The Mask

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The Mask
The Mask-comic.jpg
Textless cover of The Mask Strikes Back #1 (February 1995).
Art by Doug Mahnke and Keith Williams.
Publication information
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
First appearance As Masque:
Dark Horse Presents #10 (September 1987)
As Big Head:
Mayhem #1 (May 1989)
Created by Masque:
Mike Richardson
Mark Badger
Big Head:
John Arcudi
Chris Warner
Doug Mahnke
In-story information
Alter ego
List of alter egos
Stanley Ipkiss (comics, film, and TV series)
Mitch Kellaway (comics)
Kathy (comics)
Little Nunzio (comics)
Rick, Ben, Hugo and Archie (alternated, comics)
Ray Tuttle (comics)
Emily Tuttle (comics)
Tommy Haines (comics)
Charlie Blaine (comics)
Eric Martin (comics)
Aldo Krasker (comics)
Dorian Tyrell (film)
Milo (film and TV series)
Peggy Brandt (TV series)
Baby Forthwright (TV series)
Pretorius (TV series)
Arthur Neuman (TV series)
Chet Bozzack (TV series)
Fish Guy (TV series)
Evelyn (TV series)
Paul Newman (Grifter and the Mask)
Lobo (Lobo/Mask)
Ned ("Angry Young Mask")
Josh ("Angry Young Mask")
Snucky (Joker/Mask)
The Joker (Joker/Mask)
Tim Avery (Son of the Mask)
Otis (Son of the Mask)
Notable aliases Masque, Big Head, Loki, Green Guy, Green Head, Green Face, Green Joker, Freak, Clown, The Green Mask
Abilities
List of abilities

In comics and film version:

  • Reality warping
  • Superhuman strength, durability, speed and agility
  • Invulnerability to any kind of assault (except removing the Mask)
  • Increased intelligence at the loss of sanity, inhibitions, and self-control

In comics only:

Appear as any person with second lifelike 'mask' of a human face formed over the wearer's green "big head"

In other media only:

Cartoon physics

The Mask is a comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics.

Overview[edit]

In all versions, the story initially revolves around a magical mask which bestows its wearer with reality-bending powers and an altered appearance, characterized by a large set of teeth and a green head. The mask affects the personality of the wearer by removing all personal social and moral inhibitions, causing the wearer to become insane. The character was inspired by a combination of the Joker and Steve Ditko's version of the Creeper,[1] as well as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In the original comics, characters who wore the Mask would become dangerous and cruel antiheroes at best or villains at worst with ultra-violent tendencies, even if this was not the wearer's original intention. In the 1994 film and the animated series, the Mask was toned down to make it only as dangerous as its wearer, and the main character Stanley Ipkiss was depicted as a mischievous yet benevolent superhero. The same is true of the 2005 sequel's main character Tim Avery, who is named after Tex Avery.

The title of the comic book originally referred to the mask itself and not the character it unleashed. In early stories, the character was referred to as Big Head; it was not until the films and television series that the character became known as The Mask.

Publication history[edit]

The base concept of The Mask was created by Mike Richardson in 1982.[1] It first saw life as a single sketch he drew in 1985 for APA-5, an amateur press publication created by writer Mark Verheiden.[1] After starting Dark Horse Comics, Richardson pitched his concept to Marvel Comics comic book writer/artist Mark Badger. The outcome was the Masque strip, that ran in the early issues of Dark Horse Presents.[1] Badger's strips became increasingly political, and Richardson ended the strip in order to bring the character back to his original concept.

Artist Chris Warner was hired to revamp the character based on Richardson's original APA-5 drawing and created the definitive look for the character, that was given a new launch in 1989 in the pages of Dark Horse's Mayhem anthology. Aspiring writer John Arcudi and artist Doug Mahnke were hired to create the new adventures, which became the first very popular use of the character, "a combination of Tex Avery and The Terminator".[1] The Mask stories from Mayhem #1-4 were later collected as the 1991 issue The Mask #0 and in a trade paperback collection as well.

Mayhem was canceled after four issues, but in 1991 Arcudi and Mahnke continued with The Mask four issue limited series, which introduced one of the Mask's antagonists, a mute brutish hulk named Walter. This run was among Dark Horse's best sellers; following it, the company continued a succession of miniseries around the Mask, with various antagonists and protagonists wearing the mask. These series concluded in 2000 with the DC Comics crossover Joker/Mask, in which the magical Mask finds its way into the hands of Batman's arch-enemy The Joker.[2] The first major storylines and the Joker/Mask crossover have all been collected in trade-paperback and in a limited edition hardcover box set.

Original limited series[edit]

The Mask[edit]

The Mask
Cover of The Mask trade paperback (May 1993).
Art by Doug Mahnke.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date July – December 1991
No. of issues 5
Creative team
Written by John Arcudi
Artist(s) Doug Mahnke
Letterer(s) Pat Brosseau
David Jackson
Colorist(s) Doug Mahnke
Matt Webb
Editor(s) Mike Richardson

In an antiques shop, a weak, neurotic man named Stanley Ipkiss shops for a gift to give to his girlfriend, Kathy. At the store he purchases an old jade mask which begins to speak to him. When Stanley wears it, he is transformed into a wacky, super powered being with an abnormally large, bald, green-skinned head and a mouthful of large teeth. After exploring his new abilities, Ipkiss goes on a rampage, taking revenge on those with whom he has a grudge, and earns the nickname Big Head.

After taking the mask off, Stan begins to realize what has been happening. His acts as Big Head begin to take an emotional toll on him. He becomes verbally abusive toward Kathy. She kicks him out but keeps the mask since it was a gift from Stanley.

Later, Stan breaks into Kathy's apartment to steal it back just as the police arrive in response to an earlier housebreaking call. Deciding his only way out is as Big Head, Stan puts the mask back on and kills eleven cops during his escape. He returns home as Big Head and removes the mask, only to be shot in the back and killed by Kathy, who figured out the identity of Big Head.

Kathy takes the mask to Lieutenant Kellaway for safe-keeping. Kellaway, who had been struggling with both the recent Big Head murders, and organized crime lords on the loose in his city, disregards Kathy's warnings, believing she is stressed and not thinking clearly, and tries on the mask. Becoming Big Head, Kellaway sets out to take down the crime lords who have plagued his police career.

City dwellers, not knowing of the magical mask, assumes Big Head is still the same killer whose targets are now high-profile crime lords. Despite Kellaway's good intentions, the mask causes his methods to become increasingly more violent. Big Head encounters Walter, a behemoth-sized mob muscle-man who never speaks, who has undertaken a vendetta against Big Head for killing his employers. Walter never shows pain and is the only one who can injure Big Head to any real degree.

While fighting off Walter's attacks, Lieutenant Kellaway, as Big Head, becomes the target of a police manhunt. Big Head fights off the police and tracks down the remaining mobsters. When Kellaway's partner attempts to stop Big Head, the mask-altered policeman nearly kills his friend and colleague. Kellaway, realizing what he has been doing, flees. He removes the mask, buries it in his basement in cement, and vows never to let it be worn again.

The first half of the story following Stan as Big Head was originally published in the four-issue anthology series Mayhem, between May–September 1989, and was then collected as issue #0 and the first part of the trade paperback.

The Mask Returns[edit]

The Mask Returns
Cover of The Mask Returns trade paperback (August 1994).
Art by Doug Mahnke.
Publication information
Schedule Bimonthly
Format Limited series
Publication date October 1992 – March 1993
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by John Arcudi
Artist(s) Doug Mahnke
Letterer(s) Pat Brosseau
Colorist(s) Chris Chalenor
Editor(s) Mike Richardson
The crime lords send men to Lieutenant Kellaway's home and attempt to kill him. Kellaway makes his way to the basement in an attempt to retrieve the mask. But he is wounded before he can put it on and ends up in a coma. After the shooting, the men escape, taking the mask with them. One of them puts it on the wimpy driver, Nunzio, as a joke, but he becomes Big Head. Big Head kills the thugs and kills all of the crime lords, and becomes the city's preeminent crime boss. Kathy, realizing the return of Big Head means Kellaway failed to hide the mask well enough, knows that it is up to her to stop him. She dresses as a hooker, and Big Head falls head over heels for her. She tricks him into taking off the mask, pulls out a gun, and as Nunzio dives for the mask she shoots and kills him. Kathy uses the mask to escape and decides to go after the real crime boss (whom Big Head stole the office from while he was in Miami), Don Mozzo. When Don comes back from Miami, he knows Big Head is after him and he goes to get help from the one man who can help him, Walter. After Kathy destroys the remaining mobsters, she comes across and gets into a fight with the only man left, Walter. However, Kathy decides to throw caution to the wind and surrenders after deciding neither one of them are going to die and soon some random bystander will just come across the Mask anyway and tosses it to Walter, but he seems to have no interest in it. Kellaway, recovered from the hospital, drives his car into Walter, sending him and the Mask into the docks.

The Mask Strikes Back[edit]

The Mask Strikes Back
Cover of The Mask Strikes Back trade paperback (June 1996).
Art by Doug Mahnke.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date February – June 1995
No. of issues 5
Creative team
Written by John Arcudi
Artist(s) Doug Mahnke
Inker(s) Keith Williams
Letterer(s) Lois Buhalis
Colorist(s) Gregory Wright
Editor(s) Michael Eury
Greg Vest

Four friends, named Rick (a disgruntled anarchist), Ben (a failed musician), Hugo (a recovering drug addict) and Archie (a teenage savant), all fascinated by the Big Head murders, feel that their lives are at a dead end, until Rick finds the magical mask by the city pier and brings it home. Realizing this was the source of their hero's power, each of the four take turns trying it on. They attempt to use its power to fix their lives but end up making things worse for themselves. By the end, Walter, having recovered since being plowed into by Kellaway, finds the mask in his hands and is unable to use it and, in frustration, throws it off into the distance with tremendous force.

This was the last series in the original Mask storyline by Arcudi and Mahnke. It was also the first to be made after the success of the film, and, as such, the violence of the earlier stories was toned down and the comic aspects were more prominent than before.

The Mask: The Hunt for Green October[edit]

The Mask: The Hunt for Green October
Cover of The Mask: The Hunt for Green October #2 (August 1995).
Art by Peter Gross.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date July – October 1995
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Evan Dorkin
Artist(s) Peter Gross
Letterer(s) Pat Brosseau
Colorist(s) Matt Webb
Editor(s) Greg Vest
The Mask continues to find its way into the hands of unwitting wearers. One of these is Ray Tuttle, a loser film-buff with a grudge against an entrepreneur who escaped responsibility after a faulty theme park ride the latter owned caused the death of his wife, leaving his daughter, Emily, mute. Tuttle discovers the mask's power, but Lieutenant Kellaway and a group of terrorists aware of the mask's secrets are looking to take it from him. The title parodies the novel The Hunt for Red October.

The Mask: Southern Discomfort[edit]

The Mask: Southern Discomfort
Cover of The Mask: Southern Discomfort #1 (April 1996).
Art by Kyle Hotz.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date April – July 1996
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Rich Hedden
Artist(s) Goran Delic
Letterer(s) Pat Brosseau
Colorist(s) James Sinclair
Pamela Rambo
Editor(s) Greg Vest

In New Orleans, the mask ends up in the hands of Eric Martin who tries to find his sister, who has been kidnapped by voodoo gangsters, while Lieutenant Kellaway looks for the mask so that he can destroy it.

The Mask: Toys in the Attic[edit]

The Mask: Toys in the Attic
Cover of The Mask: Toys in the Attic #4 (November 1998).
Art by Doug Mahnke.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date August – November 1998
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Bob Fingerman
Artist(s) Sibin
Inker(s) Bernard Kolle
Letterer(s) Annie Parkhouse
Colorist(s) Pamela Rambo
Editor(s) Scott Allie

Toy designer named Aldo Krasker gets his hands on the mask which leads him to subconsciously embark on a murder spree against high school colleagues who had ridiculed his acting skills. Lieutenant Kellaway joins the investigation so he can find the mask.

Doug Mahnke returned to illustrate the covers for this series.

Specials, spin-offs, and crossovers[edit]

The Mask: Official Movie Adaptation[edit]

The Mask: Official Movie Adaptation
Cover of The Mask: Official Movie Adaptation #1 (July 1994).
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date July – August 1994
No. of issues 2
Creative team
Written by Mike Richarson
Artist(s) Kilian Plunkett
Inker(s) Bruce Patterson
Letterer(s) Sean Konot
Colorist(s) Chris Chalenor
Editor(s) Bob Schreck

The Mask: Official Movie Adaptation is a two-issue comic book adaptation of the 1994 film starring Jim Carrey. In addition to retelling its story, the comic book version also contains deleted scenes most often seen as extra features in video releases of the movie, such as the death of the supporting character Peggy Brandt, and completely unseen moments, such as Stanley Ipkiss' watch being stolen by the same group of thugs that he pays back with the balloon animal routine. Some dialogue is also changed.

The Mask: World Tour[edit]

The Mask: World Tour
Cover of The Mask: World Tour #1 (December 1995).
Art by Kevin Maguire.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date December 1995 – March 1996
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Robert Loren Fleming
Artist(s) Gary Erskine
Letterer(s) Annie Parkhouse
Colorist(s) Bernie Mireault
Editor(s) Greg Vest
A new wearer of the magical mask finds his way traveling through Dark Horse Comics' universe.

Adventures of the Mask[edit]

Adventures of the Mask
Cover of Adventures of the Mask #1 (January 1996).
Art by Bruce Timm.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Publication date January – December 1996
No. of issues 12
Creative team
Written by Michael Eury
Artist(s) Neil Vokes
Dev Madan
Marc Campos
Inker(s) Jay Geldhof
Ande Parks
Barbara Kaalberg
Letterer(s) Clem Robins
Colorist(s) Matt Webb
Perry McNamee
Editor(s) Greg Vest
Scott Allie

Following the success of The Mask film, which led to the release of The Mask: Animated Series, Dark Horse published this spinoff comic series, which followed the continuity of the television cartoon. Like the show, this title combined elements of both the original adult comics and the movie. Elements from the film included The Mask as was portrayed in the film: goofy and heroic with his trademark yellow suit. From the early comics were Walter, still Pretorius' Henchman, and a Lieutenant Kellaway more like his original counterpart than as he was depicted in film.

Walter: Campain of Terror[edit]

Walter: Campain of Terror
Cover of Walter: Campain of Terror #2 (March 1996).
Art by Doug Mahnke and Keith Williams.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date February – May 1996
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by John Arcudi
Artist(s) Doug Mahnke
Inker(s) Keith Williams
Letterer(s) Joe Rosen
Colorist(s) Marcus David
Editor(s) Greg Vest
Big Head's arch-enemy and indestructible Mafia killer, Walter, runs for Mayor of Edge City.

"Night of the Return of the Living Ipkiss... Kinda"[edit]

"Night of the Return of the Living Ipkiss... Kinda"
Transparent bar.svg
Published in A Decade of Dark Horse #3 (September 1996).
Creative team
Written by John Arcudi
Artist(s) Doug Mahnke
Letterer(s) Clem Robins
Colorist(s) Chris Chalenor
Editor(s) Randy Stradley
After Kathy visits Ipkiss' grave, he returns from the dead as a zombie Big Head, with a thirst for revenge. Walking around the city, he finds and kills Kellaway, Walter, Don Mozzo, Lionel, many police officers, and a biker. When he finally finds Kathy, she yells at him, telling him that he does not have the mask anymore and he could not have come back to life. After that, he becomes a pile of dust and all the individuals he murdered are brought back to life.

Grifter and the Mask[edit]

Grifter and the Mask
Cover of Grifter and the Mask #1 (September 1996).
Art by Kyle Hotz.
Publication information
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
WildStorm
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date September – October 1996
No. of issues 2
Creative team
Written by Steven Seagle
Artist(s) Luciano Lima
Inker(s) Joe Pimentel
Letterer(s) Clem Robins
Colorist(s) Cary Porter
Editor(s) Dave Chipps
Greg Vest

Grifter, of the WildC.A.T.s., is sent to Las Vegas to break up a weapons smuggling ring at a gun show. Trouble ensues when one of the tourists ends up with the mask, and Big Head causes a riot at the gun show by pulling a knife. Grifter initially mistakes the Mask for a target, but when the tourist's girlfriend is threatened, Grifter and the Mask team up to stop the smuggling ring.

Lobo/Mask[edit]

Lobo/Mask
Cover of Lobo/Mask #1 (February 1997).
Art by Doug Mahnke.
Publication information
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date February – March 1997
No. of issues 2
Creative team
Written by John Arcudi
Alan Grant
Artist(s) Doug Mahnke
Inker(s) Keith Williams
Letterer(s) Ken Lopez
Colorist(s) Francesco Ponzi
Editor(s) Dan Raspler

The alien bounty hunter Lobo is hired to find the "Ultimate Bastich", a being who has decimated numerous planets. Lobo's hunt leads him to Earth, where a petty thief has become Big Head. In a battle that decimates Manhattan, Big Head finally offers to "help" Lobo find the "previous wearer."

The duo head through space causing mass destruction. At a space truck stop, Lobo eventually wins the mask for himself, puts it on, and causes even more damage. A black hole sends him back in time by a month and it turns out that he is, in fact, the Ultimate Bastich. Waking up on Earth and realizing this, Lobo tosses the mask back to the same spot where the thief found it. Lobo breaks the time loop when he meets his past self and turns his past self in for the reward money.

The Mask: Virtual Surreality[edit]

The Mask: Virtual Surreality
Cover of The Mask: Virtual Surreality (July 1997).
Art by John Pound.
Publication information
Format One-shot
Publication date July 1997
Creative team
Written by Michael Eury
Sergio Aragonés
Mark Evanier
Aaron Lopresti
Mike Mignola
Dave Taylor
Dave Cooper
Artist(s) Ivan Reis
Edde Wagner
Sergio Aragonés
Aaron Lopresti
Mike Mignola
Dave Taylor
Dave Cooper
Letterer(s) Clem Robins
Stan Sakai
Ken Bruzenak
Pat Brosseau
Colorist(s) Dave Nestelle
Chris Chalenor
James Sinclair
Pamela Rambo
Editor(s) Scott Allie

The Mask: Virtual Surreality is a collection of stories by different authors. Stanley Ipkiss watches his favorite TV show The Dukes of Hazzard when a commercial broadcast of Dr. Buzz Hedgaymes offers a new gadget for home entertainment:the Virtual Surreality. Dr. Hedgaymes offers The Mask a chance to test his new machine. Stanley takes up the offer, puts on the mask, and spins to Dr. Hedgaymes' lab within moments. The Mask arrives just as Hedgaymes begins to explain the machine, all the while testing it. Various events, including barbarians, superheroes and weird cartoons to demons, suddenly play with The Mask in Ipkiss' childhood. After noting discrepancies with Stanley's actual mother, The Mask discovers that Pretorius was Hedgaymes all along. Pretorius challenges The Mask to play rock–paper–scissors. Pretorius foresees the outcome, decides not to play fair and, using giant scissors, tries to cut The Mask's head off. The Mask counters with a giant hand made out of stone. He opts to go for another round of The Dukes of Hazzard before sending Pretorius to the police.

The Mask/Marshal Law[edit]

The Mask/Marshal Law
Cover of The Mask/Marshal Law #2 (March 1998).
Art by Kevin O'Neill.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date February – March 1998
No. of issues 2
Creative team
Written by Pat Mills
Artist(s) Kevin O'Neill
Letterer(s) Ellie DeVille
Colorist(s) Dave Stewart
Editor(s) Scott Allie

The Mask is applied to a superhuman serial killer as part of a secret government experiment which inevitably goes disastrously wrong. Marshal Law is called in to take down a nemesis who is not only immune to his usual ultra-violence, but can warp reality according to his psychotic whims.

"Angry Young Mask"[edit]

"Angry Young Mask"
Transparent bar.svg
Published in Dark Horse Presents Annual 1999: DHP Jr. (August 1999).
Creative team
Written by Rick Geary
Artist(s) Rick Geary
Inker(s) Rick Geary
Letterer(s) Rick Geary
Editor(s) Randy Stradley

"Angry Young Mask" is a short comic book story focusing on an 11-year-old boy named Ned, who has a problem with his unfair parents. One day he finds the mask and wears it, causing a lot of mischief in the process. Later, Ned removes the Mask and throws it in his backyard, but when morning comes, Ned finds his two-year-old brother Josh wearing the mask.

"No Mask Is an Island"[edit]

"No Mask Is an Island"
Transparent bar.svg
Published in Dark Horse Presents #153 (April 2000).
Creative team
Written by Henry Gilroy
Artist(s) Lucas Marangon
Inker(s) Randy Emberlin
Letterer(s) Steve Dutro
Editor(s) Randy Stradley

On hill roads at night, a professor of anthropology tells a young museum collector the history about the mask and its victims.

A depressed airplane pilot, smoking in a cargo area, finds the mask and goes insane. He flies and crashes an aircraft into a mountain killing the rest of his crew. He survives and, after removing the mask, becomes a resident of a mental institution.

Later at the crash site, a little girl living on a nearby farm, finds the mask and races home to show her abusive drunken father. That night the girl wears the mask and murders her father. She then calls the police to a report a green-faced lunatic. Afterwards the girl is sent to a foster home with kindly foster parents. She goes to a church for confession and the priest takes the mask for safe keeping. A short time later he dons the mask and becomes a sex-crazed maniac with the nuns.

After the church's unsuccessful attempt at exorcism, the priest sadly removes the mask and claims that the mask forced him to do unspeakable things. The church hires a professor to trace the mask's origins and he discovers it is a thousand years old, made using African techniques, but decorated with Scandinavian motifs. After analyzing the mask, the professor can not give the church an explanation for it so they decide to destroy it. But the professor finds a museum which is willing to donate a small fortune to acquire the mask.

The young museum collector does not really believe the professor's story and puts the mask back in a box as they head for the city - presumably Gotham City.

Joker/Mask[edit]

Joker/Mask
Cover of Joker/Mask trade paperback (April 2001).
Art by Ramon Bachs.
Publication information
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date May – August 2000
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Henry Gilroy
Ronnie del Carmen
Artist(s) Ramon F. Bachs
Inker(s) Howard M. Shum
Letterer(s) Steve Dutro
Colorist(s) Dave McCaig
Editor(s) Dave Land

The Joker inadvertently gets his hands on the magical mask after it is found in a Gotham City museum. With its power, the Joker begins to feel a it is time to rejuvenate his career as a criminal, taking over Gotham TV and broadcasting his own shows. Lieutenant Kellaway finds his way to Gotham and helps Batman and Commissioner Gordon to defeat the newly super-powered Joker, Batman determining that the mask is not having its usual psychological effect on the wearer as the Joker always expressed his 'innermost desires', with the mask merely making him unstoppable. Batman is able to trick the Joker into removing the Mask by claiming that the villain is no longer funny, and is relying on tired schtick and the power of the Mask instead of using his own style, prompting the Joker's original head to emerge from his shoulder and actually converse with his Mask-head before he takes it off. Lieutenant Kellaway asks Batman to give him the Mask. Batman agrees and the Mask is last seen as Kellaway digs up Stanley Ipkiss's grave and buries the Mask there with his corpse.

Itty Bitty Mask[edit]

Itty Bitty Mask
Cover of Itty Bitty Mask trade paperback (June 2015).
Art by Art Baltazar.
Publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Publication date November 2014 – February 2015
No. of issues 4
Creative team
Written by Art Baltazar
Franco
Artist(s) Art Baltazar
Editor(s) Brendan Wright

When mild-mannered zookeeper Herman Shazbert buys his wife a strange mask, his whole family wants to try it on.

The comics of the short-lived line Itty Bitty took a more silly and kid-friendly approach, similar to DC Comics' Tiny Titans. Dark Horse Comics also released Itty Bitty Hellboy, Itty Bitty Comics: Grimmiss Island, and Itty Bitty Hellboy: The Search for the Were-Jaguar.

The Mask omnibus collections[edit]

Dark Horse Comics has published two omnibus editions featuring The Mask stories in chronological order. However, this collections didn't reprint bonus materials previously released in the individual trade paperbacks for the individual series, such as deleted pages, author forwards, and retrospectives.

The Mask Omnibus Volume 1

Collects The Mask #0–4, The Mask Returns #1–4 and The Mask Strikes Back #1–5. Published August 13, 2008.[3]

The Mask Omnibus Volume 2

Collects The Mask: The Hunt for Green October #1–4, The Mask: World Tour #1–4, The Mask: Southern Discomfort #1–4, "Night of the Return of the Living Ipkiss... Kinda" and The Mask: Toys in the Attic #1–4. Published March 11, 2009.[4]

Adventures of the Mask Omnibus

Collects The Mask: Official Movie Adaptation #1–2, Adventures of the Mask #1–12, The Mask: Virtual Surreality, "Angry Young Mask" and "No Mask Is an Island". Published July 15, 2009.[5]

Adaptations[edit]

Jim Carrey as The Mask

The Mask (1994)[edit]

A film version of The Mask was released in the United States on July 29, 1994, starring Jim Carrey in the title role. Directed by Chuck Russell, the film co-starred Peter Greene as Dorian Tyrell, Peter Riegert as Lt. Mitch Kellaway, Orestes Matacena as Niko, Richard Jeni as Charlie Schumacher, Amy Yasbeck as Peggy Brandt, and Cameron Diaz, in her screen debut, as Tina Carlyle. Ben Stein has a cameo role as Dr. Arthur Neuman.

While there were early efforts to take the film in the direction of horror (some at New Line Cinema saw it as a replacement for their fading A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise),[6] it was never completely intended as a "dark horror" picture. New Line had problems coming up with a script that could show violence that was comical, but had more success with a story that was primally a comedy and had violence. Mike Richardson and Chuck Russell always pushed in the direction of the second option, which was eventually adopted. Richardson also resisted early attempts to attach both Martin Short and Rick Moranis to the lead role.[citation needed] Executive producer Michael De Luca's suggestion of Jim Carrey for the lead, together with the "Cuban Pete" production number in the screenplay, set the final tone for the film.

The plot of the film was loosely based on the first half of the Arcudi/Mahnke comic book miniseries.

The film also inspired a spin-off video game adaptation, released for the Super NES in 1995.[7]

The Mask: Animated Series (1995–97)[edit]

The film version of the character subsequently appeared in an animated TV series entitled The Mask: Animated Series (with Rob Paulsen as Stanley Ipkiss/The Mask). John Arcudi wrote season one's "How Much is That Dog in the Tin Can" and season three's "The Goofalotatots" (a parody of Warner Bros. Animation's Animaniacs). The series took many elements from the source film but made numerous changes. Tina was absent, and reporter Peggy Brandt had become the main female character, but not a love interest. Also, unlike in the film, Ipkiss appeared to be able to use the mask in daytime as well as at night. The series also had a crossover with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, another animated series based on a Jim Carrey film.

Four VHS volumes of the series were released (an extra two in Australia), all of which are now out of print. Upon the initial DVD release of Son of the Mask, Wal-Mart stores sold an exclusive two-pack of the film with the pilot episode of the animated series ("The Mask Is Always Greener on the Other Side" Parts 1 and 2).

Son of the Mask (2005)[edit]

Son of the Mask is the poorly received stand-alone sequel to the 1994 film, directed by Lawrence Guterman.[8] The film had a $84 million budget and a $17 million domestic box office gross,[9] along with a $40 million foreign box office gross.

Director Chuck Russell, who helmed the original film, expressed his interest in a sequel in his 1996 LaserDisc commentary. He was hoping Carrey would return, along with Amy Yasbeck. Russell had decided to cut the scenes when Peggy dies and leave the character open for the sequel, which became this film. The concept was completely changed when Carrey decided not to return, instead focusing on another man (played by Jamie Kennedy) who finds the mask and unintentionally conceives a child while wearing it. The result is a son who possesses the powers of the mask without needing to wear it. At the same time, Loki (played by Alan Cumming), the Norse God and original creator of the mask, searches the human world attempting to find it.

Ben Stein reprises his role of Dr. Arthur Neuman from the first film. He is involved in the film to reestablish the relationship between the mask and its creator, Loki. He is the only actor to appear in both films as well as the animated series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Mark Richardson, "Introduction: Behind the Mask", The Mask: The Collection, Dark Horse Comics, August 1993, ISBN 1-87857-450-7
  2. ^ "Joker & The Mask - Universe-Shattering Comic Book Crossovers". UGO.com. 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  3. ^ "The Mask Omnibus Volume 1". Dark Horse Comics Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "The Mask Omnibus Volume 2". Dark Horse Comics Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Adventures of the Mask Omnibus". Dark Horse Comics Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "MOVIES'The Mask' Was Originally Going to Be a Horror Movie?!". Bloody Disgusting. June 5, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018. 
  7. ^ "The Mask". CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Son of the Mask". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Son of the Mask (2005)". Flixster, Inc. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 

External links[edit]