Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Crossover Covers: Masks

A very loose adaptation of the Black Police Trilogy from the Spider pulp novels, featuring the Spider himself, the Shadow, the Green Lama, the Green Hornet and Kato, the Black Bat, the Black Terror, Zorro (Rafael Vega, a descendant of the original Zorro) and Miss Fury. The leader of the Black Legion turns out to be Brian O’Brien, formerly the Clock, a masked vigilante appearing in stories published by Centaur Publications and Quality Comics in the 1930s and ’40s. The heroes visit a penthouse at the Empire State Building, where the Shadow remarks that it is too bad that the occupant of the penthouse is out of the country, as he would be a valuable ally to them in this mission. This is a reference to Doc Savage. Britt Reid meets with reporter Steve Huston, who mentions Old Man Havens. Steve Huston and Frank Havens are from the pulp exploits of the Phantom Detective. The events of this comic differ greatly from the Black Police Trilogy, including factors such as the identity of the mastermind being changed and Nita Van Sloan’s role being omitted (indeed, she is never even mentioned.) The Spider is wearing a version of his outfit from the movie serial The Spider’s Web rather than the costume from the pulps. The Black Bat is given a different origin story than in the original pulps. The Green Hornet is out of character, calling criminals “mooks,” and is stated to be from Chicago rather than Detroit. All these factors serve to place this story outside CU continuity.

1 comment:

  1. Aside from not being in the CU, it was also just plain lousy. Now, whether it is in the CU or not does not effect my enjoyment. I really liked Roger Zelazny's A Night in Lonesome October, but it can't be in the CU. This one I tried to like, but I could not.

    I do have to wonder if other Dynamite series happen in the same universe as this one. While Dynamite plays loose with continuity, some other series might also fit in with Masks.