Vince Hunt is set to launch the third issue of The Red Mask from Mars at the Bristol Comic Expo this weekend and after a consistent run in the origin, #1 & #2 so far – I was glad to get an early look at how things are progressing with all things Red and Masky.
We ease into the halfway point of the story in the midst of the mission gone wrong that we left in the last issue and the scramble to understand the reasons behind what seems to be an invasion from another world. Munro is still trapped with the mysterious egg and this provides some of the funniest moments in the opening half of the book as the gang put their collective heads together to try and figure out how to solve their problems.
That cover will suggest what the most obvious “solution” is to their problems and bigger guns give them that “one step forward two back” feeling as they gain ground in the on-going battles but are ultimately still trying to get the upper hand. The slick and pacy plot from Vince is a glory to see unfold and the subtle undertones of humour add an extra dimension to the story that sucks you in and helps you almost feel part of the madness across those pages. There’s even some time for some extra cast members to support Red Mask & the gang and the build-up to a final page reveal brings with it more surprises that will surely setup the next two issues.
It’s another interesting juggling act for Vince with art & writing duties but his vision is given an extra level of detail and injection of life thanks to Shaun Dobie’s glorious colours that compliment every action-packed panel. The one minor quibble I have is the drift back to giving some pages too much dialogue to handle like we saw in the earliest issues but thankfully it stops short of disrupting the flow. That being said the final result is a new issue of Red Mask that’s crammed with laughs & fun as it strays away from taking itself too serious but knows exactly the type of world they’re trying to create. The overall look is improving, the pace is retaining it’s consistency and the momentum is definitely behind the creative team as we all get swept up in an energetic title that is crying out for more issues beyond this 5-part arc.