WOW, I keep getting later and LATER with this really cool blogging concept- that never happens, ever- on any blog, no never! I guess i better make this a weekly thing for now. To prime my lazy pump(don’t tell my girlfriend)- I bring you MISS MASQUE!
Miss Masque premiered in Exciting Comics #51, September 1946 by Standard/Better/Nedor Comics- I’m not sure which iteration of that company. Quoting Bill Black’s The Official Golden Age Hero and Heroine Directory , a steal at FIVE BUCKS from AC’s bookstore.
By way of Wikipedia :
Miss Masque is the secret identity of Diana Adams, a young socialite who decides to fight crime and injustice in disguise. Miss Masque has no super powers but relies on her wit and a pair of pistols. Her original costume was a mini-skirted red dress with red hat, gloves and cape, and a domino mask; yellow double “M” emblems on her chest and hat completed the ensemble. A later version of the costume had a bare midriff and shorter sleeves
Miss Masque first appeared in Nedor Comics’ Exciting Comics #51 (September 1946). She also appeared in America’s Best Comics (not to be confused with the DC Comics imprint (see below)), Fighting Yank, and Black Terror; her final Golden Age appearance was America’s Best Comics #31 (July 1949).
There was no writer or artist credited for Miss Masque’s first appearance. Alex Schomburg and Frank Frazetta provided art for later cover appearances, and Ralph Mayo penciled some splash pages.
Now this is my version- and I will admit to a cheat here- I originally drew this 2 years ago for one of Warren Ellis’ REMAKE/REMODEL’s on Whitechapel or might have been the forum that preceded it. Either way, I really think this MMasque design still holds up after a couple years.
I modernized Miss M., giving her a decidedly fetish look. and some really over-sized Bisley-esque armaments. The Full-face, Balaclava-style fetish mask was the finishing touch. Originally she had a domino mask and a crew-cut, but I realized the redesign needed to be edgier- so i drew the mask, and scanned and popped it in with Ye Olde Photoshoppe. Thanks to Adobe for the Warp tool which made the mask placement even more spot on! The thing about MM that I find cool(besides the simple design) is that she is a truly powerful female superhero that doesn’t rely on being merely a female version of a male character- she also doesn’t have to wear a see-thru or skimpy outfit, ala, Phanthom Lady to be a beauty. As far as the Nedor line goes, she’s their best tough as nails gun-totin’ crimefighter detective type superhero. She’s was their Batman, Manhunter or Crimson Avenger, IMHO. To clumsily paraphrase
D. W. Griffith and, later, Godard, “all you need to make a great crimefighting superhero is a girl and a gun.”