December, 1984

Much like its fellow Eclipse title, ZOT!, I didn’t start reading THE MASKED MAN until after the series had gone on hiatus. And, like ZOT!, I picked up a set of the run to date at one of CAPTAIN BLUE HEN’s annual “fill-a-box-of-back-issues” sales, and so was ready and waiting when the series returned in black and white some months later.

THE MASKED MAN concerned the adventures of non-powered crimefighter Dick Carstairs and his reporter buddy Barney. What separated it from a host of other Spirit-inspired offerings produced over the years was its unabashed sentimentality. It was a strip that reveled in the “feel-good moment”, and even though not every one of those moments was successful, you gave the book credit for trying (particularly in an era that was steadily becoming more grim and violent and mean-spirited.) 

Writer/artist B.C. Boyer returned to comics in the 90s, doing HILLY ROSE, which was a decent series, but was somehow missing the magic element that had made THE MASKED MAN click. 

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