Wednesday, November 03, 2010
MASKED Review Part 1
I recently finished the new superhero Anthology MASKED, and I thought I'd spend some time and give you a quick review of the various stories within. To make it a little easier, I'll spread it out over the next few days, and include some unrelated posters.
So, we begin:
Cleansed and Set in Gold by Matthew Sturges is a nice introduction to this anthology - a tale of a hero with a dark secret set against a major global conflict. Sturges' does a good job in setting the stakes, and keeping the protagonist relatable and sympathetic where he could have been seen as pathetic or even opportunistic. It's the stuff of good cable dramas, but at the same time, the morality of the tale is decidedly grey, despite attempts to sweep that away that are not particularly convincing. Though I would imagine that's part of the point.
You would think that after all these years there wasn't a genre trope in superhero comics that hadn't been touched, but Where Their Worm Dieth Not by James Maxey proved me wrong there. It's a clever look at one of the gimmicks that supehero comics, even now, still take for granted, and it's a solid, albiet, dark tale.
You like Paul Cornell, right? Well, then you'll like Secret Identity, as he brings his usual mix of humour and maturity to a story about identity (duh), social connections and relationships.
Mike Carey gives us an action-packed, tense heist thriller with superpowers in The Non-Event. An intelligent story, with creative takes on superpowers and unintentional tragedy.
Mike Baron (yes, that Mike Baron) offers up a story not unlike "Kick-Ass" in Avatar, with a story of "real vigilantism". However, Baron is more thoughtful and introspective as to both the motivations of a would-be crimefighter, as well as to the consequences. As one would expect from Mike Baron, this story pulls no punches in a sympathetic portrayal of a confused would-be hero, and how his actions play out in the context of a world not governed by fictional shorthand.
More to come...