Comic Vine Review


Masks & Mobsters #1 - HC Review


We've seen plenty of good guys vs. the bad guys stories but this one focuses more on the perspective of the mobsters with a nice gritty noir feel.

The Good

When it comes to the good guys vs. the bad guys, it seems there's always some sort of established rules. There's usually some unspoken way of doing things along with an agreement of what can and can't be done. MASKS & MOBSTERS introduces us to a time, set somewhere in the decent past, where superheroes exist and the bad guys are trying to do what they can to survive with their way of life.

One day, things change. A mob enforcer, Tony Silver, crosses a line. He kills one of the most celebrated heroes, Doctor Daylight. This establishes a new status quo in the world and we witness the tension rises and more and more lines and boundaries getting crossed.

Joshua Williamson is a storyteller. He sets up this brand new world and you immediately get a sense of how vast it is. We don't get precise details on every single aspect of the world and we don't know much about the heroes but we can tell it's not a simple two-dimensional playing field we sometimes see in stories.

The series was originally released online through Monkeybrain Comics. Collected and released by Image, you'll be thrilled with the story and the art. The use of gray tones make the art fit perfectly with the atmosphere of the story. Most of the art is by Mike Henderson but some of the chapters feature work by other artists. Each is a great look at another aspect or corner of the city. We even see different styles of storytelling throughout the chapters which really enhances the overall feel.

This collection even features an exclusive chapter and there is a promise of a volume two on the way.

The Bad

I wish I had read this as the chapters were released. But at least I got the joy of reading it all in one sitting.

The Verdict

It's always risky trying something new. This is a situation where it pays off big time. Joshua Williamson delivers a great noir story focusing on the battle between heroes in capes and mobsters. Rather than focus on the heroes, we see most of the stories told from a different perspective - the mobsters. We have a few different artists handling the art with the majority by Mike Henderson. This is a situation where not being in color enhances the experience. The gray tones create the perfect vibe for the stories. It's refreshing to be able to read a story separate from established characters. This shows there are still plenty of great ideas out there.