Writer: David Michelinie & Bob Layton
Artists: Dick Giordanol(p), Bob Layton(i), Brad Nault(c)
This issue of Deathmask opens with a tres cool scene of retribution that leads to unseen consequences for the title spooky hero. One of the witnesses naturally becomes freaked out by DM's rather poetic way of handling would-be murderers, these ways creatively imagined by Mr. Michelinie, and this leads D.M. to question his quest for truth, justice and seriously dead butchers.
Dillinger is in hot pursuit of the hero, and he picks up a lead from one of the witnesses. The trail leads him to a slightly dishonest professor and a neat history for the mask that's somewhat Weird Tales inspired.
This issue goes beyond the simple battle of good vs. evil. Michelinie offers a contrast between Deathmask and Dillinger that makes the reader wonder about the methods of the characters.
The dishonesty of the professor came about because of his love for his wife. He needed money not for himself, not for creature comforts but to pay his wife's medical bills. Dillinger who being a federal agent gets free or seriously discounted healthcare benefits hypocritically gives the professor an ultimatum. His actions though lawful help nobody and will in the long term hurt two people. Deathmask's actions while brutal but technically legal saves lives.
The cover beasts do make an appearance in the comic book, and they show that however powerful Deathmask may be, he is far from omnipotent. The beasts provide a thrilling battle against the hero, and DM's intelligent actions show him as more than a mere expression of his magic.
The artwork is less potent here than in previous issues. Dick Giordano's usual precision is hampered by sloppy inking. The characters' expressions often look distorted and bear little of Giordano's traditional slick style. Never the less, even with sub-par artwork, this is an exciting issue of Deathmask.
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