At the conclusion of Masked #3, when we saw a green, gaseous villain form in front of our eyes, attacking whoever was in his path and then abducting our main character’s sister, Raphaelle, we knew things were about to elevate to a new level in the next chapter. Not only does this creep, “The Rocket,” provide a sinister tone, previously mentioning his desires to be “alone” with her, but he continues this psychotic, unrelenting fixation despite having others attempt to block his tunnel vision.
Masked #4 is an intense and scary look at how dangerous a villain can be with invincible-like powers and being manically motivated to finding Raphaelle as he desperately shouts, “I want love!” The pace of this story ramps up immeasurably with these continued dramatics, and as Frank deals with his own powerful transformation. His abilities haven’t been discovered by this point, and the reader might wonder if it will matter compared to the bulletproof form of The Rocket. A local news broadcast catches the green gas flying away with Frank’s sister, which is all he needs to see. He soon answers questions the reader – and he – might have about what he’s capable of – and what limitations he might not be able to overcome.
Writer Serge Lehman captivates with dialogue that allows you to follow along as characters learn parts of the story at the same time you do. You discover the newly formed obsession of The Rocket as it’s created. You listen to Frank’s thoughts as he tries to understand what powers he might have to save his sister, like “How am I doing this?” These moments amplify the story in a way that makes you wonder what will happen next. Oh, and by the way, hints of a secret organization might stumble out along the way, providing more questions and more intrigue to where Lehman will guide this story in the pages ahead, and future chapters.
Artists Stephane Crety, Julien Hugonnard-Bert, and Gaetan Georges again provide amazing aerial views of the city, Paritropolis, giving a realistic feeling of height. There are multiple underwater scenes with great colors and definition, from multiple viewpoints, showing glimmers in the water. As a wonderful contrast, there are scenes showcasing individuals hiding in the shadows, while our hero stands at the center of this dark room with a beam of light pouring over him. This particular imagery not only further illustrates the intricate details of the artwork, but conveys an overarching theme to the story. Our hero slowly gets pulled toward the light where answers will hopefully find him, while remaining in the shadows presents an unknown that we might never uncover.
Masked #4 will be available on Wednesday, February 22, for print and digital release.