Masks & Mobsters is my first foray into the titles offered by indie publisher Monkeybrain Comics. This publisher is brand new this year but they certainly have a hot title under their banner in Masks & Mobsters.
The premise is simple, back in the Golden Age, costumed heroes and their villainous counterparts exploded onto the scene. But what backlash would the Mob feel now that vigilantes are everywhere trying to shut down crime? And villains are out on the take for themselves? Masks & Mobsters answers those questions.
The answer to that question is a fun little story that takes place in fictional Golden City. This issue explores the world created by writer Joshua Williamson a little deeper. Before I go any further let me say this: I recommend this series and you should get on Comixology and buy the first two issues and read it for yourself if you’re a fan of Mafia stories or the noir genre. Also start with the first issue, this is a series that needs to be read in order for it to make sense.
In the debut issue it was the costumed hero, Doctor Daylight, that was causing the Mob a headache. They returned the favour. This issue, a string of jewellery store robberies demands the attention of our favourite Mafia family. Don’t be confused though, this isn’t a problem because a business owner is being ripped off, this is a problem because the Mob can’t extort a business that doesn’t make any money.
A trio of hitmen manage to track the culprit to his underground lair, which is perhaps the first clue that they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Once there, they confront a mad scientist who controls a ten-foot tall robot, hence his ability to rob jewellery stores with ease. I’m not going to spoil the ending but it’s just as crazy as it sounds. And just as awesome.
The art for this series is entirely black and white which is perfect for this type of story. Everything is quite sharp and the detailing of the characters is wonderful. The art won’t be for everyone but I find it very appealing. It will be interesting to see the different styles of the artists that Williamson works with. Henderson has a great fundamental style and is able to capture the historical period quite well. The clothes, the locales, right down to the hairstyles, Henderson has done a fine job transporting us back in time.
This comic has now hit my list of ‘must-read’ comics every month. I’m really into crime fiction and have always had a soft-spot for stories involving the Mafia. This comic is awesome because it has us cheering for the bad guys. At the very end of this issue the Mob hitmen decide they are going to try and “fight fire with fire”. I’m contemplating just what that is going to mean…
Story: 7 out of 10
Art: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7 out of 10