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Masks Volume 1 TP Paperback – 10 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (10 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606904221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606904220
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.3 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 556,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I love these old-time "superheroes" before powers became part of the deal. I'm familiar with several of these characters from old b/w movies and serials from I guess the 30s/40s. I've read vol. 1 of The Spider and loved it, have heard of The Shadow, Green Hornet and Zorro. The others grouped here are new to me as far as I can remember. I love superhero team-ups so had a lot of fun with this group though I didn't enjoy it as much as I had expected to. Unfortunately, with so many heroes there just wasn't enough space to develop any of the characters. Since The Shadow and Green Hornet/Kato start off in Chapter 1 it is given them the most coverage through the book and I would certainly look into reading Dynamite's "Shadow" series as he totally intrigues. I've never been a fan of the Hornet or Kato but here Kato was given the starring role with GH always in the background. I just loved Kato! Almost everytime he appears he's in the middle of a fight with "karate chop" leg extended about 170 degrees. All the other characters were gradually introduced until Chapter 6 of 8 we finally have them all and are shown a visual chart with all their names. The story was realistic being a typical tale of a psycho wanting to take over the world starting with New York City, then Washington DC. The art was fantastic, especially Alex Ross' first chapter which was almost life-like in portrayal. Calero did a good job of continuing the style. I did enjoy this but it is probably going to be more fun for readers familiar with more of the 8 "Masks" than I was.
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By graham hodge on 16 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
brought it for my dad,he loves it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fun and Pretty, if Slight 4 Jan. 2014
By A. KAPLAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Masks collects the Dynamite comics series bringing together a ton of pulp heroes, including the Shadow, the Green Hornet, the Spider, Miss Fury, the Black Terror, and many others. The story, by Chris Roberson, gives us the state of New York under the grip of the fascist Justice Party. This is a corrupt political party, essentially run by gangsters, meting out terror and oppression under the name of the law. The notion that a state government could be so easily subverted, and the streets of New York start being patrolled by an army of masked, armored thugs feels very pulpy, in the spirit of the characters it teams up.

Unfortunately, the story ultimately feels so busy and crowded that nobody really gets much of a chance to do anything. The Shadow gets his best lines, with his “Why don’t you all quit screwing around,” attitude. Others, like Miss Fury and the Green Lama, end up making token appearances. We get the origins of the Black Bat and a new Zorro, but ultimately, their roles could have been played by anybody, and that makes the story feel kind of pointless.

For that matter, the revelation of the villain behind everything, and his motivation, seems very perfunctory and rushed. It’s a character we’re supposed to know, but we never see him out of the context of being a villain. He ascribes more complex motivations for his plan than we see on the surface, but it’s difficult to believe him when we only ever see him doing anything besides masterminding this fascist organization. Also, things get wrapped up so easily it’s hard to imagine how they got so bad in the first place.

Fortunately, it’s got great art by Alex Ross on the first chapter, and Dennis Calero through the rest of the book. While I hadn’t thought of Calero’s pen-and-ink work with its heavy use of shadow as particularly similar to Alex Ross’s painted pages, they share a lot in terms of layout and character acting. So the whole thing feels like a cohesive whole, despite what, on the surface, are two very similar styles.

As a huge fan of the Shadow, it’s hard for me to pass up any story featuring him. And this is a very pretty one, but also very slight.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This could have been EPIC! 10 Jan. 2014
By The Great Bear - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was SUPER excited when I heard about this series being released. It started off with a high but ended on a medium level. Ultimately, it's a fun series but there were so many missed opportunities. I am now just finishing up the three (3) original pulps of The Spider that this story is based off of (see The Spider vs The Empire State by Nowell Page) and wished that Dynamite had extended this series into a 12 issue arch instead of 8 issues. The original story is just this epic story of The Spider and his rallying up the citizens of New York State against a secret fascist regime change that basically happens overnight. They, the writers/illustrators of Masks, could have and SHOULD have flushed out each of the unique personalities of the heroes via their ideas of law and order and justice even more than what this series did. All the characters bring a plethora of different view points on how they fight the forces of evil. I would have enjoyed this series more if they, the writers, had taken more time to show just how out of control the Empire State could have become like in Norwell Page's original trilogy. Ultimately, this series was a nice surprised and I'm glad that they made it happen. Read The Spider vs The Empire State to see what this series really could have been. It's a much better edgier tale and clearly indicates how dangerous the Empire State was when it was first introduced in the 1938.
Pulp fiction gets a fantastic dream team project that's a must read for fans of great crossovers. 14 Sept. 2014
By Michael A. Weyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Alex Ross' love for pulp fiction is well known and under this Dynamite series, he is able to indulge in it wonderfully. Based on a classic pulp saga of the Spider, the first issue, illustrated by Ross himself, sets things up: It's 1938 and New York City has just elected the "Justice Party" into power with hopes of sweeping reform. Within days, the Party has put criminals into armored police uniforms to march the streets, control press into propaganda, demand people pay immediate "taxes" and rounding up dissidents to camps. As one character openly says "when justice is outlawed...then the just must become outlaws."

Soon, a force of resistance grows from various masked vigilantes. The Green Hornet and Kato are in town hunting a mob boss and run into the Shadow, who pushes the idea of "the justice above law" as they are joined by the Spider. A chance encounter leads to the Green Lama and Miss Fury working together as the super-strong Black Terror also gets involved. Blinded while helping prisoners escape, former District Attorney Tony Quinn discovers he can see in darkness and becomes the Black Bat. Finally, inspired by stories of his family, a young immigrant takes up the mantle of the legendary Zorro.

Some may complain of this crowding in too many characters but there are great touches like Kato admiring the Shadow's abilities while Miss Fury and Green Lama have a nice partnership. The way Quinn discovers his abilities is good as is how the new Zorro comes to be a hero. The action is great, rendered wonderfully by artist Dennis Calero for a gritty pulp feel, plenty of shadows and moods to help things along (such as the POV of the Bat in darkness) and fantastic action scenes. Chris Roberson's script is great, handling the melodramatic declarations with the character mixes of the Shadow and others. Also a help is the identity of the man behind the Party, the classic case of "every villain is the hero of his own story." The end may be a bit abrupt but it still works and closes a terrific crossover. Thrown in are great extras of sketch work (The Phantom was originally planned to be in this but couldn't be worked in) and variety covers by great artists to help the fun. Overall, a must-read for any fan of the pulp era to enjoy a dream team of these heroes at their best.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pulp Fiction 8 Sept. 2013
By The Ginger Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There are certainly challenges to bringing pulp heroes like The Shadow, Green Hornet and the Spider together with a 1930's version of Zorro but Dynamite overcame most all of them in this eight issue limited series. Writer Chris Roberson blends all of the above with lesser known characters Black Bat, Miss Fury, Green Lama and Black Terror and somehow manages to maintain the integrity of most of the heroes involved. The highlight of the series is a first issue beautifully painted by Alex Ross. Wasting no time, Ross' splash panel opens with an Eisner like view into an alley followed by a panel in which The Green Hornet and Kato plunge vertically down the page. The Shadow appears out of the darkness in a full page 2 and knocks Kato to the street by the final panel of the third page. This cinematic opening is followed by more outstanding Ross artwork including street scenes in 1930s New York, a lunch with Britt Ried and Lamont Cranston and the introduction of Zorro and the Spider.

By the second issue, Dennis Calero takes over pencilling, with Ross acting as art director. Calero does a good job especially with creative utilization of paneling, well developed facial expressions and moody lighting but it is hard for the reader not to imagine how this limited series would have looked had Alex Ross completed all 8 issues.

The plot is a strong point in this series as well. As vigilantes, the heroes have to stand against a city government that has dispensed with due process to put an end to crime and social disorder. This plotline allows Calero to suggest the challenges of fascism at the time and to create a believable set of antagonists without having to resort to super powered foes that were not characteristic of most pulp fiction. Having the Masks fight against city government creates a formidable enough situation to run for 8 issues without plot gimmicks. Finally, pitting characters like The Shadow against law uncomplicated by due process forces the heroes into some intriguing bouts of introspection.

If you are a fan of the pulp heroes, Masks is not to be missed. The Zorro character seems a bit forced and underutilized. And the ending develops pretty quickly after a build up which makes the forces of government seem much more powerful than they turn out to be. But overall, this is a well told story that respects legendary characters combined together for the first time.

Masks is four star entertainment (although it would have been 5 plus if Ross had drawn the remainder of the series.) Roberson, Ross and Calero deserve credit for rescuing some characters from obscurity and for the challenges they will pose to Win Scott Eckert if he considers writing Crossovers 3.
An extra dose of pulp goodness 3 Jan. 2014
By PAUL MCNEIL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Even though I read a fair number of graphic novels, I haven't spent too much time with the old-school vigilante heroes, such as The Shadow. Reading this story, where a number of classic comic heroes-from the days before they all had superpowers- team up to take on a corrupt government, made me think I need a little more pulp in my life. Here, we have a New York City taken over by a fascist ruling party, and only the combined efforts of this new group- including the Shadow, Zorro, and the Green Hornet, can stop them. Unlike some modern heroes, most of these guys are not afraid to pull the trigger, which makes this just gritty enough to keep you from thinking you're reading a comic based on the old TVs shows some of these guys were in. This is a quick, fun read, great for an entertaining night in.

The greatest strength here, though, is the art. The first issue, especially, is beautifully painted, before settling into a clean, more line-driven approach for the rest of the collection. It gives things a touch of the classic, while still being as bright and clean as modern comics.
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