COMIC REVIEW: Masked: Anomalies

Masked Cover Frank Braffort, soldier, returns home to Paris to find his city forever changed.  And the anomalies, what are they?  Why are they here and why won’t anyone explain them to him?

A not-too-distant future… A solider returns home, having discovered that his peacekeeping mission was anything but…

Ravaged psychologically by war, Frank’s homecoming is as strange and terrifying as any war. The once familiar sites of his city are now infested with ‘anomalies’ – sentient robots growing in size and awareness, and now attacking humans!

What first struck me about Masked is its detailed and complex plot.  I had to go back and re-read a few things to make sure that I’d understood it.  But once I had, I was sucked deeper and deeper into the world of Frank Braffort.  I was absolutely hooked and I actually cursed out loud when I realised I’d got to the final page.  I NEED MORE DAMMIT!

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Frank Braffort is a soldier returned home from war and he finds his city, Paris, totally changed.  No one really seems to be able to tell him what has happened, just that the phenomena of the ‘Anomalies’ is now a regular occurence and something that people tend to take no notice off.  There is now a specialist task force, the APD, to take care of any anomaly business and Paris just carries on as normal.

Paris is run by The Prefect, your usual smarmy faced politician and the day after Frank gets back to Paris, an old friend comes to visit and he is soon whisked away to see the man in charge.  Frank has absolutely no idea what’s going on as no-one is really explaining anything to him.  He’s wary, and quite rightly so.  His city is changed almost beyond recognition and no-one seems to be giving him any straight answers.  He feels lost, confused and on guard.  He visits an old flame, Mel, with whom he served with in the Forces and she clears a few things up, despite being incarcerated for attempting to murder the Prefect.

With his suspicions still raised, Frank goes to meet with the Prefect at an underground location and the truth about what the authorities have learnt about the Anomalies is revealed.  And it isn’t good.  Well, at least not for Frank.  I certainly wasn’t expecting what happens in the last few pages of this comic and it has definitely left me hungry for more.  To say it’s a cliffhanger is an understatement.

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Masked is a very clever story.  It is clearly rooted deep in science fiction lore, unsurprising given that Lehman is the writer.  The plot is thick and intricate and is displayed beautifully by the stunning artwork.  Frank is complex character and one that I was instantly rooting for.  There are hints at PTSD which I approve of as I don’t see it very often in comics and is an issue that I like to see addressed.  His slightly shell-shocked persona suits the story and is something that I hope will be explored a little more in future installments.

Masked has everything from a troubled character back story to political subterfuge and an alien race.  It’s intriguing, detailed and thoroughly addictive.  A big thumbs up from me.

Title: Masked: Anomalies

Publisher: Titan Comics

Rating: 5/5

ReviewerVix

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