and moving throughout Skynet’s systems, fighting back as best he can.

-“RoboCop Versus The Terminator,” ROBOCOP WIKI

RED Lion Movie Shorts

NEXT: ROBOCOP VS THE TERMINATOR. NOVEMBER 3RD.


SOURCES

RoboCop in Robocop Wiki.
RoboCop Versus The Terminator in Robocop Wiki.
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Dark Horse Day: “The Witcher: House Of Glass” Is The Monster Hunter’s First Supernatural Comic Tale Of Horror And Suspense

 
Home » Dark Horse Day

DARK HORSE DAY

In 'The Witcher: House of Glass' (2014) #1, the Witcher is introduced for the first time.
In ‘The Witcher: House of Glass’ (2014) #1, the Witcher is introduced for the first time. AP Photo/Dark Horse Comics.

IN GODS, MONSTERS AND INFINITE POWER

At the edge of the black f’rest, the beldams’r meets jakob

In 'The Witcher: House of Glass' (2014) #1, the Witcher is introduced for the first time.
In ‘The Witcher: House of Glass’ (2014) #1, the Witcher is introduced for the first time. AP Photo/Dark Horse Comics.
Our tale begins at the black f'rest's edge,
beldams'r meets a sir, jakob, hunting flote flesh,
"damn!" a first taunt as those gents meeteth, the sires,
jakob tells the st'ry of his jointress did turn vampire,
two days of bant'r and bonfire companionship,
two men depart f'r the black f'rest on strange trippeth

in the black f’rest, the beldams’r vanquishes a leshen

In 'The Witcher: House Of Glass' (2014) #1, Witcher vanquishes the Black Forest's Leshen.
In ‘The Witcher: House of Glass’ (2014) #1, the Witcher vanquishes the Black Forest’s Leshen. AP Photo/Dark Horse Comics.
The black f'rest holds many secrets,
t'rrifying, mesm'rizing, the dunnest:
"a daemonic hag with with'r'd breasts",
cackling cryptic messages and 'racles,
wand'ring the hoods in circles,
marta's songbirds leading out black f'rest. 
 lighteth pi'rcing through the woods,the day's hour,
suddenly, a leshen! vanquish'd by beldams'r

CHECK OUT THE STORY: It’s Official! In His Thirst For Vengeance Against The Third Horseman, Black Adam Became A Genocidal Maniac By Killing Every Man, Woman And Child In Bialya.

A FAN OF THE WITCHER? TO #COLLECTDIGITALLY, CLICK ON ‘THE WITCHER VOLUME 1’ TO COLLECT THE KINDLE & COMIXOLOGY COMIC.

The tale of the beldams'r continues in "The Witcher: House of Glass" #2.

VISIT THE CYBORG APPRECIATION PAGE.


SOURCES

The Witcher: House of Glass in The Official Witcher Wiki.
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Dark Horse Day: Conan the Barbarian

 

DARK HORSE DAY

“Know, O Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the sons of Aryas, there was an age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars… Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”
– The Nemedian Chronicles

Today, we talk about war! War is a fact of life, a tale of glory, a battle for power and no one embodies this more than Conan the Barbarian.

Conan’s origin

“It may sound fantastic to link the term ‘realism’ with Conan; but as a matter of fact – his supernatural adventures aside – he is the most realistic character I ever evolved. He is simply a combination of a number of men I have known, and I think that’s why he seemed to step full-grown into my consciousness when I wrote the first yarn of the series. Some mechanism in my sub-consciousness took the dominant characteristics of various prize-fighters, gunmen, bootleggers, oil field bullies, gamblers, and honest workmen I had come in contact with, and combining them all, produced the amalgamation I call Conan the Cimmerian”.

– Robert E. Howard

Conan is a warrior-born who was born among the Cimmerians who migrated east of Atlantis some time before it sank to the ocean and was destroyed. Conan is a warrior-born as said, and was actually born on a battlefield between the Cimmerians and the Vanir. Conan’s father and his tribe encircled Fialla, his mother, as she was giving birth to Conan. This was an omen that Conan would become a great warrior.

Before the age of seven he crippled Donal, a bully in his own tribe, who was much older and bigger than himself. By age eight he was wielding an ax well enough to chop firewood for the tribe, and he was also training with the longsword, spear, and dagger. He was officially accepted as a man of the tribe that year when he rescued the tribe’s war chief from a hungry pack of wolves – killing one of the wolves with his bare hands and teeth in the process!

– ‘Conan’, Comic Vine

Conan eventually became a fighter, a mercenary, a thief, and a King wandering exotic and supernatural lands during the Hyborian Age. (Conan)

Powers and Abilities

Conan is an expert hunter, unarmed combatant, swordsman, horseman and archer. He is one of the most accomplished swordsmen in the Hyborian Age. (Conan)

Conan has a high level of strength, speed, and agility for a human and is able to lift very large objects. He has dealt over the years with magicians, sorcerers, and witches and has built a resistance to magical spells. He is also a master tactician who is able to lead armies into battle. (Conan)

SUPER FEAT: Conan Defeats a Frost Giant

Conan is a warrior-born, one born from battle lust, supernatural power, and the desire to conquer. He exemplifies the power to overcome the human condition with physical power and intelligence.

Visit The Cromcast: A Weird Fiction Podcast.

Episode 15: Savage Sword of Comics! (Or, Conan vs. Sequential Art)