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Dark Horse Day Series: Why The Mask Is A #Villain

 

DARK HORSE DAY

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

IN ADVANCED 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 movie-lovers 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 third series article, we ask: Is The Mask a #villain?


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 our film buffs answer: Is the Mask a #villain or a #hero? Let’s look at comics.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

OUR POLL

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

Let’s look at three characters who wore The Mask and how the artifact may actually make them #villains.

 

VISIT THE SUPERHERO DAY PAGE

 
A FAN OF DARK HORSE COMICS CELEBRATING AT YOUR LOCAL COMIC SHOP OR LIBRARY TO ENTERTAIN YOURSELF ABOUT #THEWORLDSGREATESTHEROES? TO #COLLECTONVACATION, CLICK ON THE MASK #1 BELOW TO BUY THE STAPLE-BOUND ON AMAZON AND BECOME THE GREATEST THE MASK FAN.

IS THE MASK A #VILLAIN?

#VILLAIN: STANLEY IPKISS

In the comics, Stanley Ipkiss is a weak person who wants revenge in Edge City from the people who bullied him. When he finds the Mask at a store, he gains supernatural powers. However, his powers come with added violence and aggression. In the famous words of Bill Murray in Ghostbusters (1984), this comic is “toast.”

When he demonstrates his humour noir, the Mask kills people who abused him in a series of supposed jokes. On a rampage in Edge City, the Mask kills passersby, a biker gang and various other individuals. Soon, the police knows him as “Big Head.”

#VILLAIN: LT. KELLAWAY

After Stanley’s death at the hands of his girlfriend Kathy, she hands the Mask to Lt. Kellaway warning him of its dark side (My bad for the Star Wars reference). In fact, she tells him that the Mask created “Big Head.” As a practical joke, Kellaway puts it on ignoring her warnings.

When Kellaway becomes the Mask, he vows to end crime and stop all criminal in Edge City. First, he starts a feud with Mafia gang Don Mozzo. However, the vigilante quickly becomes executioner when he attempts to bomb his partner’s mouth with dynamite. Quickly, he buries the mask in his basement.

#ANTI-HERO: ARCHIE

Later, other wearers become the Mask. For the most part, they all succumb to their dark side and behave in violent and criminal ways when they become the Mask. After, the mask falls into the hands of a gang of criminals. One of them wears it and uses it to get revenge on other criminals.

Later, the mask falls into the hands of four students: Rich, Ben, Hugo and Archie. More or less, they resist the Mask’s blood lust. More importantly, Archie wears the Mask and uses it to become a superhero. To this end, he stops criminals from stealing a lion’s golden tooth at the Edge City zoo though he sets some animals loose. After scuffles with Walter, he escapes the police.

 

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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.


LINKS

The Mask in Comic Vine.
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“Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2 (of 2)” Review

 

Home » Doug Mahnke

PRODUCT REVIEWS

‘Final Crisis: Superman Beyond’ #2. AP Photo/DC Comics.

IN READING GUIDES, LISTS, REVIEWS

One of the greatest Superman stories in the 2000s. Gift this graphic novel to your friends and collectors on the occasions of Comic-Cons and festivals. Available on Amazon.

 

Haga clic en la imagen del producto de Amazon España a continuación para comprar el cómic o comparar con los precios en Kindle y Comixology.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION


The epic voyage beyond reality concludes in this heart-stopping finale as the multiverse-spanning quest for the elixir of the supergods reaches its end on the shores of a battlefield beyond imagination! But first, the Supermen of five worlds must lay bare the darkest secret of the multiverse, expose the shocking origin of the Monitors and come face to face with a seemingly unstoppable evil fueled by the power of 52 living universes!

‘Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2’ is one of the most celebrated aspects of ‘Final Crisis.’ With the life of Lois Lane hanging in the balance, Superman embarks on a journey across the DC multiverse that takes him to the edge of reality. Grant Morrison’s opus is a literary tour de force of the DC Universe.

Grant Morrison’s writing is at its best here. He brings together multiple concepts: the DC multiverse, the Bleed, the Monitors and Heaven. Do not miss the battle between Superman and Mandrakk.

This is an event you do not want to miss. Share this comic to fans of Superman and on the occasions of Comic-Cons. It is definitely worth its price and will leave you wanting for more Superman! And the Monitors!

The Kindle and Comixology formats are highly recommended.

Get more information and buy now on Amazon.com >>>

PRODUCT FEATURE #1:


This comic has a feature. One good feature of this graphic novel is that it is available in Kindle and Comixology formats. This comic is free with a Comixology Unlimited Membership.

FEATURES AND SPECIFICATIONS


  • “Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2 (of 2)”
  • Publisher: DC Comics.
  • Language: English.
  • Print Length: 31 pages.
  • Kindle and Comixology formats available.
  • Free with Comixology Unlimited Membership.
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2013.

Get further details and buy now on Amazon.com >>>


CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND SCORES


“Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2 (of 2)” is the comic to own in order to collect Grant Morrison’s runs. ‘Superman Beyond’ is part of Grant Morrison’s Superman-centric DC Universe and fits well in Post-Crisis continuity.

The comic is excellent for debates about comic book battles and for sharing your fandom. Fans of the DC Universe and ‘Final Crisis’ will love the art deco style of Doug Mahnke. With a Comixology Unlimited Membership, this comic is free.

This product has 3 ratings with an average score of 5 out of 5. There are no customer reviews.

Overall, this comic was great.

CONCLUSION


POSITIVE:

  • Affordable price.
  • Kindle and Comixology formats available.
  • Free with Comixology Unlimited Membership.

NEGATIVE:

  • No 3D format available.
  • Due to the large file size, there may be slow downloads.

OUR PRODUCT REVIEW RATING:


I recommend this comic as an important addition to Grant Morrison’s runs in the DC Universe.


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


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Reviews: 00s Batman Graphic Novels Ranked From Best To Good

In 'Batman' (2002) #608, Batman faces the beastly villain Killer Croc.
 

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REVIEWS

In 'Batman' (2002) #608, Batman faces the beastly villain Killer Croc.

In ‘Batman’ (2002) #608, Batman faces the beastly villain Killer Croc. AP Photo/DC Comics.

IN Reading Guides, Lists, Reviews

00s BATMAN GRAPHIC NOVELS RANKED BEST TO WORST

*This list is not exhaustive. For more information, refer to the Batman Reading Order and Timeline from The Gotham Archives.

STAR RATINGS:

Best: 5 to 4.5 stars.

Good: 4 to 3 stars.

Bad: 2.5 to 2 stars.

Worst: 1.5 to 0 stars.


BEST: “BATMAN: HUSH.” (2002).

Collects ‘Batman’ #608-619.


























Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Batman: Hush” is a Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee storyline. The storyline is certainly one of the most celebrated Batman stories of the 2000s. What makes the story stand-out is the mystery surrounding Lamont’s Ransom and Bruce Wayne’s relationship with childhood friend Thomas Elliott.

“Batman: Hush” includes art by Jim Lee which has stood the test of time and a plot by writer Jeph Loeb. The first half of the storyline is action-packed and is concerned with recovering Lamont’s Ransom. The second half seems to be less unified story-wise and features a major Batman rogue every issue. The second half is concerned with finding out the mysterious mastermind behind the recent attacks on Batman and Gotham City. It is Batman’s attempt at tying up loose ends and uncovering the mysterious masked villain who has been observing him on the rooftops.

There are lots of dialogue, descriptions and splash action pages. There is seriousness typical of Batman’s stories though after Poison Ivy is captured, the story kicks into high gear as the different attacks on Batman and the Bat-Family involve the villains exploiting Batman’s weaknesses. The storyline is masterful though the intrigue can at times be obvious. Batman and the Bat-family shine. One disappointment is the fact that the Batman-Catwoman relationship is not resolved at the end, but ends abruptly.

This storyline is probably the best Batman story of the 2000s because of the superstar talent involved and the amount of characters appearing in the plot. However, the resolution of the plot may seem anti-climactic and the Hush villain is not given enough emotional resonance in the final battle with Batman. Also, Batman’s rogues only serve to plant clues to the mystery but do not serve any characterizations.

A FAN OF THIS STORY? CLICK ON “BATMAN: HUSH” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

BEST: “BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS.” (2005).

Collects ‘Batman: The Man Who Laughs’ #1 One-shot.


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“Batman: The Man Who Laughs” (2005) is Ed Brubaker’s and Doug Mahnke’s one-shot set within the “Batman: Year One” continuity. It sets up a turning-point in Batman’s crime-fighting career as he encounters the chaotic menace of Joker for the first time.

“Batman: The Man Who Laughs” is one of the very few origin stories on Joker. What makes Ed Brubaker’s story stand out is the focus on Joker’s crime spree in Gotham City instead of focusing primarily on his origin story. Joker works best here as the one that moves the story forward and whose genius mind always seems two steps ahead of Batman’s. Indeed, the definition of a criminal mastermind.

Batman definitely grows from his experience with the Clown Prince of Crime. A serious and disciplined mind, Batman’s training excels with the murderers, rapists and muggers. However, he is ill-prepared for psychotic killers of Joker’s ilk. What is Joker’s motive and what is his modus operandi? To see Gotham City burn and to have every Gothamite die laughing!

This is certainly a worthy addition to your Batman collection, with a blend of suspense, action, intrigue and gore. The comic is not for the faint of heart and is destined for a more mature audience.

A FAN OF THIS STORY? CLICK ON “BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

BEST: BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN (2006).

Collects ‘Batman and The Monster Men’ #1-6.


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“Batman and the Monster Men” (2006) is Matt Wagner’s six-issue mini-series as part of his Dark Moon Rising series. Another mini-series created by Wagner is “Batman and The Mad Monk.” The purpose of the series was to tell the story of Batman transitioning from fighting organized crime to fighting supervillains.

In an interview with CBR.com, Wagner revealed his inspirations were two Golden Age stories about the Caped Crusader. Wagner sees the Batman stories as re-inventing classic tales from Batman’s rich history. And it fits. For fans of the Golden Age Batman stories and “Batman Year One”, the mini-series has kept many of the classic elements: Batman’s cape and cowl remain the same following the “Year One” storyline – though he upgrades the Batmobile -, the lettering and inking are maintained throughout the different series, and the emphasis on storytelling as opposed to social commentary and action is maintained. The transition from vigilante to superhero is not immediately evident, but the beginning is there.

Some words about the storyline. In the “Year One” continuity, “Batman and the Monster Men” takes place after Year One but before the Man Who Laughs. Batman definitely seems to be learning on the job and the inclusion of Hugo Strange seems a marked difference from the usual Arkham Asylum rogues. In fact, Batman faces superpowered foes in the vein of mutated cannibalistic monsters twice. The story is tight and progresses at a satisfying pace. The art fits the storyline and the darkness that envelopes the panels forebodes the monstrosities of Hugo Strange’s experiments. There is horror and blood, characteristic of Batman’s crime cases. What Wagner shows is that Batmn is first and foremost a detective, whose dedication to solving crime cases jeopardizes hi personal and his love life.

Wagner succeeds in crafting a tale with classic elements that is sure to satisfy Batman fans. Definitely pick this comic if you want to see the evolution of Batman after “Batman: Year One”.

A FAN OF THIS STORY? CLICK ON “BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

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Comicbook Database is a great site if you are a comic book fan! The Battles of the Week a great way to learn about the different power levels of the heroes, and a fun way to fancast some of the most wanted battles across comics.

Brian Tudor, ‘The Infamous Podcast’


CHECK OUT THE STORY: IN “HUSH,” BATMAN HAS TO FREE SUPERMAN FROM POISON IVY’S MIND CONTROL AND RECOVER LAMONT’S RANSOM.

GOOD: “BRUCE WAYNE: FUGITIVE” (2002).


























Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

“Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” (2002) is a storyline by Ed Brubaker, Chuck Dixon, Greg Rucka, Devin Grayson, Kelly Puckett, Rick Burchett, Rick Leonardi, Steve Lieber, Trevor McCarthy, Scott McDaniel, Roger Robinson, Damion Scott and Pete Woods.

The storyline centered on Batman facing a personal threat and losing touch with his humanity. After Bruce Wayne and his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux were framed for the murder of Vesper Fairchild at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne evades captivity, cuts ties with the Bat-Family and investigates the case as Batman full-time. Concurrently, the Bat-Family carries its own investigation.

This storyline works as an exploration of Batman as a character. What makes this comic good is the fact Batman is presented with a challenge he has hardly faced and with the question of whether Bruce Wayne is the facade and Batman the real persona. Batman does regain touch with his humanity and manages to solve the case, however, at great personal cost to his love life.

What deprives the story of its impact is the lack of consistency in pacing and art since there are different writers and artists involved. The work suffers from uneven pacing and problems with visual story-telling in some issues.

A FAN OF THIS STORY? CLICK ON “BRUCE WAYNE: FUGITIVE” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.

GOOD: “BATMAN: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT” (2007).

Collects ‘Batman Confidential’ #1-6.


























Rating: 3 out of 5.

“Batman: Rules Of Engagement” (2007) is a six-issue mini-series by Andy Diggle and Whilce Pottacio. The mini-series is set a year into Batman’s crime-fighting career and reveals a war of weaponry between Lexcorp and WayneTech.

The series may not have received good reviews. One review commented on the art, the plot, and on Bat-god. One element of the story that is missing, is the lack of good and a repetitive visual storytelling in the final battle. Pottacio’s lines are dark, daring and violent. Though he does not excel at conveying emotions and telling a story, he is good at ensembles and splash pages.

The series explains the transition to Batman using more hi-tech weaponry, his rivalry with Lexcorp and the formation of the Wayne Foundation. If you want to see a well-executed weaponry battle between Batman and Lex Luthor, this comic should entertain you. It may provide clues to who is the better strategist and prep-planner between two of the smartest men in the DC Universe.

A FAN OF THIS STORY? CLICK ON “BATMAN: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT” BELOW TO PURCHASE THE COMIC ON AMAZON.


RESOURCES


LINKS

Batman Vol 1 608 in DC Database
Batman Timeline – Modern Age Chronology and Reading Order in The Gotham Archives.
Batman: Hush in DC Database.
Batman: Hush – 5 Ways The Comic Aged Well (& 5 Ways It Hasn’t) in CBR.com.
Batman: The Man Who Laughs in DC Database.
Batman: Year One in Batman Wiki.
Batman: The Man Who Laughs Review in IGN.
Batman and the Monster Men Vol 1 in DC Database.
Batman and the Mad Monk Vol 1 in DC Database.
Pulp Fiction: Wagner talks “Batman and the Monster Men” in CBR.com.
Batman: Who Was the Real Killer In Bruce Wayne: Murderer? in CBR.com.
Batman: Rules of Engagement in DC Database.
BATMAN: RULES OF ENGAGEMENT in The Slings & Arrows GRAPHIC NOVEL GUIDE.


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