Monkeybrain is back with another debut issue with Masks & Mobsters. Do the new kids on the block have another hit or will this make me sick? Major Spoilers is putting on its fedora and suspenders to give you this review.
Previously in Masks & Mobsters: There is good and evil in the world. Or is there? Could life be just a continued blurring of the lines as we move from situation to situation until we cease to base decisions off moral standards but only on the necessary? And with that in your brain, on to Masks & Mobsters.
MIX CAPES WITH THE GODFATHER
Flashback is the name of the game here as we have one page of present happening before we are sent back 20 hours previous. The character we take this trip with is Booby, a hitman for mob boss Sicario. Bobby is meeting Sicario outside the police station after the leader had to spend the night after being brought in by vigilante Doctor Daylight. With the boss fuming over a person in his organization tiping off the masked hero, Bobby is ordered to track the snitch down and take care of it.
With the first page showing Bobby asking for answer with the point of his gun and the second page of dialogue, the story is poised to move forward and it does with a series of twists. The first big hook from the story is slightly telegraphed from the beginning pages, but every action after was bloody and brilliant. What made the ending jaw dropping was the combination of excellent pacing and character development done with Bobby throughout the bloodshed. Did I mention this all takes place in a measly 15 pages?
I’m left wondering where the series will venture now. With this issue telling a complete story, Williamson could throw a whole new character set at us next time around, but I’m hoping that we see more stories focused on Bobby, fleshing out more of his back-story hinted at here. A world has been established through Masks & Mobsters first issue and I can’t wait to read more about it.
I’LL MAKE AN OFFER YOU CAN’T REFUSE
I want to own this original artwork. I will put on my full body, spandex Catwoman suit (complete with pointed ear goggles) to steal it if I must. I’m just kidding about the thievery, not about the suit though. Needless to say, Mike Henderson’s work here is fantastic. The background choices were spot on with firmly setting the story in the correct era, the black and white also helped in that area. I especially loved all the character designs, especially Doctor Daylight. Daylight looks to be the perfect combination of Green Hornet and Green Lantern, but instead of a ring he has a light bulb on a stick (which does seem more versatile.) Period art done well is a wonderful sight to behold, so hopefully Mike never leaves this book.
BOTTOM LINE: BLOODY AMAZING
Is this not the greatest time to be reading comics in recorded history? We currently line a time where we have access to decades of stories right at our fingertips. Creators have easier avenues to tell stories they need to write, about characters of their own. Small publishers, like Monkeybrain, have the ability to distribute top of the line books, like Masks & Mobsters, at a reduced cost by way of digital comics. All of that to say, Masks & Mobsters is an excellently crafted book that tells a complete story at the measly cost of 99 cents. This has been my personal favorite read from the new line of books and earns 5 out of 5 stars.