Published on August 26th, 2017 | by Kevin Given0
Review: The Mask: The DC/Dark Horse crossovers
DC and Dark Horse have finally collected their Mask team-ups into a single volume and its high time. First, they give us their Joker issues and the architect of anarchy is showing his gal, Harley Quinn, a night on the town by planning some hi-jinks at the local museum. Then they bring the Grifter together with the Mask. We start with a gambling streak that ends in a loss. The loser is offered a deal when he can’t pay his marker. And finally, we find the Mask in Lobo’s hands. This story starts with a bum trying to rob an old lady, who isn’t what she seems and the bum is in for a little surprise.
The writers do a respectable job in bringing the two distinct comic book universes together. Batman and Kellaway make a good team. You’d almost think that Kellaway actually worked for a time under Commissioner Gordon in Gotham. Though initially distrustful of each other, they come to learn that they must rely on each other to stop the threat of the Joker/Mask. I loved the tension that Gilroy creates between the detectives on the case. It had the feel of a neo-noir mystery. Then the Grifter story with the Mask is manic fun and I enjoyed it. I must admit, however, that I’ve never read a Grifter story before this so I’m not that familiar with the character. But it seemed like they had a lot of fun with a story about thieves who have a method to their madness. Then there’s Lobo. A couple of sweet little old ladies come across the Mask in a flower bed, at least, that’s what appears to be happening. An alien race tricks Lobo into following them in a battle that will include a Mask wearer. It’s a well-rounded climax to this DC/Dark Horse anthology and it’s a real treat to see Lobo having to hunt down the latest wearer of the Mask.
The artistic teams are different for each story. The Mask/Joker story has a cartoony manic style which served the tale well. The Joker’s simplistic goal for clearing the museum of all the sad face masks is dripping with irony in this team up and is a crazy mosh of hilarity. The style matches the story that is told exceedingly fine. The Grifter story has a more traditional artistic style in a narrative that works wonders here as the story is a bit more serious. The splash where the two main characters meet is well executed. Not so much an action-induced moment as a moment to ponder what might happen next (and then the action kicks in.) You can feel the tension mount in a straightforward way. The artistic team in the Lobo story pulled out all the stops in creating their aliens. The wackiness ensues as each character throws everything they have at the other. Each page outdoes itself in a mosh pit of cartoon violence that knows no boundaries. Great stuff.
Fans of both universes should be pleased with this little collection of hybrid tales that only serve to satisfy the palate of the comic book connoisseur. It’s a non-stop rollercoaster of fun that never takes itself too seriously, even in the Grifter story. I really enjoyed the effort put forth to team up these two very different universes. ***1/2 (8.6 rating)
The Mask: The DC/Dark Horse crossovers
Writer – Gilroy, Carmen, Seagle, Arcudi, Grant
Art – Bachs, Shum, Lima, Pimental, Mahnke, Williams
Color – McCaig, Porter, Ponzi,
Letters – Dutro, Robbins, Lopez
Publishers – Dark Horse Entertainment/DC Comics
Publication date – August 2017