Masks 1 Alex Ross Westfield Variant Cover 1st Pr Roberson Dynamite Green Hornet


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Masks #1 (Westfield Exclusive cover) Near mint, 1st print. PUBLISHER: D. E./Dynamite Entertainment. WRITER: Chris Roberson. ARTIST: Alex Ross. COVER ARTIST: Mel Joy. PAGES: 32 pages. Full Color. Starring The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Kato, and The Spider, in a story that only Dynamite could tell! Before superheroes, there were Masks! They’ve always said it can’t happen here but what if it did? It’s 1938, and the Justice Party has swept into office in New York State. But the newly-elected officials are in the control of powerful criminals, who quickly corrupt the law to their own advantage. When a fascist police state is instituted, the only ones who stand in defense of the innocent are masked vigilantes like the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Kato, and the Spider. Also, look forward to future appearances of Black Bat, Miss Fury, Black Terror, Green Lama and more! When the law is unjust, justice must be an outlaw! Note: This is an exclusive cover, limited to 500 copies. Bagged and boarded 1st print.

I haven’t really kept up with Dynamite’s pulp heroes, dropping most of the titles after a couple of issues or so for varying reasons. However, once I learned Chris Roberson would be putting them all together in one big ol’ team-up book, well, I couldn’t resist. Here you’ve got Dynamite’s marquee properties – The Shadow, Green Hornet and Kato, Zorro, and the Spider – all lumped together for one story. While Masks #1 only hits the broad strokes of a presumably bigger tale, the interaction of characters and thematic intentions are enough to make this a worthwhile buy.

Roberson isn’t in a rush to bring all of the characters together, but still manages to get a lot of housekeeping done relatively early on. In the opening pages, two groups are brought together rather randomly, but Roberson manages to make it all fit logistically by the time the issue concludes. Masks #1 is essentially an exploration of law vs. justice, and why these heroes that operate outside of the law are the only ones that can truly achieve said justice. There’re some heavy ideas in here, but Roberson navigates it with ease by keeping the character interaction fun and the action constant.

Alex Ross returns to interiors for the first time in a while and delivers more of exactly what you’ve come to expect: a photorealistic homage to the golden age of comics a la Norman Rockwell. I’m an admirer of Ross’s obvious skill, but his interiors often suffer from a poisonous stillness that can bring the story to a screeching halt. Thankfully, that’s not quite an issue here, though there are numerous pages that are better panel-to-panel – as individual works – than they are as a page of storytelling. In addition, some of the action sequences featuring a slew of characters can grow to be a little muddy. Still, the level of detail is as remarkable as ever and there are some truly standout pages; the double-page newsreel-style spread is a particularly phenomenal achievement.

Masks #1 is an entertaining debut issue with some really big thematic ideas that I hope will remain prevalent throughout its tenure. It’s hard not to wish for a more suitably action-oriented artist to really bring the scenes to life, but ultimately the complete package is a win.

‘Invisible Man’ Director Leigh Whannell Eyeing ‘Green Hornet And Kato’ Pic At Universal

EXCLUSIVE: One of the more highly sought open directing jobs may have just been filled. Sources tell Deadline that Leigh Whannell is in negotiations to direct The Green Hornet and Kato for Universal.

Execs have been meeting with directors over the past couple of weeks, but insiders close to the meetings felt as soon as Whannell threw his name in the mix he had the edge as the studio has wanted to get back in business with him after he delivered Invisible Man to critical acclaim and box office success.

The studio got a Green Hornet and Kato script from David Koepp early this year they are high on, and once a deal closes the film should be fast-tracked to the pre-production stages.

Universal optioned rights to The Green Hornet from Amasia in the spring of 2020, after co-founders Michael Helfant and Bradley Gallo acquired control of the motion picture franchise from the family of the original creator George W. Trendle in a competitive bidding war that January.

The Green Hornet was one of early radio’s most popular adventure shows (predating Superman) before being turned into 1940s movie serials (from Universal) and the 1966 TV series that introduced Bruce Lee (Kato) to the U.S. The classic story focuses on Britt Reid, owner-publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Armed with knowledge from his sources, cool weapons, a supercar known as the Black Beauty, and teamed with his trusty aide Kato, Reid became The Green Hornet, a vigilante crime fighter wanted by the police and feared by the criminal world.

The most recent movie version of the Green Hornet was produced by Sony in 2011 and starred Seth Rogen, Cameron Diaz and Jay Chou. While that one mixed in a lot laughs along with fun action, sources say by going in Whannell’s direction, viewers can expect a more serious action thriller that would work toward his strengths.

Whannell cut his teeth as he helped build the Saw and Insidious franchises over the years learning from A-list director James Wan along the way. He would branch out on his own with the action thriller Upgrade for Blumhouse, which would ultimately lead to him landing the Invisible Man directing job that Blumhouse was producing. That pic was one of the few box office winners of 2020 right before the pandemic hit and put Whannell on the map as a director who can not only deliver the thrills on a film but keep it on a budget, something studio execs always love to see.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.