Written by Michael Sarrao
Art by John Broglia
After reading the first issue of Michael Sarrao’s indie superhero series, “Unmasked” I was instantly hooked by the unique plot that unfolded. You can read that first comic review here. So does the second issue continue the hold my interest? Well unfortunately, I’m sorry to say I can’t tell a lie. The second issue is probably even better than the first one.
So for those that missed out on the first issue, here’s a bit of a run-down. The world was populated by great heroes but something caused all of them to suddenly vanish. Ten years later, the world now has Victor Vance, the most evil villain of the past as the most powerful man in the world. A new violent group of superheroes taking the names of the original heroes have appeared. These guys kill the bad guys and hold a horrible secret. They will stop at nothing to kill Victor Vance and all his allies. A spunky reporter named Paige Cruise, her new partner and a reformed teleporting villain, will do everything in their power to unmask who these new heroes are. Now the first issue didn’t waste any time and literally ended that chapter with Paige unmasking one of the heroes.
Sorry for being a bit cryptic on the plot. To reveal anything more about that issue will spoil anything further. It’s best to go into this series knowing very little about it. Issue #2 takes place seconds after the last issue. Michael truly shows a psychopathic and nihilistic side to these heroes that had me at the edge of the seat with excitement. These heroes are so unhinged you can’t really gauge what they will do next. Victor Vance’s daughter has brought out all of his old villainous partners to take down these heroes and what happens in this issue is an all out massive slugfest with an army of werewolves, robots and mad scientists.
Now of course the main draw of this series isn’t really the fantastic fights. You can read that in any other book on the comic stands every week. I’m not taking anything away from these parts of the story, but the ongoing mystery is the main draw for me. Paige and her team get closer to the truth only to get more questions with every answer they find. Just like the first issue, this second issue ends with an even bigger jaw dropping cliffhanger that had me gasping. I literally said out loud, “Oh no he didn’t” when I read the last few pages. I tend to always guess a surprise ending whenever I read or watch a movie and that ending I did not see coming at all.
You really don’t know what you’re missing out here folks. The art by John Broglia is crisp and clean. It reminds me of a mix of Erik Larsen and Michael Avon Oeming. The colors by Guisseppe Pica really pop. The character designs harken back to many familiar themes and styles while still being original. I really dig the costume choices of the characters. If there was one negative I can give to this issue it would be the villains. They were cool, but they didn’t strike me with any fear and hardly posed a challenge to the super heroes. It’s hard to take a super villain only named Fred seriously. Maybe that was on purpose, but I had a nice chuckle when that villain showed up.
When I last did my review of this series I also talked about a recent Kickstarter that the creators were trying to raise for this book. I’m glad to announce that they were successful. Now they’ll have the chance to get this series to a wider audience. Just remember I told you guys how good it was first. Hopefully this means more Unmasked from this team and that Michael Sarrao gets a chance to tackle some mainstream comics soon. I’d love to see him take on Daredevil, Avengers or even Batman. The man knows how to write superheroes and mysteries.
Check out the Unmasked official website here.