The mysterious green mask empowers its user with endless possibilities to cause mischief and mayhem. The mask can power up the weak or fuel the mad, fulfilling it’s user wishes. Many found the opportunity to seek revenge with the mask’s abilities, causing spreading lunacy where ever they went. Dark Horse Comics presents a new edition of The Mask Omnibus Volume 1. This omnibus contains the original trilogy storyline: The Mask, The Mask Returns, and The Mask Strikes Back. This three-part story arc covers the adventures of a man settling grudges, a detective fighting crime, gangsters looking for power and punk teenagers having fun. The allure of the Mask makes these underdogs get their wildest dreams to come true.
Based off a concept developed by Mike Richardson, the first version of The Mask was appeared in comic strip known as Masque in 1987. The concept was reworked with different writers and artists, establishing much of the look and feel of the core motifs of the Mask by 1991. The Mask series follows a protagonist that is given a wish fulfillment; an opportunity for payback for past misdeeds. With the powers of the Mask, the protagonist tortures its victims with whacky hijinks and deadly pranks. But the temptations of the incredible powers leads to more reckless usage and the protagonist spiraling out of control.
The Mask was published in 1991, written by John Arcudi and illustrated by Doug Mahnke. The story follows Stanley Ipkiss, a lowly geek that is having a series of bad luck. In an attempt to make amends with his girlfriend Katie, Stanley purchases a mysterious mask from an antique store as a gift. Little did he know, the mask would allow him to enact revenge and unleash his frustrations in an all out, zany assault. Stanley’s rampage as an insane green-headed criminal labels him the identity as Big Head. But Stanley’s get him into too much trouble and the mask falls into hands of others.
The Mask Returns was published in 1992, starts with police lieutenant Kellaway hiding the mask from the public. However, Kellaway is severely injured by mob hitmen and the mask ends up in the hands of a low tier mobster named Nunzio. The masked Nunzio takes up the new mantle of Big Head, starting a mob war with a rival gang. Katie seeks out the new owner of the mask and tries to put a stop to the mayhem.
The Mask Strikes Back was published in 1995 and introduces four friends that idolize the destruction caused by Big Head. Luckily they discover the mask, trying it on for their own malicious goals. Each person wearing the mask, bringing to life their own avatar of deep desires. All the fun attracts lieutenant Kellaway and the mob on the trail of the group of friends, and soon they are into more trouble than they ever wanted to make.
John Arcudi and Doug Mahnke introduced a world whimsical humor and violence, bringing to life a sort of anti-hero that was never before seen. John Arcudi creates an epic story that begins to show it’s unhinged attics the moment Stanley Ipkiss dons the mask the first time. From that moment on, the reader is introduced to a supernatural character that is like a psychotic clown. Doug Mahnke pop art style is amazingly detailed and becomes a wonderful contrast to the cartoony visual gags of Big Head are involved. For people that only grew up watching the 1994 Mask movie, these comics will blow the readers away with the visuals and dark tones of the story. The same big teeth smiling green headed hero is featured, but his killer jokes literally murder people. This omnibus is a great collection that offers the unfiltered portrayal of the Mask in one package and should not be missed out.