It’s no secret that superheroes and those with powers have for the most part dominated mainstream comics. But while that is the case, there are many pulp comic characters with great stories that aren’t recognized for the quality work that goes into their stories.
Masks is one crossover that I’m surprised took this long to pull off, but they did it and up to the final issue upcoming it has been one amazing story. It’s 1938, and the Justice Party has swept into office in New York State. But the newly-elected officials are in the control of powerful criminals, who quickly corrupt the law to their own advantage. When a fascist police state is instituted, the only ones who stand in defense of the innocent are masked vigilantes like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, and the Spider. Not even just them but other heroes like Zoro Black Bat, Miss Fury, Black Terror, Green Lama and many more that make appearances throughout the series.
These are ordinary people, every day people who done masks to stand up for those who can’t defend themselves. They all live in a world that is full of the corrupt and fight for justice. Not just limiting this to Masks, but just about every pulp hero out there. They bring about the most grounded stories. Issues that we can relate to, things that we wish weren’t issues in this world yet are occurring without punishment. They don’t need superpowers or need to be more than human. They just need to have that idea that all it takes is one person with the initiative to make a difference, to be a symbol that there are people out there who see the big picture. These kind of heroes leave room for so many stories that can be written, there’s so much creative room to always do something new with them. Giving them the opportunity I believe they could stand out more than Batman, I mean Batman himself was somewhat of a copy of The Shadow. The similarities are there, but of course Batman was made for a modern audience.
The Clock is the first costumed hero. His secret identity is that of Brian O’Brien, a wealthy member of high society and a former lawyer. He had a secret, underground and was a hypnotist. Most of us today would have never known who he was if he didn’t end up the villain in Masks. One of the first heroes forgotten and brought back years later to an audience that wouldn’t understand him like they should. I felt bad realizing this because I see all these legends in the book, then I see the one who came first and had no idea who he was or how important he really was.
We need more of these kind of stories to become mainstream. Not just because of the quality of them through the indy publishers, but for the fact that they cater to an audience that wants something real. Sure we have those like the Punisher and so forth, yet his actions are always questionable. These heroes, heroes forgotten, left behind, have so much more to offer and can teach people so much more than those like Punisher. Personally I appreciate what Dynamite Entertainment is doing with these heroes. It’s just that I’d like others to take this as an example of what they can do with heroes such as this.
And stay tuned!