The Mask Is The Man

September 6th, 2010 by | Tags: , ,

Hellboy: The Storm (Mike Mignola/Duncan Fegredo) wrapped up this past week. It was a lead-in to the upcoming The Fury (get it?) and pretty fantastic. Elves, armies, kings of England, you know how Hellboy stories go.

Anyway, in the letters page was a pretty interesting question.

The scene in question from Mignola and Corben’s Hellboy in Mexico:

It’s not artistic license! Just like Clark Kent is Superman, and Bruce Wayne is Batman, the wrestler is his mask. The mask is sacred, and represents his true nature. When the mask is removed, or lost in a fight, the wrestler loses more than just the match.

So, after being infected by evil, the luchador up there turns into a heinous vampire bat-thing. He’s been corrupted. After Hellboy kills him, his identity, his true nature, is returned to him, and he finds peace.

Where’s my No-Prize?!

(If you haven’t read Hellboy In Mexico, or A Drunken Blur yet, you absolutely should pick up one of my favorite stories of this year.)

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8 comments to “The Mask Is The Man”

  1. The letter writer doesn’t know about the myths of the mask for wrestlers in Mexico. I am glad that Mignola and Corben respected that.

  2. +1

  3. While the myth of the mask is a good reason for it, can’t the same argument be made for seeing a human face? You have the luchador who is masked, who loses his honor, turns into a vampire bat monster and is finally restored to his humanity upon his death. You see his true face, his humanity, for the first time, every wrinkle, the curve of lips, the sway of hair, you see his grimace even as he thanks Hellboy, his face is blurred in the last panel but you know he’s dead, that his face exists in that limbo between life and death due to the static yet temporal nature of the panel. His humanity is restored but his honor is not but that’s just the way of things.

    It could just be the wine talking but I’d almost liked to have seen that; at least that would have been logistically consistent too.

  4. That must be an awful lot of wine talking.

  5. Maybe I missed some element of tone or humor that others observed, but this explanation reinforces the explanation of artistic license more than it refutes.

  6. @West: I’m reinforcing artistic license by saying, “It’s not artistic license, it’s Mignola and Corb paying homage to a long tradition in a new way?” I’m pretty sure that it’s a direct homage to a scene in a movie featuring El Santo, but I don’t remember which.

  7. “Logistically consistent”.

    This is a page featuring the Demonic Paranormal Investigator battling a Vampire-Possessed Luchadore to the death within the confines of a wrestling ring.

    Bugs fucking Bunny could pop-up to say “Hello”, and it would be just as logistically consistent as the rest of it; what really matters is that the creators paid a respectful homage to a real-life tradition that’s truly honored in Mexico. Confused fans will hopefully look into why this was done, and learn something new about a Foreign culture, which is never a bad thing.

  8. @Leroy Hart: Bugs fucking Bunny
    Gross image, dude.