REVIEW: The Red Mask From Mars #2

Roughly a year ago, A Place To Hang Your Cape was bombarded by a cockney-speaking maverick with a red Facehugger clamped to his mug. He proceeded to fling us violently to safety as a rock-like, sharp-shaped alien attacked our offices. This maverick disappeared as quickly as he came, but he’s now back for a second round!

Writer and artist Vince Hunt is gearing up to release the second issue to his comic sci-fi action/adventure The Red Mask from Mars, the first issue of which we reviewed here, and it’s as colourfully manic as that first issue, whilst developing the world in which ex-astronaut-turned-superhero Doug and his cohorts live in. Issue #2 bares a greater sense of mystery and intrigue than the first issue, and hints at some playful developments in future issues, this being the second of five instalments of “The Prince of Doom” story.

“The Prince of Doom” part two primarily focuses on the continued arrival of the shark-like monsters guarding a massive egg-shaped meteor and our hero Doug opening a can of whoop ass on the creatures. Actually, its really Doug who gets dealt with the ass-whoppin’, because that’s only natural when you’re dealing with a small army of space-sharks. It’s all great fun watching Doug attempt to take on these monsters (and that feeling of ‘great fun’ is what both drives and if the main appeal of The Red Mask from Mars after all) but it’s still a little anti-climatic to see our hero not do a lot of superhero shenanigans. Then again, this is only chapter two after all, and what with the introduction of the mysterious Wulf character interrogating another alien creature on the other side of the world, anyone who’s read enough classic multi-part fiction will tell you that there’s a sense of something grand being built up in this smirk-inducing comic.

Hunt and colourer Shaun Dobie continue to give the story a bright, bulgy appearance. Visually, everything is so solid and immediate it’s borderline frantic, matching the tone of the comic itself very well. Much like issue #1, this second chapter has all the manic, carefree joy of the story’s beginning, but adds a, tantalizing dollop of mystery that cranks up the adventure to truly enjoyable effect. Hunt recently posted an image on his Twitter account of the script for issue #3 taking shape, and we can only look forward to what Doug and co get up to next time!

The Red Mask from Mars #2 will launch at the the Birmingham Comics Festival on April the 18th. Until then, why not head over to the comic’s website and catch up on both issue #1 and the origin issue? Once you’ve read them, let us know what you thought of The Red Mask From Mars via sounding off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

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Fred McNamara