Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Colton Worley
Coloured by Morgan Hickman
This is spectacular stuff from Warren. The darker tone of this story has been utterly amazing and now that all the people haunted by those heroes from another world are finally asserting themselves and gathering to fight the American Spirit. Why though is this happening in the town of Blackcross has been the major question so far, well aside from why they have to possess or share the bodies of these folks, both of which actually get answered here.
The darker tone of this story being as effective as it is can also be attributed to Colton and Morgan as well their work on the interior artwork here has been phenomenal throughout. I love the way they have given this such a noir type feel through their work. The use of light sources gave the fight between Agent Hill and the American Spirit this almost mesmerizing effect that kept the eyes glued to the page.
Jeff Dumont’s timely intervention in that fight rescuing Hill is important as he takes them to the others and for the first time all the haunted are together in one place. It’s here when Jeff and Marietta take hands and their ghosts join do we finally start to get some answers as to what this is all about. Oh and the panel on sixteen that shows them all with the haunted kid of there with their hoss is a pretty powerful image.
Think of their actions as being feared by some so much that they were magically sealed in a vessel and couldn’t escape from it. Not in their world anyway the loophole that allowed to them to semi-freedom meant traveling to a parallel world, this one, and in leaving their magical prison alerted their prison guard who is now hot on their trail, the American Spirit. Beings with great power can be feared for getting too big for their britches and going to far or making mistakes and what exactly theirs were well those aren’t exactly revealed but apparently it was enough for them to be locked away.
The character interaction here is extremely well portrayed. I love that all these characters who essentially have something of a split personality at the moment going around in circles as they try to come to terms with what’s happening. Thanks to the artwork you can tell when their ghost is at the forefront or if their human host is. All this buildup of suspense and mystery has come to a head and next issue should be the big confrontation now that all the players are in the same place.
While you find these characters in Masks 2 here we get to see them in a completely different light and I have to say that what Warren is doing here is pretty damn good. This isn’t your angst ridden killing spree type dark either this is for me what I imagine classic pulp noir is meant to be. It is hands down no doubt about it THE most interesting take on these classic characters, or any for that matter, that i’ve ever seen.