Tuesday, November 1, 2016

We're Lost in a Masquerade

Doug: Just too much of a good thing...


J.A. Morris said...

Possibly the worst thing about the Bronze Age of Comics. I can buy a human Juggernaut and the Hulk getting stronger because he gets angrier. But I can't buy a perfect-fitting rubber mask. Even in great sagas, like Cap & Falcon Vs. the Secret Empire, the rubber masks are a silly plot point that could have (but didn't ruin) all the greatness that surround them.

Martinex1 said...

Ha ha ha...ohhhhh! That is great. They are all ridiculous but some are just hilariously awesome. The Collector not only wore a mask but his whole suit beneath the Nighthawk costume! It even changed his body shape!

Some of those I don't think I ever saw before. Ant-Man?


Humanbelly said...

And I think these are really just the more commonly-recognized ones, yes? And not a one of them holds up under even the most casual, passing scrutiny-- ha! Both of the Beast's are among my personal favorites, though-- legitimate favorites. Although I wish the art were better, using the "reveal" to actually effect the outcome of the battle w/ the Juggernaut is a nice outside-the-box move. And boy, how 'bout Hank's speech there about power & image & gullibility while he's Nelson Rockefeller-? The more things change, the more they etc. . .

There's probably little point in even bringing The Chameleon into the discussion, I suppose, 'cause EVERY SINGLE ONE of his appearances has most of these issues, albeit from a slightly different starting-point. To wit: How can a guy with NO FACIAL FEATURES in nearly all of his iterations fill out and realistically articulate a full-head, obviously rubber/latex mask? For years he himself had no mouth opening at all. And his masks always had eyeholes (as opposed to eye coverings), yet after his first appearance he himself had no visible eyeballs (!)-- just shaded indents. I do believe Todd McFarlane may have retconned the character a bit many years later, so he could make some sort of sense. . . but c'mon, those are the kinds of things that will NEVER escape the logic and observation powers of a demanding 10-year-old. . . !


William said...

I love Hawkeye wearing a mask over his mask. That's just awesomely silly stuff.

But how about that Neal Adams Batman art? Wow! No matter how silly the plot point, you can't make that stuff look bad. Light years ahead of its time.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha! Love it. Maybe the comic book rubber mask is actually some form of sorcery, wizardry and/or magic, no?


WardHill Terry said...

One of my favorites is Superman ripping off his Bundini Brown mask in Superman vs. Muhammed Ali.

The Prowler said...

Just so many questions!!! Where do you buy one? Is the hair rubber? What about your voice? How can a mask change your voice?

I do guess you just have to go with it.

To reach into my bag of tricks and do an homage to HB, TOPIC VEER, TOPIC VEER!!!

On an episode of Batman, Bruce Wayne and Batman had to both be at an event at the same time. So Bruce dressed Alfred up in the Bat costume, gave him the Bat mic to change his voice and sent him there with Robin. Then Alfred/Batman claimed he had a cold and stayed on the other side of the street. The Bat mic hid Alfred's mustache but you couldn't disguise the fact that he was 6' 4" and about a buck 50. It was hilarious!!!! Loved it!!!

(We got somethin', we both know it, we don't talk too much about it
Ain't no real big secret, all the same, somehow we get around it
Listen, it don't really matter to me baby
You believe what you want to believe, you see

You don't have to live like a refugee
Don't have to live like a refugee

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
Tell me why you want to lay there, revel in your abandon
Honey, it don't make no difference to me baby
Everybody has to fight to be free, you see

You don't have to live like a refugee
Don't have to live like a refugee
No baby you don't have to live like a refugee
Don't have to live like a refugee

Baby we ain't the first
I'm sure a lot of other lovers been burned
Right now it seems real to you, but it's
One of those things you gotta feel to be true

Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
Who knows maybe you were kidnapped tied up,
Taken away and held for ransom
Honey, it don't make no difference to me, baby
Everybody has to fight to be free, you see....)

PS: I have to admit, robots are not that bad......

William said...

I just noticed that Doctor Doom scene. That was from Avengers 1.5 and I think it was meant to be sort of a humorous jab at the whole rubber mask gimmick.

Edo Bosnar said...

Prowler, yep, I remember that Batman episode - hilarious. But then so were Bat shark-repellent and the yellow Bat baggies, the Batusi, etc., etc.

And I think William's right about the Dr. Doom scene - it's definitely a jab at the whole convention, especially when under the mask there's yet another mask, as the image of Robin pulling off that rubber mask and revealing that he's wearing his domino mask under it. Or, the best one ever, Hawkeye wearing his normal mask under the Golden Archer mask, who's otherwise also wearing a domino mask. I think there were a few instances in which Batman did that as well.

ColinBray said...

Was Shrunken Bones from The Headmen a satirical reference to ill-fitting rubber masks? His creepiness is somehow all I can see when trying to think of examples.

Anonymous said...

Where prowls the Prowler!
I think Scooby Doo ruined a whole generation of comic book writers. Watching that cartoon, one can only conclude that the major problem facing America in the early seventies wasn't Watergate, inflation, drugs or Viet Nam, it was the massive proliferation of rubber masks used for nefarious purposes.

johnlindwall said...

Those early Beast issues were brutal in this regard. He wore the rubber mask and jammed his big hairy grey body into a suit to go to work all day. I swear he may have even kissed his girlfriend in the damn mask AND SHE DIDN'T NOTICE IT! Oy!

Staying on the X-Men theme, how about a related topic of how winged characters can jam their wings under their street clothes and pass as a normal? I'm looking at you Angel!

AND speaking of jamming things into your clothes, what about Captain America cramming his whole frickin' shield into his shirt to wear it on his back!!! Though I do think that is cool way to have your best gadget handy, it really would not work without some real comic booky magic or super-science.

I feel like the Perez-drawn scene with the Beast (above) was a nod to those earlier silly times.

Anonymous said...

I remember Bruce Wayne running around in the '70's with his Batman suit under his civvies. Apparently it wasn't the heavily armored suit packed with weaponry that he later sported.

Fred W. Hill said...

Still, tucking the cape into his pants and covering up his utility belt under his civies would have taken some work. The masks were one of the sillier aspects of a lot of superhero yarns up until maybe the early '80s. The movies, to the best of my knowledge, have never used that plot device, although they've made extensive use of Mystique's mutant ability to physically transform herself and her clothes to look like other people. There were issues with scenes explaining how Warren strapped his wings down so he could hide them under his street clothes but it still made no sense. Even worse, IMO, Warren seemed to have no special problem putting on any of his X-Men uniform shirts with no explanation that I ever saw as to how the wings got through the shirt. Lots of goofy stuff that Stan and others sometimes tried but could never really reason away and fans mostly just accepted as part of the whimsical fun of the stories.

Stephen White said...

I owned that Captain America issue. It never occurred to me until years later that it was really odd that Hawkeye should be wearing a mask under a mask (just in case someone pulled off the first mask?) or that the rubber mask somehow fit neatly over all that pointy stuff on his Hawkeye mask.

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