HELLBOY: MASKS & MONSTERS collects two 2-part stories featuring Mike Mignola's paranormal investigator teaming up with other heroes. These stories have long been out of print, resulting in a noticeable gap in the Hellboy trade library. Presented first is the Batman/Hellboy/Starman crossover from 1999, in which writer James Robinson brings together the caped crusader, Big Red, and both the Golden Age and modern Starmen, all illustrated by Mignola. It sounds like an ideal team up, but the story is just average Hellboy (robots, Nazis, and elder gods) with additional heroes mixed in. Robinson had a good idea in connecting his Starman series with Hellboy's universe, but he doesn't do much with the characters. Batman's presence is completely unnecessary, and for such an acclaimed writer, Robinson takes the easy way out, portraying him as the dismissive misanthrope that everyone at DC seems to think he should be. If this were a more focused Hellboy/Starman team-up, integrating more elements from the Starman universe, it would have been more effective and enjoyable.
The second story is a much better team-up of Hellboy & Ghost from 1996, where Hellboy, investigating murders in Arcadia, stumbles upon the phantom vigilante with twin 45s. A century of murders in Arcadia have led to a lot of blood accumulating in the city sewers, and something bad is just waiting to happen. I feel that this is one of Mignola's more inspired and unique Hellboy stories, and Scott Benefiel's art surprisingly melds elements of Mignola's chiaroscuro style with the softer work seen in the Ghost comics.
Mignola contributes a new cover, and the book contains some alternate cover images and sketches. As a collected edition, it's very nice, but the first story pulls the rating down.