Written by GLX
and Frank Miller
on Wednesday, August 01 2012 and posted in Reviews
GLX takes a look at Masks and Mobsters #1.
Writer - Joshua Williamson
Artist - Mike Henderson
When it comes to conflicts between heroes and villains, most superhero comics based the story's narrative on the hero's (or heroes') point of view. There are comics that have told stories through the villain's (or villains') perspective, but the evil-doer(s) usually possess powers that a normal human being does not possess. Comics that follow "common" criminals as they go into conflict against costumed heroes are few and far between. For those craving a story in that vein, Masks and Mobsters #1 has arrived and seeks to provide a solid alternative to the typical "heroes vs. villains" fare that is commonplace in the industry; however, the comic itself falls short.
One of the stronger points of Joshua Williamson's script is that it keeps the reader engaged. Whether the scene is filled with tension or not, Williamson provides enough material for the reader to make it to the last page. The concept behind the world of Masks and Mobsters also elevates the story. It provides a nice change of pace not only from the typical "criminals vs. heroes" story, but also its setting during the "Golden Age". Williamson also does a nice job taking the "count of three" from the first page and applying it to the rest of the story.
The main problem with the script is that it does not really deliver anything that impacts the reader on a deep level. The premise of the anthology series is intriguing, but the things that the characters go through only deliver the reader from monotony until the final page has been read. One of the early problems with the writing is that the content in the front page is repeated later on and it only exists to get the reader interested in the story; however, it also fails to act as strong foundation in a tale of this nature. It evokes memories of past comics with opening pages that would have something like "Oh my! How did this situation come to pass? Turn the page reader and find out for yourself!", instead of a more mature tale. Also, the execution of the story's twist is a little weak.
Mike Henderson's work is the strongest part of the comic with black and white art that fits the tone of the comic. The world of Masks and Mobsters is believably depicted, without sacrificing dynamic art for photo-realism. It may not be the type of art that could be considered "at home" within the crime genre, but it works.
Masks and Mobsters #1 is far from perfect. Instead of being a wonderfully told tale in a fresh, yet familiar universe, the comic ultimately ends up in mediocrity. Fans of Frank Tieri's crime stories set in the Marvel Universe might find something to enjoy about this. Still, I cannot say that this is worth a purchase.
5.3* out of 10*
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