Spider-man : Masques collects several issues from Todd McFarlane's Spider-man series from the early 1990's.
Lots of AWESOME stuff here !!
Spider-man : Masques collects issues #6, #7, #13, #14, and #16 of McFarlane's Spider-man series and also throws in X-Force # 4 (which connects with Spider-man # 16).
There is some magnificent material here.
All of McFarlane's stories are very dark and wonderfully told. McFarlane's artwork is enchanting and fantastic.
The first story arc is from issues #6 and #7 of McFarlane's Spider-man series and it is called "Masques".
In this story, a frightening, yet masterfully drawn Hobogoblin has gone insane. During this era of Spider-man comics, Hobgoblin (Jason Macendale) turned into a REAL Hobgoblin after asking a demon named N'astirh for more power.
As this book begins, Hobgoblin has already been turned into a true Hobgoblin (back in Spectacular Spider-man # 147) but McFarlane takes the character to the next level. Hobgoblin is VERY frightening looking in this book and you get to see just how insane and homicidal he is now becoming. The Hobgoblin is murdering innocent people, but in his mind he is doing it because they are sinners ..... and he feels justified. You'll soon find out his warped reasoning goes even deeper than that.
The material in this book is very dark and mysterious. As Hobgoblin grows more and more insane, Ghost Rider is thrown into the story and wants vengeance against Hobgoblin for spilling innocent blood. Spider-man also gets thrown in as he must try to stop Hobgoblin's reign of terror. However, things get rather complicated when Hobgoblin throws a very innocent little boy into his demented plans.......
The second story arc is from issues #13 and #14 of McFarlane's series and it is called "Sub-city". Just like the first story arc with Hobgoblin, Ghost Rider, and the little boy, this second story arc is very dark and majestic. The villain in this second story arc is Morbius (the living vampire)and his new army of underlings called "The Good Ones". The "good ones" are grotesque, violent, and disturbed. They live underground and prefer the darkness. They refer to surface dwellers as "The Bad Ones". When the "good ones" (the grotesque under dwellers) begin to wreck havoc on the "bad ones" (that would be us on the surface world) Spider-man must step in. However, all is NOT as simple as it appears.
During this story, Spider-man is forced to wear a black costume. It's NOT the symbiote black outfit (this story was published a few years after Spider-man's original symbiotic black outfit would join with Eddie Brock and become Venom). However, it is a new black Spider-man outfit that Spider-man must wear if he even hopes to stand a chance against Morbius and the so-called "good ones" in their underground lair. Several people from the surface have been kidnapped by the "good ones". Will Spider-man rescue them in time? Or will Spider-man discover something even more sinister than he had hoped to find?
The final story arc in this collection is from McFarlane's Spider-man #16 and X-Force # 4 and is called "Sabotage". This is Todd McFarlane's FINAL Spider-man work before leaving Marvel comics and forming Image comics(with the other Image comics founders) and introducing Spawn.
Anyway, the Sabatoge story arc centers around the villain known as the Juggernaut. As soon as the first page of the story begins, Spider-man notices that one of the tops of the world trade center has been blown up (NOTE : This story was published in 1992, nine years before September 11th, 2001). X-Force (a mutant hero team lead by Cable) had attempted to stop a super-villian from detonating a bomb. As soon as the first page to this story begins, you'll see that they failed miserably. Cable and the rest of the X-Force team up with Spider-man to attempt to stop Juggernaut. Not to give too much of the story away, but things get VERY violent and out of control. Especially when the Juggernaut (laughing like an insane maniac) purposely crashes into one of the twin towers. After that, things get REALLY out of control.
The FINAL part of the Sabatoge story is from X-Force # 4 and concludes the Sabatoge story arc. Written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Rob Liefeld, the final part of Sabatoge is action packed and an awesome conclusion.
Overall, this is a FANTASTIC collection !!!
While Sabotage is a great action packed story, my two favorites in this collection are Masques and Sub-city. Both those stories are VERY well written and some of my all time favorites.
I highly recommend this collection to anyone who wants a series of dark Spider-man stories.
Todd McFarlane did a GREAT job writing and drawing these stories.
I highly recommend reading all of them in Spider-man : Masques.